How Do You Do It?

A sweet mother of two little children gazed at us in wonder on Sunday morning as we filed into the nursery with our four. "How do you do it?" she said.

How do we do it? We don't. I don't. I can't.

We pull it together on Sunday and have a little system down that works for us, but we only look somewhat together in the blissful moments after we get out of the car (and I've just wiped all the dried eye crud, milk mustaches and other gunk off of our kids faces!) and walk into church.

This past year has been WILD. I could list all the crazy, a surgery, the doctor visits, accidents in the car, spills, sicknesses, foreign travel,  bumps in the road and just the destructive chaos Mr. O creates would by itself drive anyone batty.

I've never ever had it all together (although I got a LOT more done with fewer kids and I really don't have a lot of children compared to many!).  However, the reality of how not "together" I am and how much bigger the job is than me has especially settled in since baby R arrived.

I have ironed one article of clothing this entire year. One. The mess in our house rotates from area to area. The laundry never ends. I feel the fall acutely when it comes to laundry and housework. My own parenting failures help seal the remembrance.

Yet we survive. God is gracious and if this is my lot it has surely fallen in pleasant places.

I told Tuan that I was a bit overwhelmed and as I listed all my roles and jobs, I began to understand why:

Child of God
Wife, helper and lover. : ) Amen.
Daughter and Sister
Woman in the Church
Teacher of two different grades, wrangler of a three year old and primary baby care for sweet Mrs. R.
Chef--3 meals a day
Procurer of Domestic Supplies
Home Manager
House Keeper and Cleaner

It's too much. I can't do it. At any and all times some balls are going to drop. I could surely use some household help. It's rather liberating to realize that. It's also liberating to realize that it's okay to let some things go.

Sometimes I have to realize that I don't have to cling to standards that the Lord has not set for me. Cleaning my house at the expense of discipling my children and loving my husband and caring for someone in need isn't what he is calling me to do. I struggle with that balance.

At the same time, when I fail in the areas where he HAS drawn a line ), I am COVERED by the blood of Jesus. Hallelujah!

If I'm grumpy because my system of organization is not being followed, the problem lies with me. I don't have the liberty to declare that "without X, I can't function", if "Z is dirty, I can't do Y".

Ultimately, my SOLE dependence is on Jesus. I am, however, at liberty to recognize and declare that "without JESUS, I can't."

It's liberating to realize that being creative reflects his image and can bring him glory.

Hmm. . . Wish I had time to sort this out more, but Mr. O just plundered the Italian Creme Cake in the Fridge and Baby R is on a fast track towards the coconut shower that resulted from the plunder.


Amanda said...

wonderfully written, loved this post, Paula! Mind if I repost on FB?

Joey and Elizabeth said...

Such a wonderful post! I only have two right now, but I feel like I can barely keep up most days (and the housework... EEK!). Thanks for your honesty friend :)