Friday, July 17, 2009
six is more than five
last week i spoke of how the hardest number of children was one more than what i already had.
this week i was blessed with a day of six children to love! our 4 year old neighbor joined our chaos for the day.
now, she is by no means a difficult addition, much the opposite...very easy going, kind, respectful.
as the day wore on i started thinking...
i can baby wear, breastfeed, cloth diaper, cook for, clothe, love, discipline and grow kids with the best of 'em. i made lunch for six kids at once, and managed to make my own at the same time without burning it.
i even enjoyed 29 whole minutes of "quite time" while two slept and four "took a break"!
what i can't do, however...what i actually fail horribly at daily, is doing any or all of the above with any type of grace or gentleness...never mind love!
i cook, i clean, i referee, i drive, i manage, i read, i fold and wipe and flush and listen and help and handle 24 hours a day.
but nearly every minute of every day (when lived out on my own) is lived out by a grumpy, frustrated, on edge, yells-too-much, mamma.
i scold too loudly, i discipline too harshly, i listen too little, i read too fast, hug too short.
without Christ and His unending grace flowing through me, i am just plain awful to be around(just ask my kids).
at the end of every day i flop backwards onto my bed, and stare weakly at the ceiling, marveling at how another day passed without anyone dying or being left out on the curb(me included!) it truly is, at least for me, no small miracle.
my natural bent is not to be kind, it is to be mean. i lean way more towards harsh than gentle. i condemn when i discipline. i love with conditions. i am sloooow to forgive.
contrast this with God...
as i confess all that i am not, i see all that He is.
He is full of grace, never condemning, always forgiving, loving completely, correctly gently. His is a completely condition-less love.
it is only through a minute by minute reliance on God that my day with four, or five, or six children ends well.
i simply don't have what it takes to be a great mamma. amazingly, God knows this and still considered me worthy of being called mamma by so many.
even more amazing, He gently teaches me throughout each day to rely on Him to be able to care for these many small blessings.
remember me feeling flattered by my littlest blessing copying me with a baby in a pouch?
yesterday i found all four "mothering" pouch babies!
powerful reminders of how "watched" i am as i mother these children.