My life and my home are always filled with children. Some of them are grown up children, some of them are pre-teens, some of them are little people, and some are not even mine. I sometimes feel like I am in the middle of a tornado of children and am just trying to go with the currents, hoping that it sets me down where I need to land. This past week was no exception. It is a case study in the joyful busyness of my life as a mom to many, and a beautiful reminder from God that He is actually directing the “chaos” of my day-to-day.
Thursday night before going to bed, I checked my to-do list for the next day, wondering exactly how I was going to do it all: help out a friend in a bind by watching her daughter, move a doctor’s appointment so that said babysitting could happen, homeschool my 10 year-old, have a coffee date with my 23 year- old daughter, plan a going away party I was hosting in two days for my son and daughter-in-law as they prepare to move to Northern California, and clean my house. So, when I received the text on Friday morning that my friend’s daughter was sick and wouldn’t be coming over, I felt a little relieved. My day was set. I could still go to my doctor’s appointment, and everything else would fall into place.
As my first order of business I got my 10 year-old started on her homeschooling lessons and made sure the 5 year-old was safely engaged in some sort of Frozen themed play, so I could sneak away and begin my cleaning chores. Then, I got a text from a good friend bragging about the cute gift she was making for my son and his wife. Well, that made me feel inadequate. I had nothing “special” planned. I immediately got onto Pinterest and searched “Going Away Party”. I followed that bunny trail for a bit and whipped out my Cricut (if you don’t know what this is, look it up because you NEED one) to make a cute banner, all the while stopping to assist with questions that arose from my 10 year-old and her lessons.
Amid this flurry of activity, it occurred to me that my son and his wife usually have Friday night open. I decided to ask them out to dinner at a restaurant, feeling the urge to seize any opportunity to be with them while they still live nearby. Once those plans were set, my son threw in a bonus and asked if I wanted to pick him up from his last day of work early so he could come over and help me with launching my blog. I jumped at the offer. Ah, but the doctor’s appointment! Of course I called and rescheduled it. Although I was mid-craft project, I abandoned the banner supplies and packed up my Cricut.
My girls were scheduled to go on a playdate at 1:30 and I wasn’t sure when my son would be done at work. The 5 year-old still needed a bath. My 10 year-old didn’t finish her school work until 1:00. We left the house and I grabbed McDonald’s for them as a treat and because there was no time to feed them. I dropped the girls across town and got a text that my son was already at my house. Yikes! I raced back home to meet my son, and we began working on my blog. In the middle of that technologically frustrating task, my husband called asking for ideas for something he needed right away. I started googling ideas while sitting next to my son, who seemed undaunted by my distraction. My husband settled on an idea and I was able to refocus on the task at hand, my blog. Things were back on track.
Bing! A text rolled in from my 23 year-old daughter. She said she could meet for coffee earlier then our previously scheduled 4:00 appointment. I texted back that I couldn’t get there until 4:00. Back to the blog and my son. Within 20 minutes, my daughter walked in the door. We quickly wrapped up our work on the blog. I headed to the coffee shop with my girl, but in separate cars so we could both get to our next events on time. I savored this uninterrupted time with her and was satisfied that I was back on schedule. Of course, this could not last.
My son got a message from his wife. She would be free at 5:30 if we all wanted to get dinner and hour earlier. This required a call to my friend to see if the littles could stay longer, and she agreed. My husband and I went out for a lovely dinner with my son, his beautiful wife, and her parents. After dinner my husband had to go back to work, and I went home to finish the party banner. Our friend graciously offered to bring our littles home for us and we were finally in for the night.
Like I said, it’s a tornado. Everyday. And here’s the thing: at every turn, I just wanted to be with someone I desperately love, someone God has put in my life to love and cherish. Whether it is a friend in need, my small children, my adult kids, or my husband, I want to be there for them. I want to hold onto the reality that every step I take is on holy ground. God blessed me this day. The Holy Spirit met me in my weakness (because let’s face it, it is hard to balance a family) and I was blessed with joy.
There are plenty of times I fail to see the blessing amid the commotion. I forget what is most important, I get anxious, and I rely on my own resources. When I do that, I let everyone down. But, we are reminded in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
What about you? Are you leaning on Christ to get through your typical, busy day?