Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The time God gives us

Is it just me, or do you struggle to fit everything into your day? I mean, 24 hours *seems* like it should be enough - um...God gave us 24 hours per day, so I KNOW He didn't make a mistake - but man, when I start off my day, I think of what I need to accomplish that day, and I can *never* seem to fit it all in.

And I'm not talking about grand gardens or immaculate housecleaning or sewing my family's wardrobes.....no, I'm talking about getting the kids their baths. Making sure their teeth get brushed. Making sure we all eat *something* around lunch time. Doing a load of laundry, vacuuming just ONE room, can I just sit down and have a cup of coffee, please?!?!?!?!?

That's how I feel.

Now, I know I'm in a "season" with all little ones. I do not fear having more children, but I certainly can't see how I'm going to get ANYTHING done when that happens. I'm just resting in the promises of the LORD, that He will take care of us, that He gave us 24 hours a day and He knew what He was doing. He *knew* I would have this many children, this many baths to give, those annoying doctor appointments and errands to run, etc.

I'm wondering if I'm missing something?? Am I not organized enough? I would say most people think of me as organized, but am I really? Am I taking on too much? I don't think so. Here's the basics:

*1 husband, a Children's Pastor, who is a godly, loving, caring, helping man - and great father!

*4 kiddos (6yob, 5yog, 2yog, 1yob) homeschooled, good kids, I honestly can't complain.

*1 home, not too big, not too small - your basic home, yard, garage, mini-van, etc.

*1 part-time job - co-ordinating the Children's Music at our church, right now we are working on the Spring Musical in late-April. While I would *love* to give this up, it helps to pay for our housing (which is the church parsonage). It's the agreement we have come to with our church board, I'm thankful that I am able to help out in a way that keeps me AT HOME, and it is a commitment that I simply must fulfill for the next few years. And yes, I am praying for peace and joy in this area.

Weekly Stuff:

*Tuesday Morning Ladies Bible Study ~ happens during the same time as my older kids go to Story Tales, a reading/book group for little ones. My two smaller children are in the childcare.

*Wednesday evening activities @ church ~ choir for me, all the kiddos go to classes, dh runs the Children's programs.

*Shopping & errands are usually done on Friday (dh's day off) with hospitality and fellowship happening on Saturdays (usually).

*Sundays are rough - church in the AM, out for lunch, a quick quiet time, then back to church for evening church/Pioneer Club (I do the music)

*I (try) to attend one Home School Support Group mtg. a month

*I (try) to attend one Ladies Night Out with my girl-friends a month (my dh is wonderful about this and INSISTS I go, to get my time with other mommas/friends)

*We (try) to have one Date Night (w/ a babysitter in our home) maybe once or twice a month.

What - exactly - do women who work outside of the home give up???? When do they do their housework? When do they talk to their husbands? When do they have cup of coffee????

I'm blessed. I know this. I just want to make sure I'm being a good steward of the time, the 24 hours a day, that the LORD has given to me. Ok, now I need to go start some laundry, vacuum the downstairs, set my girls to dusting, start dinner,....oh, and try to pee somewhere in there. And dang it.....my coffee is cold again.....*sigh*

I guess I'll drink my coffee hot when my babies are grown. That's okay.

p.s. more "Peek Week" posts coming soon (hmmm....Week? Well, maybe weeks!). I'm gonna try to run to Hobby Lobby and get some picture frames tonight for our master bedroom and downstairs. My sister is coming tomorrow and I want the house all ready by then (isn't that silly? Like she cares?!). Oh well....even if she doesn't care, I do. So I'll try to snap some pics before she gets here....'cause once our 6 kiddos hit the house, there won't be much left after a week.......(just kidding. I hope.)


Michele@Philoxenos said...

Let me know if you get any good info! Your life sounds like mine. Sometimes I lay down for about 30 minutes and it makes a difference in how I handle the afternoon and evening, but it also means I get a lot less accomplished. I know this is a season, but sometimes I wonder how I'll ever live to see the end of it! :)

Anonymous said...

My dh and I both work outside the home. We have a babysitter who comes in and babysits our child.

My dh is the worship leader at our church. we don't *busy* ourselves in church activities, we are there on Sundays, and Wednesdays, and my dh has rehearsal every Thursday nite.

Our pastor enforces the belief our ministry begins in our home. And that should come FIRST (after Jesus, and the leadership of our dh's). that means, a clean home, chores done, etc BEFORE church stuff. Since it is ALL stuff.

