One thing I need to be up front about is that I have never been an anxious or easily overwhelmed person. I just haven't struggled with that. However, this past October I felt moments of this overwhelming-ness (is that a word?) that I just couldn't explain. I would tell Jimmy, "I feel like I can't keep things together...the laundry, dishes, food..." and that's even with his help. After many days of telling him this he asked me a simple question, "Have you been reading your bible?" My instinctive answer in my head was defensive. How dare he ask me that? Of course I think spending time in the word is important...but...but guess what? The honest answer was no. I was so focused on daily lunches, transportation, appointments, cooking dinner, changing diapers, and refereeing arguments that I surely wasn't making time for the Lord. Then I realized, if I was being truthful with myself, I also wasn't setting a very Godly example for my children with my reactions to all the busy-ness. I was easily frustrated, raised my voice often, nagged everyone, ignored things I shouldn't, and was just on edge. That is what hurt the most...my lack of setting a foundation in the Lord for my children. So, here are some things I must do:
1. I must make time to spend in God's word. No rushing through it or giving Him my leftovers.
2. I must make time to rest. It's okay for the laundry to be sitting in the dryer for the second day in a row. That's what the fluff setting is for, right? It's okay for there to be dirty dishes sitting out for umpteenth day. I made scones tonight because I wanted to bake. They are not great, but that's also okay. Carving out time like this to either sit and do nothing or to plan something out that I'd like to do are so necessary and healthy for me.
3. I must ASK FOR HELP. I used to be terrible at this and it still isn't a strength of mine, but I'm getting better at it. I shouldn't assume that my husband or anyone else knows how I'm feeling or what I'm thinking. Just about any time I ask my husband to help, he's happy to do it...dishes, laundry, etc. Why do I put all the pressure on myself? I must stop.
4. I must say NO. This is something I've tried to be intentional about since school began. There are events that we love going to, parties we would never want to miss, but life with three little ones is just unpredictable so sometimes I have to say no. Sometimes we just need to be home and to rest. I recognize everyone may not understand that and that's okay, but we do appreciate those that assume our best intentions and understand when we need to take some time as a family.
Thankful for a husband that tells it how it is and for a gracious Lord that forgives us all when we screw up! I'd love some prayer for the above issues and hope that this blog post can be of some encouragement.