Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Party of SEVEN... Your Table's Now Available"

Here I am again in the quiet of the morning. Just finished reading my Bible. The 3 little ones are sleeping and Tim  has the older two upstairs in "man time". It is COLD here but I like it. It makes it even cozier in our house.
When I left the hospital last Friday, it was a very interesting feeling. I have a huge adrenaline rush after I have a baby that makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Maybe it is because the delivery is done and baby is here healthy so I can finally breathe... (and dance and shout and sing)! I came home and tried to start getting my bearings with five kids. How in the world am I going to do this????
I started thinking about things in my life that I may need to get rid of (facebook, SUGAR, ministry outside the home, etc...) in order to do what God is calling me to do. It is GAME ON and I need my "A" GAME.  I busted out my juicer and went to Costco and stocked up on fresh veggies. (Pear, Apple, Spinach, Celery, and Carrot is a pretty good juice combination.)
I also started to re-group my kids in my head- thinking over and over to myself ,"FOUR boys- one girl, FOUR boys-one girl, THREE older ones- two younger" because I felt like I was going to forget somebody or lose a child. People have started asking us if these are all our children or children from previous marriages. The nurses at the hospital thought we were very interesting. I am starting to feel "peculiar". :) It is really cool though because it opens a door for us to share our faith and our love for our children. People look at us like we are aliens--- BUT THEY LISTEN.
The last week, I have felt like I had been dropped onto a circus trapeze and I need to figure it out quickly or I am going to fall.
"Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall."
Ps 55:22 

My endorphins had me going 1 million miles an hour. Straight to a soccer game, then a Church function, cooking, cleaning, chasing kids, baking cookies, picking up heavy children after the nurse instructed me nothing over 10 pounds. About day 4, my adrenaline left and my back hurt. I had done too much- too fast and I was paying for it. Back to the chiropractor I went! My back is starting to feel much better.

I took Crew to his pediatric check-up and the Dr told me he was perfect. I cried driving home and worshiped the Lord for a healthy child.  We have good nights and bad. Tim has moved into the bunk room with the boys. I miss him but he is so helpful with the other 4 during the day and he works very hard. He is an amazing provider. I am beyond thankful I can stay home and do not have to work. I loved my job before I had kids but staying home is my dream job.
Some nights I am up most of the night and others only every 3 hours. Sleep-deprivation and fatigue make it tough to be patient with the children.  Mom has been here the whole time helping me with laundry, with Hope, with cooking, with homeschool, etc. There is no way we could have managed this transition without her.
She said the sweetest thing today. She said, "I wish I lived next door because you need me and I need them."
It made me want to cry. I do need her and the kids bring her so much joy. She and Hope have become BFFs. Hope will be lost without her. Maybe one day we will live closer to family.

My biggest concern about juggling everything has been all the years of Scripture memory I have invested into the older two. They are like my little crop!!!  I have slaved in that hot sun planting seeds for YEARS.  I started to worry they were going to forget all the Scripture I had taught them because I couldn't spend hours in review with them every day. But the Lord really encouraged me that a seed in itself has no life in it until it dies and GOD produces life from it. We have no control in producing life... even on our best days.
"He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  All by itself the soil produces grain"
Mark 4:26-28
I am resting in these verses. But, God is also helping me. I have continued to homeschool and teach the boys since having the baby. Tim spends time reciting verses with them in the morning and I do it in the afternoons. It is only by God's energy working in me.
"To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me."
Col 1:29
The Christian life is definitely a race of perseverance. It is a relay race. I am handing off the baton to my children. I have to run my part of the race faithfully and with perseverance. I truly believe it will be their generation that crosses the finish line with the gospel. May I continue to strive to set them up for victory. The ones who have gone before us are watching from the side lines and cheering us on! We can't slow down now! There is too much at stake.
Eternal rewards and the souls of men.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Heb 12:1

