Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Hardest Ten Days Of My Parenting Career

Recently Sam went out of the country on a ten day mission trip. He grew up in Mexico and it had been on his heart for a long time to go back . So when the opportunity came for him to lead a team of adults down there for a short term trip, we both knew he should go.

Inevitably this created a missions trip for me too...holding down the fort and caring for five children while daddy was gone.

The kids were also on Spring Break.

Now before you think, "I don't know how she does it?" Let me explain a few things.

There are some key words in those last few sentences that should have stood out to me WAY more than they originally did. However, I put way too much confidence in my own abilities. Three years into our transition as a family of seven and the kids are getting bigger...things are much more problem (wait, who am I kidding?!?)

Words that should have stood out to me more:

daddy gone

ten days 

five children


In true mommy guilt fashion I had convinced myself that it would be just fine if I focused 100% on my children. I've got this. I've got a plan. I can so do this.

Spoiler Alert: 


In fact, it has taken me a pretty long time to recover.

I've been silent on the blog and I've tried to take some time to gather my thoughts.

You see, prior to the trip I decided to clear my schedule, take some time off from blogging, house projects, essential oil consults...this would be a great time to focus solely on my kids.

Five days in and I texted Sam telling him that I think I discovered that five days was my max for being alone with the kids. A bit comical I should say, since there were still five days left of his trip.

However, I realized up to that point I had been heavily relying on my own abilities as a mom. My systems, my organization, my ability to be calm and rational...things that in the past seemed to help things run more smoothly at home. 

However, in these circumstance, well... 

It was constant...24/7, kids coming to my bed in the middle of the night, cleaning up bodily fluids, being the constant referee, having five kids ask me a question at once and expecting me to answer them all, five kids giving their opinions on what we should or shouldn't do, eat or not eat, "Can you turn the radio down, mom?"...two seconds later another child asks, "Can you turn the radio up, mom?"

The words cycling through my head the entire time was...this is IMPOSSIBLE! 

I am literally going to go, I HAVE gone crazy!

I love my kids...put me in a locked room with each of them one at a time and it is like a dream come true. My favorite on one quality time...I am in heaven!

Being in charge of all five of them for ten days with no school...I literally felt broken.

There were moments that I laughed from the impossible task of it all. And then there were moments that I realized how much of a detail person I am. I want to address every concern, find justice in every argument, make sure consequence are fair and that kids are having fun. 

And can I just be honest, I would also like to be the perfect mom, make no mistakes, be 100% present, patient in all things and so loving that my kids cannot find any faults in their dear mom.


What I found?

I CANNOT do it.

I kept telling myself over and over, "I CANNOT DO IT ALL!"

It was the very last day that I broke. 

"God, I surrender." 

I whispered as tears rolled down my cheeks.

"God, I need you more."

And I realized that without having the pressure turned up, I had been coasting along for months on my own abilities.

It was that very day that I discovered something. 

The view out of my kitchen window will always look the same until I'm suddenly looking for something different. 

It was that day that I discovered that having a constant reminder of where my strength comes from is what I needed most. 

It was that day that I discovered that taking my Bible in one hand and a dry erase marker in the other, suddenly gave me the power to change my perspective.

I can't do it all.

But HE can.

He is always with us.

God, is always with us.

But if we think we have it all under control or have "our" systems in place...we forget to look for the one who has all of the strength that we need.

My perspective might be cloudy, there may be too many water and dirt marks on my window to see things clearly (life is never going to be perfect), but this is the place that I am constantly looking.

Gazing out the window.

And what better place than this...than to put a constant reminder up of where my true strength comes from.

These are the words that carried me through...

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-21

Today the only "tip" I have for you is to lay down your own abilities at doing this whole mom thing the way that you think it should be.

Then go grab the closest dry erase marker and your Bible and write whatever truth you need to be reminded of most right up there on your cloudy kitchen window.

In the coming days you will still have to look for it.

You may have to be standing directly in front of the window to see it.

But the next time your standing there, doing the dishes and the tears are rolling down at the impossible job before you. That truth will carry you through.

"He gives strength to the weary..."

What truth do you need to be reminded of today?


  1. Thanks for this reminder!! It's always when I'm at my wits end that I finally realize I need God to do it through me. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil.4:13

  2. Thank you for this reminder! My husband is about to go our of town for work today for the week and I was stressing about it. I love this idea of putting scripture on the window!
    Thank you for sharing your life on the blog. I enjoy reading it very much.


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