Managing It All With Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was astounded the day my dear friend said,

You do so much and keep everything running so perfectly! I can’t figure out how you do it all

and do it all so well.”

I stared at her blankly. On that particular day she was

privy to the melt-down of a two-year-old, a messy school-room I hadn’t gotten

around to cleaning up, dishes that needed to be washed on the counter, and

laundry that needed to be put away. Yet she looked at my life and saw things

getting done, goals being accomplished, and life running smoothly.

Isn’t it funny how we feel so inadequate when in reality others
are probably looking at us and feeling the same inadequacy?
Each family is unique and we all have different roles to play.
Some are primary care-givers to a child with special needs. Some care for aging
parents. Some are balancing physical ailments of their own. Some are raising
teenagers, others toddlers, and still others both at the same time! Some work
full-time while homeschooling. Some have ministries outside their home they are
leading. Some of our roles are taken by choice and calling. Sometimes they are
thrown at us like a cannon ball into feathers, throwing our entire world into
chaos in a moment.

 

The question remains before us constantly…How do we manage?

1. Seek Christ in everything. It is easy for me to say, “Yes!”
wholeheartedly to every good idea I hear. I have made commitments without first
praying or asking my husband’s advice, soon regretting it. Right now I am filling
many roles…mother, homeschooler,
homemaker, pastor’s wife, Sunday school teacher, piano teacher, junior high literature
teacher, MOPs director, pianist and worship leader
… each of these are roles
I have felt God leading me to take on. There are many other good things I’d
like to do, but know the timing is wrong.
I honestly struggle to spend time daily with God. I know it is the right thing to do and when
I realize I’ve missed my time with God as I get ready for bed I think about the
missed opportunity. I have lots of people tell me not to feel badly because I’m
in a busy season of my life. While they mean well, my heart knows this is not a
valid excuse. I also know when I purpose to spend time with God daily and seek
Him before my decisions, things go better because my heart is more in tune with
His will.
2. Plan with flexibility. I feel more prepared if I plan. I’ve
learned to plan with flexibility by planning spare-time into my schedule,
purposing to not flip-out when (not
if, but when) things go off schedule, and choosing to enjoy the journey rather
than stress about missed moments.  This
takes intentional practice, but I finally feel as if I’m headed in the
right direction with this one.
3. Ask for help and be specific. My girls are seven, five, and
three. They each have a list of chores to complete each morning. My husband
frequently starts dinner, does laundry, and washes dishes. My life became much
easier the day I realized my role in our home was not to do everything, but to
manage the doings. I’ve become a master delegator!
4. Stop comparing your families with other families!  As I write this the floor is littered
with a parade of ponies, crashed toy cars, half-finished coloring pages, and
some used tissues. The couch has several loads of laundry folded, but waiting
to be carried up the stairs and the kitchen still has breakfast dishes needing
to be finished. I know I’m not the only one who goes to bed with unfinished
housework on my mind. I find myself reading Pinterest and mommy-blogs and
thinking, I sure wish I could keep it all
together like her. Look how nice her living room looks!
It is hard not to
compare and feel inadequate. Sometimes I have to step away from these outlets
and accept that real life is simply not as perfectly framed up as we see
pictured on the internet.
5. Measure everything with grace. It takes a lot of grace to
interact with the human race. Extending grace to my family has proven to be a
hard lesson; extending grace to myself, harder still. When grace abounds in our
home there is a peace which surpasses the chaos of our life. May grace be my
legacy as I accept imperfections and love unconditionally.

melissawMelissa’s is a Christ-following, homeschooling, family of five in full time ministry. Hubby is a pastor in the Christian Missionary Alliance. She is a full-time homeschooling mommy with a couple of part-time jobs teaching piano lessons and homeschool literature. They are Redskins fans, family game night junkies, and movie buffs…although the Hubby likes action adventure and Melissa likes old musicals. Their girls crave learning new things which makes her job teaching them all that much easier!  Read more about them on Melissa’s blog — Grace-Filled Homeschooling.

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