Thursday, May 12, 2005

So many children, so little mom

There are days when I wish that I could just have one more mommy in the house. That was especially true when the children were younger.

I was reminded again of how stressful it really is when I got a call last week from a dear friend in tears. She needed some encouragement and support. The newborn needed to nurse, the toddler had just thrown up, and the 13 year old daughter needed help with her math all at the same time. She pulled the teen away from her schoolwork to help with the toddler while she nursed in the hall to keep the other 6 children out of the bathroom! She called me later in the day full of guilt that her oldest daughter had to stop what she was doing to help out. The daughter didn't complain it was the mother's own guilt and worry that prompted the call to me. I know the frustration so well. I listened as she poured out all the details of the morning.

While most of us don't have nine children 13 and under, the tension between academics and home life is a balancing act. Even the unschoolers that I talk to feel this anxiety at times. We fret that today's interruption will create more problems for them and us sometime in the future. Her call brought back to mind my own anxiety as a new mother.

When Kristin was a year old, I discovered I was pregnant with my second. I wondered how I was going to get it all done. I worried that I would not be able to give to Kristn what she needed while taking care of another baby. (Little did I know who else was waiting in the wings!) Thankfully, I heard a teaching by Elisabeth Elliot one morning that helped me prioritize my day and the inevitable interruptions that will come up. It was a poem that she read called "Do the next thing". It has become my motto for life. Here are my two favorite versus.

"Do The Next Thing"
Many a questioning,

many a fear,
Many a doubt,
hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment,
let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance,
are given.
Fear not tomorrows,
Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus,

Do it immediately;
do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
tracing His Hand
Who placed it before thee
with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,

A simple thing to remember that saved me hours of stress. I don't have to worry. I don't have to think about tomorrow. I don't have to think about next week or next year. I just have to think about the NEXT thing that God gives me to do and DO IT. What liberty there is when we fix our eyes on the only one who can fix our situation! Trust Him and just go do the next thing and do it for HIM.

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