Since I am struggling at the moment to find clarity of mind to write a post (baby hasn’t been sleeping well), I thought I would bring out and dust off a blog post I wrote April 24, 2007. I find it helpful to go back and read what I have written and marvel at the way God has changed me. I have grown up in a few short years and I owe it all to my heavenly Father.
At the time I wrote this, I had a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 17-month-old.
Written April 24, 2007
I remember someone asked me once – and I cannot for the life of me remember who it was, so if you are reading this and it was you, please forgive me! – if it was harder to transition from having only one to having two children, or from having only two to having three children. I believe I replied that it was much harder to transition from one to two. Boy, I must have been off my rocker when I said that. I believe at the time my youngest was only a couple of months old and so life then with three was not much different from having two.
Cut to the chase, plain and simple, here is how it is with three: h-a-r-d. I believe I have forgotten what it is like to be able to brush my hair every morning, or have time to fold clothes. I no longer wear contacts because, believe me, any couple of minutes required to put those things in is non-existent. I am on my feet all day long. Really. All day long. Sometimes, I am unable to sit even for breakfast or lunch, and instead eat hurriedly while wiping jelly off of a two-year-old, filling up a cup with milk for the 4-year-old, and bouncing a baby on my hip. The most relaxing time of my day is when I am able to sit down for a precious few moments to nurse the baby. Even then, I have to lock myself in a room and leave the rest of the house to the mercy of my other two children, just to keep my baby boy from being so distracted that he can’t nurse. Oh, and that pile of books by my bed I used to be able to read through? Now I am blessed to get through a book in half a year.
Laundry now is taken from the basket to be worn, not neatly folded from a dresser drawer. Bathrooms are cleaned in five minutes or less – often less – and are not nearly as sparkling as I would have them. Dishes are done quickly, in between opening and shutting of the dishwasher drawer by my two-year-old. Oh, and cleaning my floors on hands and knees? They are happy to be cleaned by a paper towel now. Thankfully, I have utilized the wonders of freezer-cooking, otherwise my dear husband would have to be manfully wolfing down peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every night.
It used to be, with only two, that I could catch a nap in the afternoon if the baby had kept me up all night before. Not any longer. While it is possible to get all three of my children to nap at once, I have to use that precious time to utilize the latrine or toss a load of laundry in the washer.
It also used to be that my dear husband and I were fairly matched. Now we are outnumbered. Going out to dinner is a miraculous feat with three littles, though I must say it is probably more of a chore because of all of the rude stares we get. “How dare they have more than 1.7 children! They should be reported to social services!” “Don’t they know what causes that?” “Good grief, what a bunch of religious whackos, overpopulating the earth.”
You may be wondering after reading this just why I do have more than our 1.7 children. Well, rather than answer that in a long, Biblical dissertation, I’ll just answer with a Mommy-type answer. We love our children. (And no, I am not saying that anyone who has less children do not love their children. One loves their children despite the number of them) It is true that with more children there are more hugs, more kisses, more cuddles, and more shining faces and outstretched arms to be hugged. More calls of “Mommy! I love you!” and more toothless grins as they rapture in the fact that you, Mommy, are there with them.
These are all wonderful benefits to having a somewhater larger family, though I still think it ridiculous that three children is considered a lot of children. The list of wonderful, mushy, emotional wonderments of having three children would honestly go on and on.
But that is not what I appreciate the most of having three little ones. If anything, I have learned the awesomeness of having to trust the Lord fully as I work so hard every day. Before I had three children, I was super-mom (not really, but visions of capes and pink tights with an adoring crowd of fans and a super huge trophy may have flitted through my dreams at some point). I could do quite a bit. I got things done. Laundry was worn without wrinkles, the kitchen floor could have been eaten off of, and I was able to talk to my husband every night with no interruption. I was able to do a lot more, oftentimes thinking I could do these things of my own volition. But now, wowee! I am smack-dab in the middle of an extremely wide river without even a boat to use those oft-remarked about missing paddles. I have learned to cling to His Word like never before. Instead of just “getting through” my days, I am learning to experience joy in them. I have learned that yes, the Lord does supply the strength that I need despite my human fraility. And let me tell you, that realization is one of the greatest moments in my life.
I am but a creature, made by a perfect Creator. I can do nothing without Him. I must lean on Him or I will falter.
I find that His strength gives me the physical energy to go about my days. This strength is more perfect than any exercise, any vitamin, or any amount of night’s sleep (though those things are very important.)
I am able to sing praises to God, knowing fully that if I fall, He will pick me up. Despite being buried under a mountain of unfolded laundry, He will give me the strength to get done what He has me to do that day, even if it means the house is not immaculate. I am raising young children for Him. Lord willing, these children will bring glory to Him. And yet, I must remember, I cannot go it alone. It must be by His strength. Praise God!
“God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.” -2 Samuel 22:33
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