We have just walked through an unexpected season of busyness. Everyone knows the saying, “When it rains it pours.” Though life with children (no matter how many you have) is always busy, some seasons just pour. In the past few weeks we experienced the unexpected death of my father in law, my mother hospitalized and family flying in from all over the country. Days have been filled with shopping for special occasion clothes, extra groceries and family gatherings. Through this I have been thinking of what it is that keeps me operable amidst navigating the unplanned rolls and punches of life.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
I remember that every day is not going to be like this. Some days are crazier than others. When the rhythm of even regular daily life keeps us on our toes, family emergencies can knock us to the ground. I thought I would share with you some structure that has helped me during our recent family challenges.
- Take time to remain grounded in the Word. Even if I didn’t have extended periods of time that I could set aside for Bible study, I had places and practices that directed my eyes to Jesus. There are some practical tips in this post. Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
- Remember where your power comes from. “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
- Keep stocked up- this is in the pantry as well as in the van. I don’t know how many times I have had to rely on what I could pull from these resources at the last minute for meals at home or snacks on the go!
- When things are calm, on ordinary “good days” put some systems in place to bring order to your home. Some examples of this would be assigned Jurisdictions in the house (rooms or jobs that you have trained a certain person to take care of) , have a menu of meals that can be put together using pantry and freezer stock (even if they are very simple)
- keep your expectations reasonable (the disappointment and frustration hits hard when we don’t accomplish our self-imposed expectations remember, this season is temporary)
- keep drinking water and eating (it’s too easy to focus on the children’s food, skip eating and end up with our own bad attitude.We think we can handle it because we’re adults but if we aren’t fueling our bodies, we will simply run out of energy and patience)
- adjust where necessary (There are days when things just aren’t working out and we need to cancel appointments, lessons or “extras”.)
Moms seem to be very proficient in “doing”. Just like Martha, we see the work in front of us. The laundry, the dishes, the meals that need prepared, endless tasks. If we are not careful, we forget to spend time with the people that are dear to us. With some preparation, time management and focus on the Lord, we can function well as we carry on.
When your family travels a rough road, extend yourself some grace. This is a great time to set aside the “doing” and instead nurture the relationships. Keep the tasks simple and practice “being”. Maybe you are like me and needed this reminder too.