“Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.”
I'm finally done with the kids' bedtime for tonight and I am worn out.
Another late end to a day that was rough for no other reason than life has kept the punches coming. Another few moments before my own bedtime spent unwillingly surrendering deferred hopes of accomplishing more order in the home, or just having a few quiet minutes to regroup and untangle some thoughts without constant interruption.
How insurmountable both the upkeep of my home and the many shortcomings of all the sinners which live here can seem at the end of a day! The punches of life these days may be as simple as the distractingly-cluttered home (which offers a visual of all that I need to do and yet can’t seem to make happen), bedtimes that keep going late for various reasons, sibling rivalries, or obstinate toddlers. The punches can be self-inflicted as well. Especially when my tank is empty and the sheer constancy of life has been preventing opportunities for mental refreshment, I can end days with more feelings of regret than of success.
Though having five children can certainly cause one to become weary at times, I am nevertheless deeply grateful for these 5 young lives for whom I labor, and I wouldn’t trade this hard, overwhelming, beautiful life as their mom, teacher and guide for anything on earth. I know that God sustains, and we prayed for that hard this evening. When reaching a particular point of weariness, I just feel like I’m running on fumes, and am driven to make some sense of all the discouragements and failures mingled over the past weeks of life, unloading the burden with prayerful contemplation, seeking for God to demonstrate to me His control over them.
I try and fail, fail and try, fall on my face, and pray, newly reminded of Christ’s victory over my failings, then I jump up and get back in the ring with renewed strength, realizing—though too frequently forgetting—that it’s not my efforts that win the round. “I need thee every hour” is perhaps not quite accurate enough...every minute, second? Yes, and yes. I bring the failure, and God brings the control. It’s a beautiful thing.
The needed relief and rejuvenation always comes after the battles and trials, and I’m getting accustomed to the cycle...but in the midst, WHEW, it’s a heavy burden. I get beat down by life sometimes—feeling inadequate, discouraged, and overwhelmed. In the midst of these struggles, I find it’s hard to be the positive, strong leader I know I need to be for my children. The sheer guilt when I’m not living up to that honorable role holds yet more burden potential if I let it weigh me down. I cannot let guilt over my parenting failures paralyze me. Christ equips me with all that I need for the situations He has me in. Round after round of life, He provides and sustains.
Some wise advice from Mystie Winckler’s Weekly Review email today helped focus my perspective rightly in my role as homeschool mom:
“...[A]n even temper, a cheerful attitude, a resilient and impervious demeanor, protects what is of ultimate value: our hearts and our relationships. If those aren't prioritized, none of the work we do to serve others and maintain our home will count for anything.
In looking to my Rock, and bringing my failures to Him tonight, I am already more aware of His control.
Well, I guess I got a few minutes to untangle some thoughts after all.
Praise God; He’s truly good, and He is always enough.