Wednesday, November 29, 2017

HOPE for Overtired Moms

HOPE for Overtired Moms

I found this buried in my old posts from 2012. My kids were 2, 4, 6, and 8 and I was in the middle of a health crisis that landed me in the hospital for a week at one point and in the ER every couple weeks.  I was trying to homeschool my two oldest, raise my two preschoolers, manage my always messy home, support my hubby in a one year old church plant while he also worked full-time, keep up my blog, write my book, lead women's ministry, and be there for everyone who needed me.

In the midst of this incredibly difficult season, I came across a Facebook post on how to "stay motivated" and it tickled my funny bone for its completely un-relatable advice. I took a break from my articles on the Psalms and the faith, and wrote this. 

As I am now in a different season, with my youngest about the age of my oldest back then, with improved health,  kids in a great Christian school, a wonderful and healthy six year old church, and a manageable laundry pile (!), I found it interesting to reflect back on those days when just getting into bed alive at night seemed a major victory. 

I decided to republish it for those of you who are in the midst of kid craziness or any other tough season in life with the encouragement that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. What is daunting today will not be forever. Take heart. I survived and so will you. His strength is made perfect in weakness.
December 18, 2012 12:04 am

"Motivation" for Preschool Moms

10 Actions for Staying Motivated:

       1. Wake up happy.

Are you kidding? 
5:30am: “Mommy? Mommy? Mommy? I’m hungry! I want breakfast! Get up Mommy! I want breakfast! Make me breakfast! Mommy! Mommy?! Get up Mommy! I’m hungry! I want food, Mommy! Mommy?! I peed. I peed, Mommy!” 

       2. Use positive self-talk from morning to evening.

Hey, wait! I DO do that! 
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" (No, don’t touch that! Oh, no! No! Don't...! [crash] sigh.) "No temptation has overtaken me except which is common to man! No temptation has overtaken me...!”

      3. Look at problems as opportunities.

“Wow, thank you Lord, for this opportunity to grow in... uh, patience. I count it all joy when I fall into various trials! Thank You for pee on the carpet, pee on the bedsheets, soup spilled on the dining chair, the PillowPet unstuffed and stuffing everywhere, piles of laundry in every room with the clean mixing with the dirty becuase I didn’t get it put away in time, (inhale, exhale), beads spilled all over the basement floor mixed with rock hard clumps of mixed playdough and paper clippings from a craft project, toys scattered across all surfaces, dishes and groceries all over the counters, and two sticky preschoolers who both need a bath, a timeout, and a nap." Opportunity. Yes. 

       4. Concentrate your energy and intensity without distraction on the successful completion of your current, most important project.

“Okay, honey. Yes, that's nice. Mmhm. Okay... no, not right now. Yes, after your nap. No, you’ll have to wait. Yes, I know its hard to be patient. Dinner will be ready in... uh, as soon as it's done. Yes. mmhm. Yes. Just a minute. Mommy’s busy right now. No not just this second. It's very important and I need to finish... ughhhh! No! Go to your room. What am I supposed to do? Oh right. Everyone stop! Mommy needs to concentrate her energy and intensity without distraction on the successful completion of her current, most important project.  Got it?" 
That should work.

       5. Find something good in all your personal relationships and accentuate the blessings.

Totally got this one.
“Boy, I’m SO glad you are SO cute, because otherwise... mommy just might... not... have... so... much... patience... right now. (force smile). Yes, thank you God for making them so stinkin' cute!”

       6. Learn to stay relaxed and friendly no matter how much tension you're under.


“Oh! Look... at... that! (forced smile). How, uhhhahaha, creative! Let's help mommy clean up this paint and toothpaste, but first let's fill the tubby. OH!!! My gosh! Who put that into the toilet? Okay. okay. We can do this. It's just... just... an antique, valuable book I inherited from grandma. It’ll burn someday anyways, right? Thank you God for reminding me not to store up treasure on earth." Yes. Relaxed and friendly. Got it.

       7. Think and speak well of your health.

When it's there, presumably. Right?

“It's just amazing! After everybody got the flu, (and I took care of them.... cleaning up vomit, diarrhea, snot, and all that, and well, doing seven loads of laundry every day, not to mention the dishes, floors, and sanitizing every door handle and counter top)... after all that, I only had the flu myself for four days! And it was the ONLY sickness I got this month, too! Haven't even been to the ER in two weeks!"

       8. Expect the best from others, too.

I'll have to teach hubby to appreciate this one. 

       9. This week, seek out and talk to someone currently doing what you want to do most and doing it well.

Is this intended to encourage me? 
“So, all of your children play an instrument... oh, two instruments! And they study French  and Latin? Oh, French, Latin and Greek... got it... Wow, and you homeschool them all, while running a small farm, staying in shape, managing a home business, and blogging about it? You are incredible! Oh, its just a hobby farm? Well, that changes everything, doesn't it? Haha. No. That was just a joke. Yes, of course, it is all by God’s grace. (I must be lacking that, eh?) And your husband, he is a successful businessman in the community? Oh, he’s also in part time ministry? Phew. You really, um, inspire me..." (to sob uncontrollably).

       10. Remain optimistic by associating with optimists.

“THE END IS NEAR! REPENT!!!” (wild laughter)

Seriously, though, laughter is the best medicine... better even than optimism. These "motivational" notes really did make my day today. It is okay to cry about hard things, but sometimes laughing just feels better. This season seems like it will never end, but I know it will someday... if I survive it. Until then, I press on in faith and hope that He has a future for me and my family. 

But on that note, I do have so much hopeRegardless of my personal health and daily battles, JESUS is coming soon! Look up! for your redemption draws near! Maranatha! 

....And besides, they don’t stay preschoolers forever. 

Which is kinda sad, actually.

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