I can't do it all.
Yet, sometimes I need the reminder that I can't and I'm not expected to.
With this season of life and the fact that things at our house are changing as we prepare for future ministry AND with some changes coming with new "littles", my heart needs to remember that I can not do it all and I can't even do MOST.....on my own that is. It's a team effort with all of us AND with God at the center.
I'm a recovering perfectionist and it's hard for me to accept that some things can't be done to my "standards" all the time.
What I can do is SEEK GOD first and frequently. Give Him my list. Give Him my responsibilities. Give Him my desires and needs. Give Him my weaknesses. Praise Him for the good moments and seek Him during the not so good.
I CAN take my eyes off of pinterest perfection. I can embrace the things I do accomplish and put blinders on to the things I wish I could accomplish. I can take my eyes off those other women that seem to make life look easy and homeschooling like it's straight out of a magazine. They may can make homemade bread, multi-course home cooked meals that don't have its start from a box. They may can grow their own vegetables and can them for later in the season, while my jars sit in the basement empty. They may have encyclopedia answers for the million questions their big kids and preschoolers ask and may not say "look it up" because they honestly don't know the answer (it's good for kids to look up answers, right!....at least that's what I remind myself!). They may have patience and soft voices that rival Michelle Duggar. They may create beautiful things and take professional quality pictures. Dishes may never sit in their sink. They may seem to have just the right thing to say or do to teach their children Biblical knowledge or life lessons!
Yet, my reality is different! :) I can give it my all, but I know that I can't maintain ANY sanity with those standards of perfection! Facebook and pinterest are fantastic----but they can cause us to feel less than or "failures" if we aren't careful. My own standards can cause me to feel like I'm not getting enough right----but I'm thankful for a husband that constantly reminds me that I am to do what I can do and let the rest go.
Over the next few weeks, in addition to my 7, 12, and 16 year olds , we'll be transitioning to full time and part time care of an almost 26 month old, 24 month old, 15 month old, 3 month old and 1 month old. (Not all 5 will be here all day, every day!....I'm not THAT capable!) Yes, I'm crazy in the eyes of most people. Yet, I know we didn't take on these responsibilities lightly. God was in the middle of the decisions and will continue to be in the middle of our daily lives. Yes, I'm going to be tired (ha....exhausted!) and some days my sanity will be thrown out the door! (Kevin MAY come home some days and I may kiss him and walk out the door for some peace and quiet!) However, our family truly does thrive when we are surrounded by littles. It doesn't make sense to most, but it makes perfect sense to us! God gave me an insatiable inner passion for small children----and our lives are most blessed when we live out of our passions.
Granted, it is going to take some SERIOUS organizing and planning. Gone are lazy days! :) Gone are the quiet, slow days. But that's ok....
I won't be leaving the house much in the daytime hours very much in the coming days. I won't just run out the door for lunch. I will have to get back on track with meal planning and freezer meals. My "lists" that people make fun of will become crucial for survival. I may have the deer in the headlights look and may be spinning in circles!
Grace becomes even more important. Accepting grace for myself and extending grace to others will be essential! Patience and flexibility will rank high up there as well!
There will be more baby, toddler and school gear around our house than ever before. I may not know where I'm going to put things, but we'll figure it out.
I will admit I'm nervous about balance, but I'm confident as well. There are no words to describe the love I have for little ones. It energizes me as it drains me. It makes me happy even as it stresses. It stretches me, but in ways that are beneficial.
Most of all, I know that far beyond the planning and letting go of perfection is that the only way I can give to others is if I let God fill me first. He won't make every day go picture perfect and totally on schedule, but He can provide joy that isn't based on circumstances. He can fill in the gaps where I lack. He can do what I can't. WHEN I give it to Him.
Above all, He reminds my heart that it's a blessing to be surrounded by children. Even in the chaos. Even in the mess. Even when they refuse to sleep when you want them to! :)
Praying for the transition and learning new personalities. Praying for the wisdom to make decisions to help things go as smoothly as possible. Praying for balance to make sure each individual feels important and loved. Praying that even though my hands will be full, that my heart will be even fuller. Praying for the families and parents that are represented. Praying those families know how blessed I feel to spend time with their children (and that mine never forgot how much I value and love them!). Praying that my husband still knows he is second only to God in my life. Praying that all of the details continue to be worked out.
It's the only way I know to accomplish anything!