Mama, Give Yourself Grace

Lately I have been feeling like, “Why can’t I keep up?”. I look around and there are messes/piles of unfinished work. It’s been a long time since I have had a house full of all little people. During that season my house was almost always a mess because little ones are a tornado of curiosity, exploration and activity. But my youngest is 4 and then I have 3 mini adults (10yr-16yr). So I am confused as to why we can’t things clean.

What is ironic is that I have been encouraging a couple friends (with little ones) to be kind to themselves. I reminded them of catchy phrases that helped me in that whirlwind, sleep deprived season:

Cleaning your house when your kids are little is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.

Cleaning your teeth while your kids are little is like shoveling while it is still snowing.

So we don’t clean up to actually hope that it stays clean but to not get buried in an avalanche of snow.

We do it to just keep swimming. 😉 We do it to stay afloat. 😉

This morning before I started a life giving practice of Lectio Divina (https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/lectio-divina-contemplation/) I felt prompted to get out my journal and felt like God said to me, “ask Me what I have to say to you.” So I did. Here’s my journal entry:

Lord, what do You want to say to me? (I no longer sweat asking God that question. I used to feel presumptuous like who am I to ask him and then to say I’m hearing Him correctly. But I now trust that God knows my heart wants to hear from Him and there is grace if I get it wrong;)

Kimi, I’m proud of you. I know this juggling act is not easy. Give yourself grace. You have a lot of balls up in the air:

  • educating 3 kids at home
  • taking care of your home
  • helping Joy learn My voice and to ignore the very frequent arrows of accusations shot at her heart
  • feeding your family, multiple times a day!!!
  • the planning, ordering, shopping needed to even bring that food into the home
  • your own soul care
  • caring for your own body
  • home projects
  • yard projects
  • navigating your own family relationships
  • navigating Isaac’s biological family relationships
  • caring for your giant, lush yard
  • using your gifts to bless others
  • Isaac’s parent phone calls 3 times a week
  • giving his biological grandparents/great grandparents phone calls too
  • Isaac’s weekly zoom occupational therapy calls
  • scheduling your family’s various appointments (dentist, doctor, dermatologist ….)
  • trying to get rid of these immortal roaches
  • requesting tons of library books to save $ on schooling the kids
  • picking up and dropping off these books
  • Joy’s counseling sessions

The list goes on and on. See all you do with grace, kindness and love. Don’t focus on the times when you don’t extend grace to others.

Give yourself grace that there’s clutter piles throughout the house.

Give yourself grace that last night’s dirty dishes are in the sink.

Give yourself grace that loads of laundry are not folded.

Give yourself grace that your desk surface is covered.

Give yourself grace that you have unfinished home projects.

You are doing the most important work- raising the next generation of whole changers. They will make the world a better place. Just like you are doing. You bring light, peace, hope and joy to My world. Keep it up. It’s too easy to focus on what is not accomplished that you forget all the many balls you are keeping up in the air. Give grace when you drop them too.

So that is from my journal this morning. The Lord knew I needed encouragement since I have felt discouraged and frustrated with myself lately.

Something that I have encouraged others to do: start a gratitude journal and record/celebrate the wins of the day. There is nothing too small. Today’s win: Kept all the kids alive. Boom!!! Nailed it! There is too much to celebrate to focus on where we can feel like we are losing. We are not losing as mamas. We keep showing up.

So dear mama, I encourage you to start a gratitude journal and daily list your wins. Maybe make a list of alllllllll you do. I think you will be surprised at your superhero powers. I don’t get to my gratitude journal daily. But there’s grace for that too. this is not an ought or should. In hard seasons, it helps to keep it central like on kitchen counter to write wins thoroughout the day.