I am a proud person. I really am, I know it and I do not take any pleasure in saying it, but I am a proud person. Thankfully my Father in heaven isn’t done with me yet and where I am today won’t be where I am tomorrow. A work in progress.
I am a proud person.
I know this because on Monday Glen left for a week and on Monday night I got a text from my amazing mother in law who can never do enough to help us. It said this: ‘Do you need any help? I’m off this week.” I couldn’t have typed my reply message any faster. “No its ok, we are all good!” Don’t get me wrong – we are all good and people who know me know that I love Glen’s trips away. I get to go to my cave, hang out with me and be alone with the kids for a while. I get to eat food in bed, read really late and watch something while falling asleep. I love his trips. However it means we are one man down so it is busy make no mistake about that. Having five kids under the age of 8 means that life is constant, having five kids under the age of 8 and leading a church is hectic, and having five kids under the age of 8 and trying to do a diploma is just plain madness. But here we are doing all of that and trying a few more things in between!
Life is never dull, there is always someone needing picked up, cleaned up, dried up, filled up, dressed up, armoured up and cheered up. I have never known anything different as a mum than having a toddler and a baby in the house at any given time. Next year will be a weird year for me when Noah goes to nursery and it’s just me and Seth! There is always washing to be done, dried, put away, always food to be cooked, food to be bought, food to be cleared up (usually from the walls or floors or windows), my boys love my attention and there are days they want me to play all sorts of super hero fun and sometimes they just simply want me to sit with them while they eat, my girls are at an age where they need quality one to one time and sometimes I wish I could wake them up at 1am so its undivided, totally all about them time. I am intentional about my time with all of them but I get it wrong. I know I get it so wrong, my kids know I get it wrong but my kids are amazing and selfless and they know that in those brief moments-all be it in asda or a school run, over cooking the tea or a chat at the end of the day they know that our lives are only complete with them in it. My life with my five kidlets and all the rest in between is hectic with a capital H. Am I complaining? No way. Why would I complain about a life that right now is the fullest and the best I feel it can get? I have days where dreams are literally made from!
But I am still proud.
I would love help from my mum in law, more than anything this week and all I wanted to do was text her back saying “YES… SOS… please come and save/help me at dinner, at breakfast and bedtime – whatever you got I’ll take” but did I? NO!. Don’t you know I got this? I am superwoman. Do I need a meal while Glen is gone? No thanks I cook at night after the kids are in bed and I am shattered and grumpy. Isn’t that the best way to be a mum, shattered and grumpy?
I am a proud person.
Praise God He is working on this, all the time. It takes me while I know. I am slowly getting the concept I once heard from good man that it takes a village to raise a child. So I now go without arguing to my sisters and sit while she feeds me and the kids and lets me eat uninterrupted. I simply smile as she takes my plate and hands me a coffee. I no longer protest when my mum insists on taking my washing home, or cleans my bathroom without a word or looks after my kids just because. I now take advice from good people around us like your house is used all the time for lots of kiddies, meetings, bible studies, meals, family and that’s not mentioning the seven people living in it so will you ever just get a cleaner and stop trying to burn yourself out! So I did and I praise God for Elaine who comes in every two weeks and makes me feel normal and good and ready for the days ahead. Who reduces my stress levels to zero and is worth all that we sacrifice other things for. We love Elaine! We also take advice on going away as a couple once a year to rekindle friendship, love, and romance and making our marriage good and solid for us, our kids and the storms ahead. We are intentional at going out on dates and having a meal in a restaurant at 6pm! We are ruthless about our family time, no interruptions allowed ever just us and our brood. We spend time with good friends and stay up past midnight (we even saw 2am one night!!) chatting about nothing and everything, even though we know we will be so tired at 6am but the chats hold us in good stead for so much longer. Life is good in those precious moments.
For all of the above to happen I had to lay down my pride and have humility in asking for help, I realised I can’t do this alone but I want to have this life with my family, I want to lead the church and serve His kingdom and be in this ministry for 40 years rather than 10 years. So I am learning slowly that when that text message comes in or a suggestion is made I don’t have to fight it or make excuses I can just say yes and be thankful.
I don’t have to be proud, I can humbly declare I cannot do it all.