"I have two little friends,
who help me every day,
I want to tell them thank you
for help-ing me."
Imagine this little poem in sing-song form. My mom made it up and used to sing it to me when I was a little girl (only it was singular), and I just sang it to my girls the other night after not having done so for a very long time. They actually have been little helpers this week, but it wasn't easy getting there.
Yes, they help from time to time emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, sweeping, cleaning, etc. But we've been struggling, I mean struggling, lately for peace in our home. Mostly this struggle goes on while Daddy's safe and sound at work (go figure). Not that he doesn't see his share of it, but I definitely feel the brunt of the complaining, whining, arguing, bickering, and the list goes on. I must admit I grow extremely tired of this turmoil. My heart wants to fade at interceding in another sibling fight, or trying to explain to the youngest why I need to hold the oldest, or asking the oldest to please say it again (and again, and again) without a whiney voice, or wishing with all my heart my little ones would just respect me, or trying to figure out where she heard the word "stupid" (oh yeah, I say that all the time...)
One of the difficulties for me as a stay at home mom is figuring out when to expect the children to play quietly on their own, and when to be in charge of their activities. I'm always saying to myself "when am I supposed to get my stuff done?" "Can't I just have 5 minutes of breathing time without an interruption?" And so on. So, this is my life, and my constant struggle.
But the good news is, God is good. When I ask Him for wisdom, He is completely faithful to give it, right when I need it. For me, this wisdom came on Thursday, when I asked the girls to help me clean the bathroom. (Amaleah had already started before I even got there, but we gave Julia a job too). Next up, making oatmeal balls. Amaleah had her stool, Julia had her chair, and they seemed to understand that we would go back and forth with the ingredients. Then they rolled them up pleasantly, and whimpered at the thought of being finished. (Amaleah helps me all the time, but both of them at the same time really is a first, can you believe it?) Next up, lunch. Julia yells "I want to cook I want to cook." So onto tuna salad. The next morning they begged to do pancakes. These little helpers brought peace to my home, which we have not seen on a regular basis for a while.
So the realization for me (and I've heard it many times, just haven't implented it) is to include my little girls in my life, and not try to keep them occupied while I go about my business. I love being by myself, but that desire often gets in the way of being a nurturing mother and really blending our lives together. I'm so selfish with my time, and God is constantly showing me that is one area I need to relinquish...although I'm not there yet.
Galatians 6:9 says, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Raising up little children is the way we as Christian moms are "doing good," and it is my constant prayer that I do not grow tired of it. That I do not "lose heart" in all this draining, back-breaking, heart-aching work, and that I trust the Lord for the results, in "due season."