Y'all. I really am.
For all the people and all the pets and all the lesson plans and all the dishes and all the laundry and all the urine soaked clothes (BECAUSE POTTY TRAINING NEVER ENDS, y'all.) and all the things that need my attention every.single.day- there really isn't enough time for me to successfully and completely take care of them all. There just isn't.
A friend asked me yesterday if everything was OK because she hadn't heard from me in a while. I met up with another friend at the park just last week for the first time in MONTHS. I have had plans to take the kids to story time at our local library since 2014. I am becoming a professional plan maker/canceler. It's almost a gift.
It's funny, this season of life I'm in. I'm the busiest I can ever remember being, but I accomplish almost nothing of consequence at the end of every day. (Unless you count keeping all three kids and the dog and the cat alive for 18+ hours. Which, on some days, I DO.) There are lesson plans that get pushed back and towels that get tumbled for the fourteenth time and there is currently a basket of socks sitting on the floor of my bedroom that have been there since LAST Tuesday.
Sorry, Mom. I know I was raised better.
I've heard the adage quoted to Moms like me who are feeling stretched too thin: "Just remember, God won't give you more than you can handle." ::cue my respectful and internal eye roll:: I know what they are saying, and I can appreciate the loving place they are coming from, because I too believe that God will never crush me helplessly beneath the stresses of my life. What I have to take issue with is the presumptive place a phrase like that puts me in. It's almost saying that by being overwhelmed and overworked and overtired, I'm discounting my faith or that it's not strong enough to carry me through.
When people remind me that 'God won't give me more than I can handle', it can feel as if my faith is cheapened. As if to say that if I'd have a stronger faith, then everything would come up roses and I'd never burn supper or forget to pay the water bill or have three kids turn a sofa, four pillows and a dog bed into a trampoline-gym-set-bonanzaville. And y'all, this is where I have see a difference within that phrase. While I agree that God will never give me more than I can handle, I do believe He will sometimes give me more than I think I can. Do you see the difference there?
I think that's the sometimes unseen benefit of the humility motherhood gives me. When the days are easy and the laundry gets folded while it's still warm and the kids act like angels- I BEGIN TO BELIEVE I CAN DO IT ON MY OWN. I get my act together, I vacuum my floors and scrub my toilets and teach my lessons and go to bed feeling rather smug and self satisfied. Accomplishing tasks and having a freshly mopped kitchen floor are nice and all, but when I allow completing them to take my focus off of my total dependence on Jesus- that's where the trouble starts.
When the days are hard and the dishwasher is backlogged because I forgot to turn it on the night before (groan) and the towels sour for the second day in a row and the kids act like rabid wolverines- I BEGIN TO REALIZE I CAN NOT DO IT ON MY OWN. I fall to my knees, crawl into my closet, close the door and pray for mercy. I plead for patience and strength and forgiveness and can even still go to bed feeling drained and incomplete. Falling apart, losing my temper and having to face the emptiness that can reside at the core of my being is sometimes just what I need to remember how much I really require Jesus to complete me.
So, during this Jessie Spano season I'm in- I'll still work hard, but I'll rest assured knowing that even on the days that I feel like a failure, there's still a blessing to be found within them. (And I'll try to get the kids to story time at our library sometime before 2017.)