It’s been a while since I’ve posted for Mentoring Monday, but I really do want to finish this book, despite the challenges life has thrown my way recently. So here I am, diving back in.
Educating the WholeHearted Child: Chapter 16 (part 2)
I’m trying to decided whether I love this chapter or hate it. Organization has always been one of my strengths, (though I have never been able to tame the clutter-beast, and I’ve almost given up trying), but having four small children has definitely turned managing my home into one battle after another.
Right now, I feel like I’m barely able to stay afloat. I have 4 baskets of laundry that have been sitting in various parts of the house waiting to get put away for days. (The big boys have actually taken care of theirs; this is just for the little ones, my husband and me. So there’s one victory.)
My Bible lies open in the bathroom, but I’ve only managed to get through 2 chapters this month. I spend time in the Word each day in our family devotions and in preparing to teach in children’s ministry, but my personal reading habit has fallen apart.
Our dining room table is covered with a board game that’s been in progress for days as well as stacks of books and stuff for a home improvement project I started but then abandoned when I hit a roadblock.
Sometimes it feels like my life is never going to be back in order. So when I read this passage on page 306, I probably should have felt encouraged, but one sentence reached out, grabbed me, and wouldn’t let go:
Life will always be unpredictable–your schedule will fall apart, homeschooling will occasionally grind to a halt, and the house will at times seem like someone detonated a megaton stuff-bomb inside your walls. If that puts your heart in conflict with the Lord, then no amount of organization, planning, or scheduling is going to make you the godly homeschooling mother that you envisioned becoming. If, though, you are trusting God and depending upon his grace, you can still be the mother you want to be, which includes managing your family and your home. If you are regularly seeking God, strengthening your faith in the Word, letting the Spirit control your attitude, and being as faithful as you know how to be, then you can be assured you are fulfilling your role as a mother and as a family manager. God is not asking any more of you than your faith and your faithfulness. (emphasis mine)
As I said, I suppose that as a whole this paragraph should be encouraging, but that sentence I put in bold is what killed it for me. It seems like such an impossible ideal. If only I could be doing all those things! If those are the bare minimums and I’m not even managing that, how on earth can I hope to every win this war against the chaos that threatens to overwhelm our home?
I keep telling myself to give it another 5 years (!) and it will no longer be quite such an impossible task. When I have an 11-year old, a 10-year old, an 8-year old, and a 6 year-old, even if we have more young children, things will be so different. In the last year my two oldest have become so capable of helping with a lot of things, and I feel like surely we must be on the rebound from the hardest point, when all we had were just lots of little ones.
Right? (Don’t tell me if I’m not.)
I look around at our very “lived-in” home and cling to the hope that I won’t always be tripping over blocks as I stumble across the house for the 4th time in the middle of the night to help who ever needs me (for bathroom trips, refilled water cups, or sick buckets, which all seem to be needed on a fairly regular basis, all in between feedings from the 1-year old who just can’t seem to sleep through the night without nursing at least once). I won’t always have to do a quick scan of the house so I can grab the toilet-training toddler’s underwear off the kitchen floor when I realize our extended family has stopped by. I won’t always be clinging to every last minute of nap time so I can have a moment to myself (which I rarely spend cleaning).
I want to be “regularly seeking God, strengthening [my] faith in the Word, letting the Spirit control [my] attitude, and being as faithful as [I] know how to be.” I really do. But in this season of life, that doesn’t look at all like I think it should. Like I want it to.
Thank you, Lord, for your grace.
Each Mentoring Monday I share my reflections on what I’ve been learning from my “paper mentors.” I am currently joining in a book discussion of Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay Clarkson (with Sally Clarkson), so my Monday posts are all being sparked by things I’m reading in this fabulous book!