Some days test our mettle. Saturday was one of those days. I woke up tired and irritable and tried to, "put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." I chose to be cheerful, even though I was miserable.
Plans got cancelled first thing in the a.m. and the older children were disappointed. Chores got done reluctantly and with complaint but I knew all of us gave the best we had.
The day didn't get easier. Even while supervised, the twins were into one mischievous endeavor after another. How they plan and execute these tiny missions in minutes never ceases to amaze me. How much damage can be done in a moment by one toddler is one of life's mysteries. How much can be done by two should be the Eighth Wonder of the world. In five and a half hours here is a sample of a few antics: one upturned full basket of folded laundry, 4 spilled cups of water, acquired and placed in mouth 9 hard candies(yes, I counted),one peeled off corner of wallpaper, several bites out of 5 different apples, one knocked over shoe rack holding 10 pairs of shoes, one totally decimated bag of shreddies.
Aside from these, there were lots of little things that just happened throughout the morning to wane my strength. After lunch, I realized I needed to quiet my heart before the Lord. I had prayed little popcorn prayers all morning long, more like desperate pleas, but it became abundantly clear that I needed more nourishment than that. I sat down and opened my journal, my bible and my heart.
I wrote my worries down and gave them to Him. I didn't feel adequate as a mom to love and lead these children as God desires. I felt even more inadequate as I thought of the Sunday School class I was to teach on Sunday. I felt weak and heavy-laden. To those of us who feel burdened, Jesus says, "Come to me." So come, I did. I laid things before Him. I gave Him my heart.
Some words from my reading in the Book of Joshua really jumped out at me. Caleb was 40 years old when Moses sent him to spy out the promised land. Of the twelve men sent, only Caleb and Joshua were faithful in their hearts.
"So Moses swore on that day, saying, 'Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully.' Joshua 14:9 NASV
By chapter 14, Joshua and Caleb had wandered in the dessert for 45 years. Moses was dead and Joshua was leading the Israelites. Caleb is 85 years old and yet he says, "I am still as strong today as I was on the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now,..." Joshua 14:11 NASV
Sometimes parenting seems like wandering in the desert so I can relate to Moses, Joshua, Caleb, and the Israelites. Over the past 10 years I have found myself wandering at times. When I come to Him, He is always faithful. On Saturday, God strengthened my heart through His word. Although I was feeling weak, in Christ I became strong. How I felt didn't negate the truth. In Him I am strong, just as strong as when I began this parenting journey. He will see me through these toddler years with the twins (yes, it is a survival expedition at times) just as He did with the other 3. God has called me to parent these 5 children and He will equip me day by day until they reach adulthood (my promised land).
I, like Joshua and Caleb, will be faithful in heart. I will follow the Lord fully even when it is difficult and seems impossible.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord...Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord! Psalm 104:33-35 NASV