It’s not even 8am yet, and already there are books on the kitchen floor, breakfast dishes, porridge mess on the table and floor, yesterdays washing to fold, beds to be made, toys and cards strewn in a trail, and… I would really really like to be dressed before 9am today. If possible.
We are just coming out the other side of an illness marathon, which took out my whole family for a number of months (except me). We survived it, are currently in somewhat of a recovery phase, and gradually getting life back on track again. The nights are still a little busy for me, but I’m down to only getting up about 6 times to children instead of… well 20+ times. I lost count.
What I’d really like to do today is read a book in the sunshine, and spend some time with my Father, hearing His heart and pouring out mine to His. I’m yearning to have my own tank re-filled, which is replenished by time alone. I’m one of those sorts who needs time away from people to re-energise; unlike my husband who is now desperate to spend time with people.
So how do I pick up my feet today and find the motivation to keep on keeping on? The housework feels like a grind; the sibling interactions need tending to as the kids are a bit scratchy with each other; our mealtime routine needs to find a better rhythm; our budget needs some attention; the chores have built up more than I would have liked… the list goes on. Perhaps it sounds similar to your list.
I know the answer lies in Him alone. His grace is sufficient for me. His power is made perfect in my weakness. And I AM weak. And very tired. It’s His time to shine in me. And I have this beautiful opportunity to cultivate trust with Him, as I reach into the well of His goodness. I know He will continue to meet my needs and hearts desires. Yes the tasks that fill my day need my attention. But He is with me. He is always with me. And in Him, my joy is made complete. I only have to align the affections of my heart to His. As I write this, I can feel the warmth of His smile towards me, and my joy being renewed as His presence fills my heart.
So I could write a list here of things we could all do to find joy in our homemaking and child rearing. I could write things like, find a purpose in your home-making, or read your bible daily to renew your mind, or put the kids in front of a DVD while you have a cuppa on the deck. Those are some good ideas.
But what is the deepest cry of my heart today?
I don’t believe I can find true joy in simply putting some helpful strategies and tips into motion. What I really want is to know my God is there in the midst of the mundane, the nappy changes, the spilled food, the sibling squabbles, the constant budget-juggling, the exhaustion, the external expectations that come knocking on my door, and so forth. I know the answer isn’t in changing my circumstances, although I’m not denying I have some needs that remain unmet at present.
What I really want is to know He is with me. And He is.
And that I have a hope. And I do.
So far today: I wrote in my joy journal; I leaned my heart towards my Father; I listened for His whispers to me; I tried not to lose my patience with the kids (with varying success); I thought about my husband arriving home soon on this day, Friday, and how relieved he will be to have 2 days off with his family; I thought of my lovely friend and the miracle she has experienced this week with a passport victory, I sat here while the kids were occupied and was encouraged by many of your blogs.
I have to keep the bigger picture in mind on days like today.
What is my mission as a mother?
What am I seeking to sow into my children’s hearts?
One day I will know and understand the eternal consequences of my ministry as a mother and wife. I’m grateful for the gift of this time with my children. It’s a blessing to my life. And to theirs.
Now it’s the end of the day (post begun this morning). How did I do? Well, the washing from yesterday got folded and the new day’s pile also got folded and put away. House is tidy, give or take a bit of kid mess around the place. Kids have full tummies and are in bed. It’s late and the dinner dishes remain, as do some crumbs on the carpet – something for tomorrow. But some small victories nonetheless – we should always celebrate those. And most of all, my God is with me and loving me every second of the day. I can’t complain at all.
Tomorrow will be another day. My Father is with me.
Finding joy in home-making… is about finding joy in Him.