In the Thick of It.

It's late Sunday morning, and London is napping.  All five Hoolies are outside playing, and I just may have five minutes to myself to blitz off a post before they all come back inside dripping wet and begging for hot tea and snacks.  Our housemates have snuck away for the weekend, so I am Solo Mama to five crazyies and one teething baby for the next couple of days. 

And while I don't feel like I often have something to toot my own horn about...this morning, all by my lonesome, I got all six children and myself out the door and to the 8:00 morning service with two minutes to spare before the worship team even started to play their first song.

Clothed, teeth brushed, and no tears to boot...with the only hiccups being one brother wearing the other's shirt and socks, and me stirring London's pears into my coffee instead of my cream.  No biggy.

I am woman, hear me roar.

And now here I am...coming back from a 2+ week sabbatical from all things computer related. 
Time for processing, time for assessing and re-assessing, and time to turn down the noise for awhile.
I unplugged for a bit.
There were days where I missed it and was actually lonely and lost...and then there were times when I didn't give facebook...or blogging... Pinterest...or even email a thought for days on end.

I am in a season of feeling deeply entrenched in motherhood. 
London...she be mobile...
I find that there are ebbs and flows in my life - times where I have all of this extra time on my hands to be creative, to write, to craft, and to be things "other than" or "in addition to"....   And then there are times when I need to hunker down for a season and just "be"... in the  midst of the mothering.

This, for me, has been that sort of season.
And this weekend - with two extra little boys to call my own - has further defined this reflecting.
London's first taste of snow.  She pretty much ate a boatload.

(Point proven:  It is now 4:00 in the afternoon.  The Hoolies came in soaking wet, a spat between the two Littlest Littles was worked through, London woke up from her nap, snacks and tea were had....and then lunch and more snacks were had.  London was fed, and cleaned up, stories were read, and naptimes took us ALL...and now I sit to write a bit more -- until London begs for her supper, and until the five Hoolies remind me that I promised them pancakes and bacon before the big game....Point proven AGAIN:  It's now Tuesday...two days later...and I just may yet get to push that "publish" button.  No promises....)

This is my life right now.
And I am in the thick of it.

A baby teething who is just a smidge needy. 
Two boys to teach reading and writing, math and science.
Diapers and baths. 
Five boys to help navigate issues of brotherhood and friendship. 
A ginormous house to stay on top of. 
Waitressing shifts to serve. 
Mountains of laundry.
Meals to be made.
Mess after mess after mess to clean up after.
Dish after dish after dish to wash and put away.
Little hearts to teach and mold.
Living real and raw with deep, soul friends.
A husband to stay connected to.
Perpetual ordering and re-ordering the chaos of life with Littles back into some semblance of order...

And a re-play button to push each morning so that we can do this thing called Life all over again.
This is The Stuff of motherhood.

Days where showering is optional and soul care has to be fought for.
Days where alone time has to take place before 5:00a.m....and exercise, as well, if I want it.
And moments where often, at day's end, Kev and I look at each other and congratulate ourselves for simply surviving...
ALL my girls...
 But I can't help but wonder - and honestly believe in my soul - that God looks down and sees what we do....and He smiles.  After all.....He's a Father, too.  And if He says that "as much as we do unto the least of these, we are doing unto Him," well, I'm pretty sure that He takes notice of all of the little things that the Mamas all the world around do that maybe nobody else ever sees or is even aware.

He sees it all.
He sees the sleepless nights, and He gives mercy to the Mama's soul.
He hears our pleas for grace, and He responds with tender care.
He notices the small sacrifices...
He sees when we stoop low...
And He gives the strength that's not our own.
Bread...SO much bread....
I think that Mother Teresa got it right when she said:  "The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action."  And if I truly believe this to my core...if I can serve and love and bless Jesus - in whatever sticky or messy skin that He comes to me in - than in this I can be content, and in this I can find joy.  Motherhood is an investment, one that the world can't measure in money or in status... but I don't think God measures success or importance by the world's standards anyway.

And so neither should I....
"Joy is in the acquiescing."  ~ Ann Voskamp

Joy is in the letting finding Him in the thick of the humble bending of the knee and of the Mama's heart - and in the total embracing of Life in whatever season we may find ourselves.  It's messy, but it's beautiful.  It's humbling, but it's eternal.  And it is simple...but it's oh so profound.

"Use me then, my Savior, for whatever purposes and in whatever ways you may require.  Here is my poor heart, an empty vessel, fill it with your grace." ~ D.L. Moody

Grace, Jesus.  Pour it out all over...
Emptied to be filled...

From another Mama "in the thick of it:"
"Today?  It is going to be okay.  Take back your Motherhood.  It is a gift.  Listen to the Life-giver, NOT the liar." ~ Christie Elkins

"The thief comes only to steal and to destroy.  I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly." ~ Jesus
OH.  So very good...

And so I shall take the joy....

~ New chapters, and sinking in for the ride.
~ Learning selflessness again and again.
~ Knowing that His mercies are new every morning.
~ Four babies and one Big Daddy.  Full of grace for this Mama.
~ Soul friends, deep talks, and unconditional love.
~ Sharing life, and loving it.
~ Lessons in humility.  Over and over again.
~ A life that is full, and days full of Life.
~ Walking alongside.  Raw and real with other Mamas in the thick of it.
~ Times of solitude, and days of silence.  Being still.
~ Knowing...that He is God...and that I am not....

#5151 ~ My Joy Journey.


Shannie said...

Thank you dear. It's been another rather sleepless period for this mamma. God and Peter encouraged me out of bed this morning, was a great day! A day in which God once again came through and amazed me! He is so faithful, so faithful to put His truth in front of my face every day--like on your blog. :) love you.

Anonymous said...

Your annual blog book will be so inexpesive to print next Christmas with just one post a month...just kidding! Welcome back to Cyberville, we've missed you.