My child is bathed everyday, if not twice a day. I have her meals all cooked for her to enjoy. No junk for her, she doesn't even know what fast food is. Matter of fact, she's never had a hotdog or hamburger (neither are good for you). All the babysitter has to do is heat these meals up. Yes, they are hot meals. I come home everyday at 3 pm, and start on dinner, I tend to take meat out of the freezer the night before, and defrost it in the fridge all day.

I do my shopping usually every Thursday. And pick up odds and ends during the week. I clean my home pretty much every day. usually after our child goes to bed, and that way the home is nice and clean for the babysitter the next day.

My organization came from my mother, and she was a SAHM.

We have people over usually Friday and Saturday nights. date nites probably once a week. And they don't have to be outside the home. Amazing what you can do once the children go to bed!

But that's us, and it's possible! I get roughly 4-5 hrs a sleep a night. Just like any big CEO's (like Donald Trump) don't get 8 hrs of sleep.

it's possible, you just need to get organized, and cut out the stuff that is weighing you down. family comes first.

*MichiganMomma* said...

Ok, anyone reading this that actually knows me - did you read anonymous' last line? About how I need to get organized???

*biting my lip and trying really hard not to laugh*

See, it's just that I am SUPER-organized woman. Seriously. You can't have four little ones, home educate them, be married to a pastor and NOT be organized.

Nope, organization is so *not* problem.

And the two baths a day thing....ha....not around here. Not unless school for that day included some serious outside learning, iykwim?!

While I do struggle with fitting it all in, I'm so glad I'm here, at home, attempting to make it all work. I'm so glad I'm watching them learn to read, even if I have to worry about when the floor will get mopped that week, or when I'll find the time to deep-clean the fridge.

And we *are* called to corporate worship - probably even before making sure all our mopping or second baths are done for that day (obviously said in jest).

I'm just saying that as a momma, especially a momma of many [which I barely qualify for....I'm in awe of my beautiful friends Holly (8 babies) and Carly (12 blessings)], the chores will never be "done" before we head off to church. There will always be laundry or dishes or a fridge to clean out or a floor to mop or a toilet that needs wiping down or whatever. But God comes first, worshipping Him, or learning more about His character, or discipling others as they grow closer to Him too!! Being a part of the Body of Christ ~ How awesome! I wouldn't trade that for a perfectly clean house - not even ME, who *loves* having a perfectly clean house!!

Lastly, 4-5 hours of sleep?? Seriously?? I remember doing that when I was in my early 20's, in college. Not now. Momma gets 7, preferably 8, hours of sleep per night. Period. If not, then I'm *really* in trouble. Whew....

I remember those days in college *sigh* I remember those days when I had my first little baby *sweet sigh* I look forward to what the Lord will teach me and how I will have changed when I have 8 blessings!! I will probably laugh at how I fussed over such things when I *only* had four.

God bless you and your precious family~

Anonymous said...

What if you only have the four kids you've been given so far?

I've lurked around here for a while now and it sometimes sounds like 4 isn't enough. Like you idolize moms with 8, 10, 12 kids and by having that many yourself you'll be worthy of some sort of praise and that if you don't have that many your not as blessed. The comment you made toward anonymous made you sound somewhat prideful and condescending toward a mom with ONLY 1. *gasp*

You have stated, rightly so, that God will only give us what we can handle. What if 4 is all he feels YOU can handle? Will you be completely ok with that, or somehow feel disappointed that God didn't find you capable?

Rhetorical question. Something to ponder.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm going to be 33 this year, so age is NOT a factor w/getting 41/2 hrs of sleep a night.

of course we are called to worship the Lord, did I say didn't? Didn't I say I go to church twice a week. Just because I don't go there EVERYDAY, doesn't mean I don't worship the Lord. I know lots of pastor's wives, and ALL of them put their families first.

As for two baths, I like a clean child.

And some of us aren't fertile myrtle! I'd rather have ONE child, than 4, 8, or 12 and not be able to do everything I need to do.

I also believe in QuALITY education. And when my child learns to read I will be VERY involved.

Tereza said...

Fitting it all in is not easy......and honestly you just gotta let some things go in the house!! You CAN't DO IT ALL!! I think a lot of people suffer from the "super woman syndrome"!! Be realistic and re-evaluate what things(undone things or not as thoughroughly done things) you can live without. Seriously.
Also sitting down and taking an honest look at your week and then fitting in the neccesisites(things done you can't live without or really don't want to). Sone weeks you can get more done. Some less depending on what's happening.

*MichiganMomma* said...

Oh goodness, I certainly didn't mean to come off as condescending or prideful. Please know that was not my intention. To be completely honest, I felt as though anonymous was telling me if I was just more organized, I would have no problem fitting it all in. Also, that I simply needed to get all the chores done before going to church - because that would be the way to put family first.

