I like to be on time. I like to be organized, scheduled, and efficient. I actually met my college boyfriend because we were the only two to show up to an event on time. I like to be in control.
Now I have three kids.
I still try to organize, schedule, and make efficient use of my time, but life tends to get in the way. As a mother of one, and then as a mother of two, I spent numerous mornings trying to stick to my schedule and yelling at my kids to “hurry up” and “get your shoes” and threatening “If you don’t hurry up, I’m leaving without you.” Seriously, who am I kidding. The place I’m going is your school to drop you off, I can’t leave without you?!?! Luckily, a wise friend told me that when you have three you simply cannot do what you were doing before. You can either figure out what works now or you will drive yourself crazy trying to be who you used to be.
I definitely did not want this to be the case. I still want my house to be clean.
I’ve read all the blogs and cliches about happy children and a messy house. I still want my house to be clean. I still want to schedule my life so I know what to expect. And I want to arrive on time.
Then I got pregnant with number three. Immediately she turned my life upside down. Due to a uterine bleed in the first trimester I was instructed to stop exercising. Not a big deal unless you run a fitness business?!?! I came to realize that no matter how much I want to be in control, I’m not. It is very freeing to “Let go, and Let God.” Then came the first time I was pregnant in the summer… in Florida! I had planned to have another baby in May/June like my last two. I promptly got pregnant in October, but a miscarriage and D&C later, I came to appreciate that no matter how much we plan, schedule and organize, God has a plan for our lives. We can embrace the journey or fight it. There is so much more joy when we embrace it. Finally, baby Mackenzie was born in October. It seems like no matter what I do, I am running 5 minutes late. It is very frustrating for this over-scheduler. This is when I finally came to appreciate the wise words of my friend. I need to figure out what works now.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear… Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than the birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Luke 12:22-25
Knowing my tendency to try to do it all, I started to seek counsel on how to prioritize and make the best decisions for my family and myself. I subscribed to daily devotional e-mails from Proverbs 31 Ministries. One woman’s writings resonated with me in my current situation. She wrote a book called “The Best Yes” about “making wise decisions in the midst of endless demands.” The book is wonderful, I read it with a highlighter so I wouldn’t forget anything! One of the things that resonated with me the most is that at this stage of our lives we are not struggling with making decisions between “good” and “bad.” Instead, at this stage of our lives we are trying to decide between good and good. Do I volunteer to be the room mom for my son’s class or do I join the book club at our church? Good, good.
There are so many pressures from society to try to do everything for everyone, all. the. time. I mean seriously Pinterest what’s wrong with a kid’s birthday party that doesn’t have a theme? We need to decide what the best choice is for ourselves and our families right now. This is a season in our lives that we will never be in again. Some seasons are better than others. Some seasons involve self-sacrifice, while others allow for indulgence. Whatever season we are in we need to embrace the blessings and challenges it brings and recognize that before we know it, we will be transitioning into a new season.
As for me, I am attempting to embrace the 5 minutes late. I still want my house to be clean (I’ve negotiated to get a little help in this area). During this season, I am not getting as much “me” time but it’s being traded for snuggles, puzzles, and, of course, carpool. I have a standing excuse to throw on jammies and pop in a movie or go to bed early on a Friday or Saturday night. I get to relish the quiet conversation and freedom of a date night because they are few and far between. I get to see my little people grow into the unique individuals God has created them to be. I am resisting the urge to volunteer for tasks that I simply don’t have the time or energy to complete. I am trying to focus on one day at a time and not stress about what the week or month or year will bring. I am appreciating the husband God sent to share this journey with me. The man who gladly helps with carpool, who eats dinner standing up on his way to bathe kids while I feed the baby, who holds my hand at church on Sunday, and who gives our kids an incredible role model to look up to.
A good friend once told me God only gives you the strength today to handle what needs to be done today. Tomorrow He will give you the strength for what needs to be done tomorrow. To that end, I am recognizing my time limitations during this season are not allowing me to write as many blog posts as I would like. Luckily, God has sent me help in the form of Lizzie Merritt. She has her own blog about positive body image and the mindset of weight loss www.lizziemerritt.com AND she has graciously agreed to help me out by guest blogging for Strong Mom Fitness!!! Look for some words of wisdom coming from Lizzie as we wrap up our Spring Challenges!
(Thank you and I love you Jena!)