It was always at the height of setting order (which was really always just out of reach) when the children or a friend or a family member would call on me... an interruption. With others I would grin and comply but with my children... well, that was another story.
I wasn't a mean, nasty, ogre... but I would put them off, respond through gritted teeth, or (in the most frantic situations) I would snap just give me a minute.
Bless those poor little hearts.
How did it change exactly? I can't say for sure. But somewhere in the midst of the chaos and the pitter patter God reached into my life and drew me close to hear the steadiness of His heart beat. He opened my eyes to the fleeting moments with my loved ones which became lost behind my pile of to-do and the stress which often ensued. He reminded me of what.really.mattered. And He called me to just let go and let Him take control.
I realized... it was never my time to begin with... it was always His and when I stopped trying to stuff my agenda into His plans... somehow things got easier! I slowed.way.down. I am still reminded from time-to-time to simply breathe in and out. To recall where I was and what the changes were which delivered me from there:
1. Recognize the flow of time God has designed around me. It may seem like chaos, but the truth is, if we stop pushing our agenda, we can often see the natural flow of the day. WE may want to clean after lunch while kids have free time but baby wants cuddles and a rock for nap. WE may desire some book time in the evenings but the neighbor kids are knocking on the door or Betty Sue stops by to chat. Welcome all these and more!
2. Pray over and re-define my need-tos vs. want-tos. It is amazing how much, we as moms, will heap onto our pile of to-do. All good intentions but much of it is often details which don't make-or-break the peace of the day. I use to fret over how much baking I got done while schooling the kids AND dusting the living room....and all my husband wanted to know was why I hadn't cleaned the toilet in recent history!! I felt affronted at all he didn't notice but the truth was, God was showing me what truly mattered... even if it was just a clean commode! Which brings me to...
3. Truly listen to my family. It is amazing how simple a joy can be when we stop complicating the process! Whether it was my husband and clean toilets or my kids and just taking time to play a game or read a book... most often my family wasn't concerned with the same things I was when I presumed what was needed to make a happy and peaceful home. Why focus on what is not fruitful!
4. Give up the glamor and the glory. Magazines lie... so do many designing t.v. shows. Real houses really are NOT immaculate and don't let the vloggers fool you... I am even guilty of cleaning the area my camera will pick up and leaving the rest a mess!!! Life.happens.period. Kids walk through with messy hands or crackers spill on the carpet. Last night's Uno game was forgotten in the shuffle to get ready for bed and cards fell under the table next to last week's marbles. Accept the mess. It is a fact of life. My rule: I want people to come in, be able to sit down on a [clean] couch, use the toilet and kitchen without fearing disease and... on a good day... not stick to the floor! It is amazing how much peace this alone will bring!
5. Accept help. Children are never to young to help with chores. Even the toddlers can feel purpose and learn responsibility if you give them a dust rag and show them how to swipe a low shelf or have them help clean up stray toys and run trinkets to other corners of the house. You are not alone and you are no-less a 'super mom' if you have help. After all, even Batman had a side-kick!
These are just some of my nuggets of peace God revealed to me... some through my husband's encouragement and others simply through the whispers in my heart. Accept His plan for your day and revel in the grace and peace which will result (once you get use to letting go of YOUR way!!)