Seeing as how I'm uber-organized, I'm thinking that's not the problem. Then I simply wanted to say that I didn't believe I needed to have all the chores done in order to go to church without feeling guilt.

As to the many children thing ~ yes, I do look up to mommas with many children. They are that "one step ahead" and I enjoy learning from them. Learning about organization, tips for how to run a household with many littles, etc. Can a momma with one teach me things? Of course. Absolutely. Yet in most cases, they would not have any experience in dealing day in and day out with many littles. That's all. No judgement there - we all have different gifts and talents and abilities to share with the Body of Christ.

And if God chooses to only give me 4? Would I be sad? Maybe. Dh and I know that with any pregnancy, it may be our last - due to the c/s thing. It does help to put things into perspective, to really appreciate each stage with my babies, to love on each of them.

Yet I will be content with what the Lord gives me. Whether that be 4, 6, 8 - whether that be all biological, some adopted, whatever. Number of children has nothing to do with "holier". I know wonderful mommas of one - who do desire more children, yet that may never happen. To desire more children doesn't mean you don't love and appreciate the beautiful blessings the Lord has already given you. Nor does it mean I wouldn't be satisfied - it simply means I would *love* to have more!! However many He chooses to send!

But I will never get to a point when I'll say, WHEW....I'm satisfied. I'm done. No more.

It just won't happen - I'll always desire that next child....even if the reality is that "next child" will end up being my grandchild.

Anyways, I was honestly just trying to laugh it off about the organization issue ('cause really, I'm neurotically organized). I wasn't criticizing about the sleep issue - just that I was honestly amazed a momma could survive long-term on such little sleep. I was *trying* to take criticism from a momma of one in a graceful manner. Obviously, I failed and for that, I truly apologize.

Please accept my apology - both of you. I was just talking away about how I sometimes feel like I can't fit it all in. I in NO WAY look down upon mommas of one, and I'm sorry it come off as though I have those feelings.

And really, thanks for presenting these issues. While much of my blog here *is* about the daily struggles and joys and mishaps and REALITY of life with many small little ones - NEVER do I want the momma who desires more children, yet can't have them, to believe I think I am somehow "better" than her. No way! Different, yes - but not "holier" or better in some way.

Goodness....it's a good thing I don't do the debate boards or anything. All this just exhausts me. I hope no one else was offended - not my intention.

God be with all of us today~

Mary said...

Lori, I only have one child, 12 y.o. left at home. (But I only had 2, widely spaced to begin with!) Sometimes we ALL struggle, it's how we grow. Enjoy this season in your life, revel in it. Love your dirty floor, there will come a day when all you have to DO is clean your floor, and you will mop it twice a day! LOL

For perspective.. Jesus first.
Others second.
Yourself last.

I admire you, and I think you are doing a terrific job!

Mary in TN

Kenni B said...

Whoa.....kinda hot in here! LOL

I agree with Mary....love the dirty floor, the smudges, the fingerprints on the glass! Far too soon you'll have far too much time on your hands. All the kiddos will be married or at college or just out on their own and you'll in some ways LONG for the days when you were wondering if 24 hours in a day were enough! Especially since the kids being gone means less of me coming for visits! LOL

Kidding....I don't JUST come to see my nieces and nephews. I also come for Casey's Pizza!

Love you Sis.

Anonymous said...

"Embrace the Chaos!" This came from a book by R.C. Sproul, Jr. called "When you Rise Up." He is rather controversal because of some past issues (google search his name and you can find out), but this quote rang true for me. Soon enough, they will be gone and you will want them back.

One more thought, and I hope this does not come out too strong...but the idea that time with kids is about QUALITY time verses QUANTITY time is at best wrong and at worst out right sin. Deut 6 teaches that we are to be impressing the commandments of God onto the hearts of our children ALL THE TIME. It is rather difficult to do that when parents are only spending 3-4 hours per day with their child.

Not to mention that if we allow others to watch and educate our children, we have little control over what they are learning. From my experience, which is still growing, QUALITY time happens in the midst of QUANTITY time - it cannot be planned for, but happens spontaneously.

Thoughts to add to the discussion, since we will never agree anyway.

-Dean (Lori's hubby)

Holly said...


THIS mama needs 8 hours of sleep. Most scientific studies will tell you that people need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to be healthy and operate at their best.

Just a gentle thought here...but I read your schedule and I don't know how you do it all, either. Please don't take that as a correction - not in the slightest. I just get my act together enough to get out of the house that much.