There are dinner dishes from yesterday still on the counter. My daughter’s laundry hasn’t been put away in weeks. The 2 year old’s clothes I started sorting weeks ago? Still in a basket in his closet. My husband wakes up early to settle all the kids through breakfast before he goes to work, and comes home to pick up the pieces I’ve dropped throughout the day. You see, I am 29 weeks pregnant with our fourth baby, and have been on partial bedrest for the last 4 weeks with quite a few more to go. And so many days are the same. There is just so much I cannot do. I want to. I long to fulfill my typical role. But for now, I just cannot do it all.
Sound at all familiar to you? Perhaps your circumstances are different. Maybe you’ve had a death in the family, or an extended season of frequent sickness. Maybe you’ve recently moved, or are preparing to. Any number of situations could put you in a similar spot! I don’t know about you, but if I let myself, I feel so.easily.defeated in these times.
Last night I was awake having contractions and my typical pregnancy insomnia. My mind was swirling with thoughts of all the ways in which it feels like I am failing my family. All the different ways my husband and children are having to pick up the pieces that I have left scattered all around. In the midst of my defeat, the Lord was so kind and gracious to keep bringing the word “joy” to my mind. I love when He does that. I woke this morning praying for a different day. For joy in the midst of these circumstances that are different than I would choose right now. As I prayed, I realized that while there are many things right now that I cannot do, there are things I can do! I can pray for His grace to cover our family and carry us through these days. I can choose to have an attitude towards my children and interactions with them and my husband that are honoring to Him and helpful for their hearts!
In my house today, this meant that instead of doing a more involved science experiment that I just wasn’t up for, my kids helped me scoop ingredients for dry mix bags of baked oatmeal. It means that when I started contracting again after 15 minutes of folding clothes on my girlie’s floor while she cleaned, we all stopped, and moved on to playing and snacks. Because her room being clean is just NOT the most important thing right now. Sure, I could have stayed there, pushing myself physically, or snapping at her to keep cleaning and making us all miserable. But nothing about that is helpful or encouraging for any of us. Believe me, there are plenty of times when I don’t take it in stride. When I live in frustration and discouragement over what isn’t happening or what I can’t do, I make my entire family miserable in the process.
There are days where tasks must be accomplished – when I have to push through the attitude, or my own exhaustion, or any number of things to get the house cleaned before Bible study, or get a full solid day of school in after a week of sickness. But right now, in the midst of this season? I don’t have to, and in fact, it is better if I don’t try to. Because for these weeks and likely a few months, life just looks different. It looks like snuggles, books, naps, movies, and more electronic time than I prefer. And IT IS OKAY! It will not always be this way, but for now, my goal is to relish this time for what it is, to enjoy puzzles and games and books, and to let my attitude about our circumstances not make this any harder than it is already.
What about you, mamas? Are you in a season where every day requires you to take it in stride? It is hard, but so worth it, to rest in what He has for us, even in times where we just don’t feel like we are doing all we should. He gives grace and peace for these days, and will help us see His plans if we only ask.