I was also encouraged by Joshua asking God to cause the sun to stand still and God did it. That makes my motherhood prayer requests seem small. If Joshua was able to get the sun to stand still through the power of God, I think God will help me mother all of these children. :) I heard a pastor talking about how God worked through the prophets and priests in the Old Testament and how, in Christ, we have all become priests. That every believer is on the brink of being used in huge ways and seeing miracles of God if they will step out in faith.
I have had a shift in my thinking lately. Instead of operating in the "I can't do this" mentality. I am moving forward by faith that "I can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH". 
Of course I can't part the Red Sea, but He can! Sometimes I think we forget that God is FOR us and He is ABLE to work through us! He is definitely FOR our marriages and our parenting! He is FOR our children.  He is on our team. He chose us in order that we bear MUCH FRUIT AND FRUIT THAT WILL LAST.
  "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."
John 15:16
The enemy tells us God is disappointed in us and is just waiting on us to mess up... again. This causes us to live in defeat and fear which is EXACTLY where the enemy of our souls wants to keep us. That is why we have to stay in the Word- in the Truth. I am more vulnerable to the enemy's lies after I have a baby than ever before. I am tired, overwhelmed, hormonal, and scattered. It is hard to think clearly. I tell Tim he is my spiritual banner during these days and I hide behind his protection. But I have to stay in the Word.
I spoke once for a homeschool group about "Motherhood: A Spiritual Wasteland or Streams of Living Water?". We are CRAZY if we use the excuse of small children to stay out of the Word. It may not be a 2 hour quiet time where we linger over the Word but we can be creative and get in the Word throughout the day. Carry a small Bible with you wherever you go and read it when you can. Seeds Worship is an awesome way to incorporate Scripture into your day and get it stuck in your mind. Post it all over your house! You should see my house~ My fridge door is covered in Scripture. I think I am going to post it all over the outside of my glass shower to read while I am in there. It is painted on our walls.
If we aren't connected to the vine, we will fail as mothers. If you have no desire to be in the Word, then ask God to give you hunger. If you want to know Jesus Christ, you have to get in the Word. Sometimes we can become "spiritually anorexic". Where it has been so long since we tasted food, we no longer have hunger pains. That is a scary place. Ask God to renew your hunger and thirst for HIM and His Word.  You need Him now more than ever!
We can't live this life apart from our source of life. Apart from God, we can do nothing!
I was very encouraged by a message I received from a friend/mentor today. Speaking of finding a balance, she said your goal at the end of the day is to have LOVED. That simplified everything for me! That is what it all boils down to. Sometimes that is hard. When your patience is so thin and you are tired.
Trying to not get impatient with a 4 year old who has asked you to play the DS or eat junk food for the 100th time. Or when he wants to know EXACTLY what your breast pump is doing and how it works. Or his brothers are goofing off in school. Or when there are 4 people crammed into the bathroom with you to talk to you about Legos. But, the end goal is not to fit as much Bible knowledge into one day as possible... or do a cool science experiment... or to keep the house clean.... or cook a great meal. It is TO HAVE LOVED.
That is what I want to be marked by: LOVE.
His love.
That is what our children will remember..
I want my children to say, "I grew up in a LOVING home" and to really feel that way.
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." John 15:9
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12
It is bed time now and all the children are sleeping.
I had to stop writing and go take a shower mid-blog this morning because of my "milk de toilette" stinch. It was starting to get to me. Nursing is always interesting but I am so grateful God has restored my health and I am able to breastfeed. I don't take it for granted. I was too sick to nurse Lake and it broke my heart.
Life hasn't stopped today until now.
I was just able to sit down and finish writing. I guess that will be the case from now on. My life is very fragmented.
Crew is sleeping on me while I lay in bed and my eyes burn with exhaustion but
we had a great day.
I am so in love.
With 1 man, 4 boys, and a darling little girl.
"And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name--you, your sons and daughters..."
Deut 16:11
"May our home be a dwelling place for Your Name, Jesus.
Live with us."

Be Blessed~


Love Being A Nonny said...

*I wish I lived next door because you need me and I need them.* Sweetest thing I have ever read. Precious mom. Loving on her girl.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! I love how you put things into perspective - the end goal...It is TO HAVE LOVED. That is so true! May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. Post more pictures of Crew - he is precious!

- Teresa

Ann Katherine said...

Steph, I want to offer to teach you a scripture memory verse SYSTEM that WORKS and takes less time. Please let me know if you are interested. It has saved us! I loved your article. Congratulations! You have a beautiful family.

Taylor said...

Beautiful post, I needed to hear that today!

Erin Southwell said...

I love you girl!