Last year I had moments of bobbing up and down, barely able to catch my breath. I've blogged about the difficulties of my pregnancy, Maggie's early arrival (in our timing, obviously she came just when God ordained!), my thyroid problems, and just the general craziness of life with four small children, so I won't go into all those details again. I bring those things up just to say that I finally feel like I am starting to be able to keep up with the spinning plates. Every now and then one falls, but thankfully we replaced the ceramic plates with Correlle, so they are much more durable! Besides thyroid medicine, my children growing slightly more independent, and huge dose of the grace of God, I want to share a few of the things that have helped me get my feet back on the ground.
1. Asking for help/communicating my needs/accepting help. Amazingly, my friends and my husband are not mind readers. Just explaining when I could use help has made such a huge difference. Whether it's my husband pitching in more than usual with helping around the house, or a friend offering to drive both ways for a play date so that I don't have to wake sleeping kiddos, every little bit helps. This season is full and it's okay to ask for help. In fact, it's probably necessary.
2. Saying no. I am such a people pleaser. If someone needs help, I want to offer. If they are looking for volunteers at church, I want to jump in and help. Sometimes that is good, but I need to wait and pray before I agree to anything extra these days. If I want to do the jobs that are already on my plate well, I need to say no much more often than yes to any new tasks. I keep reminding myself that this is a season, and in another season, I can volunteer and help others then. Right now, my family is my first priority.
3. Lowering my standards. That sounds horrible, but I think we all have unrealistic standards at times. For me, when it comes to homeschooling, I often have very high expectations for what we will accomplish. In the kitchen, I have lofty goals of trying new recipes. Around the house, I dream of organization and cleanliness. Perhaps simplifying is better than lowering standards. I just need to remind myself that the kids don't need to do every educational craft and file folder game and science experiment. One new recipe a week is more than enough with four young kids at home. And as for the house, well, let's just shoot for somewhat tidy and not a crazy mess! ;)
These are simple truths, but they are things that I need to constantly remind myself of, so I thought perhaps someone else out there needed to be reminded as well. If not, well, kudos to you for being more together than I am! I'll close with one more truth that I hold dear:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9