When I put in my letter of resignation at my job last summer, mostly everyone that I came into contact with told me congratulations. I was told how excited they were for me for the opportunity to stay home with my kids. How much I was going to enjoy being with them, how to enjoy every moment because it goes by way too fast, or how lucky I was to have the opportunity to stay home. Now I admit, I do recognize what a privilege it is to stay home with my kids. I also recognize that there are many other parents out there who would give anything to be in my position but are unable to. Everyone gave me words of encouragement, but not one person told me the following: THAT I WILL NEVER GET TO SIT DOWN!
I’m serious. From the time that I wake up until the time that I go to bed, the only times I ever get to sit down is if I am lucky to use the bathroom (and let’s be honest, are you ever really alone when using the bathroom as a mother? The answer is No.Nope.Never.Ever.) or if I am driving a child to school or running another errand, because those are also endless.
Any attempt at sitting down is cut short because someone looked at someone else the wrong way, the dogs are barking out the window at nothing, the timer on the stove is going off, someone needs help with homework or something is getting spilt somewhere. The feeling of, “Will this ever end?” runs rampant in my head on a constant loop. And somedays, I will burst into tears from pure exhaustion.
Yesterday was no exception. It was a warm 24 degrees outside so going outside was completely out of the question. I am not a fan of the cold weather to begin with, but I have really grown to dislike it because of the lack of things to do. You can only read so many books, assemble so many puzzles, play so many games of hide and seek, and watch so many obnoxious videos on YouTube before you feel like you are going to lose your mind. Cabin fever is very, very real. Today was one of those days where the kiddos wanted to play outside but couldn’t. So we brought out the slime and kinetic sand, because why not? They hadn’t played with it much so it was something new and exciting. It was going really well…until I had to pee. So I made the mistake of announcing that I was going to pee real quick and I left the younger two unattended for barely a couple minutes. In a matter of me peeing and washing my hands, they somehow managed to get the kinetic sand EVERYWHERE. Below is a picture of the aftermath:
This stuff was everywhere. When I got out, 3 year old Nugget was smearing it on the walls. All I could muster was a shriek and a loud, “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?!” Only to have them look at me and respond with a confused “What?” Like throwing kinetic sand everywhere is normal. -_-
It took me a bit to clean it all up and put my dining room back together. While I was cleaning, they went in their room and played together. I could hear loud belly giggles and laughs from around the corner. As annoyed as I was, I wasn’t mad. How could I be? Life happens, things get messy, but we learn to pick up the pieces, dust ourselves off, and keep moving forward. Hearing the pure joy in their voices and laughter was another reminder that in the mess of life, we still have the ability to find joy in the chaos. It’s difficult, of course. It was definitely difficult to clean kinetic sand out of the crevices of my dining room bench, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Instead it allowed me to gain perspective on my life and what God has going on for it.
James 1:2-5 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (NLT)
So after I tucked the babes into bed and I finally got to sit down, I breathed a loud sigh of relief because I got through another day. Even though I am exhausted and my whole body aches, I am thankful that I am not in this alone. Every step I take during the day, I can find strength and guidance in Jesus, knowing He has my days mapped out for me. It doesn’t always mean that it is going to be easy, and many days are going to make me want to give up, but I do know that at the end of the day, I am exactly where I am supposed to be: At home with my babies.
“God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would do good works. God had planned in advance those good works for us. He had planned for us to live our lives doing them.” Ephesians 2:10 (ICB)