I live my life a little more haphazard than I would like. It is a miracle that my children even get on the school bus with clothes on and lunches packed. One morning in the not too distant past I may have sent my daughter to school with a full on bed head of braided hair because she put on her winter hat before I had a chance to make her hair presentable and I forgot to double-check. I am sure her teacher, a mom to five year old twins, didn’t give it a second thought.
I hear this comment all of the time: “I don’t know how you do it all. I have my hands full with one/two kids, I don’t know how you manage four.” Then I typically respond with, “I don’t do it all.”
We had our first two girls, 23 months apart. The plan wasn’t to have them that close together, but my reproductive system really doesn’t listen. Going from one to two kids was the hardest transition for me. God gave me friends who understood my plight and offered to take them for an hour so I could get groceries and gain sanity. Once my girls got a little older and we had a crazy idea to add a third to the mix.
My sister had 4 girls and I already had two, so the chances of a different gender were slim. Shockingly, our third baby happened to be a boy and as fate would have it, he rocks the boat, pushes ALL of the buttons, and steps over every line in the sand. We have to stay one step ahead of him because the gears in his brain are constantly turning and he thinks of things our girls never would attempt. Like the time he attempted to relieve himself off of the balcony overlooking our living room, aiming down to the couch where his big sister was sitting. (Seriously!?) He filled our plate to overflowing and we had all we could manage. Our little family was enough.
God laughed. Do you ever imagine God’s reaction to our assumptions? When I announced I was DONE, sold/gave away all of the baby items, organized my life around three littles, I really believe I heard God LOL. Maybe He even ROTFL. One of those hearty belly laughs that comes from deep within; an all-knowing, wisdom-filled, laugh.
Yet again, my reproductive system disobeyed and God gave us a gift our family didn’t even know we needed. I would like to say that with each child, God also gives me an abundance of patience, organization, and consistency. NOPE. In desperation, I remember writing an email to various friends with four or more children, asking them, “How do you do it all? How do you do life with four?” While many of them had amazing life hacks, one friend shared wisdom with me that I have never forgotten.
“I don’t do it all. I do what I can. My kids probably have way too much screen time. We eat the same meals on rotation. I just do what I can and not worry about the rest.”
At the time I disregarded her advice, but in time, I realized how vital it was.
It is OKAY to give yourself some grace and not do it ALL.
Girl, give yourself some GRACE.
The Bible says “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.” This means that when we think we can do it all and beat ourselves up when we don’t, that’s not what God wants for us. Its when we humble ourselves and realize we CAN’T that God pours out his grace. It’s a gift He is ready and waiting to pour over our weary souls as soon as we are ready to receive it with humility.
I had to come to the realization that I will never do it all in any given day and what will get done will get done when it gets done. The more I let go, the more I have seen God, with my own eyes, step in and fill in the blanks. He helps me manage my life. He helps me be patient enough, consistent enough, organized enough. I have to fall on God every single day. I have to give all credit and glory to God who doesn’t want to see me fall flat on my face. When life catches up with me and I fail miserably, God is there with an outpouring of grace ready to pick me up, brush me off, and keeps me going. I do not know how I would do this life without His grace.
Do you ever feel like you can’t keep up with it all? God is waiting with an endless flow of grace to pour over your weariness.
In upcoming posts, I am going to be writing about what things I choose to let go of and the effects my wanting to control it all played out in my parenting. I hope you will join me in this blog series.