I've allowed MEGA loads of pressure to be piled on my shoulders as the date draws near and the more and more I've tried to simplify life, I think I've ended up further from my goal. Create a schedule that gets EVERYTHING to fit in. ORGANIZE everything in sight so that there is less CHAOS to deal with. Pick and choose curriculum from limitless sources so that EACH need of EACH child is covered. Figure out a way to also keep a spotless home. Plan, purchase ingredients, and cook 3 meals plus snacks every day. Don't forget that each one of those meals/snacks has to be cleaned up after in order to maintain order in our home. Volunteer in Early Childhood on Sunday. Volunteer in Children's Ministry on Wednesday. Volunteer for PMO on one Thursday morning so I can have the 3 other as "me" time. Prep COUNTLESS projects for a Pre-K curriculum that is FULLY hands on (otherwise a certain student WILL DESTROY everything in sight if his hands and mind aren't fully engaged). Laundry. Taxi runs. Budget & pay the bills and do it on one income. Spend one on one time with God. Spend family time with God. Manage the outside activities of 3 kids going in 3 directions....which results in MORE taxi runs and MORE time away from home and less time actively in front of the "books". Spend time with neighbors that are lonely, aging, or going through VERY difficult times. Attend enrichment activities with the kids to spark learning more. Plan lessons & unit studies for 3 kids with WAY different capabilities. Laundry...have to mention that again because it never ends!!! Spend time with my husband. Exercise. Eat healthy & be active to lose weight and get my health back under control again. Spend time on my "other" passions. Read. Blog. AND THE LIST could continue to go on!
It's VERY overwhelming. It's very daunting and NO matter how much I simplify I find myself getting deeper in the pit of "not good" enough. I get caught up in the:
- I should have already done this or that.
- THIS shouldn't be an issue any longer.
- I'm not as good at THIS as "she" is.
- I have WAY more potential than I'm using.
- There are better ways.
That list can go on as well. I have huge stars in my eyes and find myself falling off the pedestal I've placed myself on VERY quickly when things don't run as I THINK they should. KEY WORDS: I THINK.
Instead, I should be thinking of what GOD thinks. He didn't make me perfect. He didn't make me ALL capable. He doesn't care if I don't have a menu plan together even if I KNOW it would help me balance everything else better. He doesn't care how many manipulatives are thrown in every corner of the room. He doesn't care if I have one load or fifteen loads of laundry piled up. He doesn't care if I use curriculum A, B, or a combination of XYTRDFNM.
What he does care about is ME. He cares that I am spending time with Him first. He cares that I'm leaning on Him and accepting that I am not SUPERMOM. He cares if I'm letting HIM lead. He cares more about my heart and the heart that I share with my children. He doesn't want me stressed out and ineffective. He wants me humbled before Him, ASKING for direction. Why? BECAUSE that is WHEN I'm going to become effective. THAT is when I'm going to make the RIGHT kind of difference in my family and home. He just wants me to stop worrying so much about the details. Worrying about the details is what gets me in the most trouble because that is when I FALL short! He doesn't want me to worry about measuring up to SOMEONE else's standards (including MY OWN!). He doesn't want me to set myself up for failure. He doesn't want me stuck on the merry-go-round of trying to be supermom or people pleasing. He just WANTS ME. Surely, I can LEARN to just do THAT. Once I get THAT down-pat, EVERYTHING else is going to fall into place.
Perhaps I need to focus on the "He" portion of Psalm 119. (Psalm 119 is a Hebrew acrostic poem with 22 stanzas each representing each successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet....even though I personally don't know the alphabet!)
Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
I will put them into practice with all my heart.
Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
Give me an eagerness for you laws rather than a love of money!
Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.
Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you.
Help me abandon my shameful ways;
for your regulations are good.
I long to obey your commandments!
Renew my life with your goodness.