Some days I just get what my mind dubs “overwhelmed”. I feel like the waves are coming over me and my head is rarely above water.
The dishes in the sink.
The laundry with clothes we need clean for today’s outing.
The kids running in different directions.
Three voices saying “mom” “mom” “maaaaaaa”.
Do I tell everyone to “STOP!”? Do I begin barking orders like a drill sergeant? I only have three kids for crying out loud, is that really too many people to manage? No… but I don’t want to manage them; I want to grow them. I want to grow them. It’s overwhelming.
It’s the consciousness that time is fleeting and there’s no pause button.
But remembering why I feel overwhelmed in the first place is to remember that the things I do are for the ultimate purpose of glorifying God through helping my husband and growing the next generation.
The dishes and laundry and outings and meals are all for the purpose, but they themselves are not the purpose.
You can’t grow up people without clothing, feeding, and sheltering them. These things must take place, and they just won’t do themselves. But when all we have to do begins to get heavy, we need to step back and look at it all through eternity-colored glasses, allowing ourselves to be transformed into graceful mamas by the renewing of our minds (and priorities).
Each child is not a member of a group collectively known as “the children”. Each child is an individual, and she needs individual attention. He needs to know I didn’t just hear his thoughts but that I was thinking about what he was thinking. Facing the dishes while listening to a child who is sitting at the table drawing is absolutely time together with her. But if days go by and this is the only type of communication we have, then everyone begins to feel restless. She begins to show frustration and say I don’t spend time with her…
This is when I stop and make eye contact.
Hands-down, in my ten years of marriage and five years of being a mother, giving a person my full attention through eye contact while they are speaking has been the “gentle answer that turns away wrath”. It’s softened the countenance of even the most momentarily-rebellious strong-willed child and drastically changed the course of our day. It’s shown trust to the skeptic and joy to the downcast.
Eye contact can last 10 seconds or 10 minutes and may need to be reapplied several times per day. This is a supplement to giving the One who is always speaking into us our full attention.
Remember why we’re here. Remember what are the means and what is the end. In all things, embrace grace. I’m in this right along with you.
Now go find some children’s eyes to smile into.
Sharing with: Time Warp Wife, The Road to 31, Abiding Woman, Growing Home Blog, Raising Homemakers, Raising Arrows, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman 2 Woman Ministries, Graced Simplicity, Raising Mighty Arrows, Serving Joyfully, The Modest Mom Blog, A Mama’s Story, Far Above Rubies, Teaching What is Good,