Wednesday, September 22, 2010

{perspective}


here i am...ten smile tuesday meets random scattered meets what is on my mind...and all converges in a blog post.

the last 24-36 hours have been pretty "ick"...i'm not sure why...perhaps tired children, perhaps a hormonal and pregnant mommy, perhaps because i am *trying* to "tighten" the reins in the way of discipline (reins that have become a wee bit slack in the first 17 weeks of pregnancy ick, but perhaps mostly because we are a bunch of sinners living together under one roof. the mommy is a sinner...the girlies are sinners...and, yes, even the daddy is a sinner. ugh....

just moments ago (literally...moments) the Lord brought the word "perspective" to my mind. granted, this is not a new revelation or anything...just a solid reminder...a reminder i really desperately needed today. (that and the beautiful reminder from my own mama that a stubborn and defiant child isn't a reflection of me being a bad parent or doing something horribly wrong along the way...and oh how i needed that reassurance...because my particular "challenge" (well...the current "challenge") constantly makes me feel like an utter failure at this motherhood "gig").

anyway...perspective. someone recently asked me my opinion of what the most essential, can't live without "tool" for new parents. they, of course, were talking in the realm of baby gear...car seats, bouncers, boppies, etc...but honestly, those things are all trivial...every.last.one.of.them. trivial. what every new parents truly needs is a massive dose of grace and Jesus...and perspective.

i feel like i get *nothing* done throughout the day...and what i do accomplish often feels scattered and half-done...not to mention that while i am doing one thing i feel like there are a million other things i should be doing. i am often existing in an illusion...setting unrealistic expectations and then berating myself for not accomplishing what i hope to. the truth...sometimes just cuddling a needy child is enough....sometimes making it to the grocery and getting dinner on the table is more than enough. to some, that might seem minimal...but in my world right now, that is reality...it is where i live....pregnant with 3 kiddos under 5. it is where many of us live. yes, in an ideal world my carpets would always be vacuumed, the laundry put neatly into the correct drawers, dishes cleaned (and dried and put away!), and on and on...reality is that most days it is either or. either the laundry is finished OR the dishes put away. either i clean the house OR i spend time doing puzzles with my girls. either i press on during naptime to accomplish more tasks (and wind up spent by the time my husband arrives home) OR i take time to rest even though my house is less than immaculate (much, much, much less). perspective.

if i clean my floors but neglect my children's hearts, i fail. if i finish my to-do list but do not take time to sit at the feet of Jesus, i fail. if i have a healthy, delicious meal on the table when mike arrives home but have an ugly heart, lacking in love, i fail. if i get my children to obey but don't reach their hearts, i fail. perspective.

so my friends...when i was putting the girls down to rest, i was thinking, "ugh...i haven't accomplished anything today"...but the truth is...i did. i showered (i mean, seriously, some days that is a huge deal...i even washed and dried my hair). i met with my Jesus. we went to aldi for a few groceries...without incident. elizabeth worked on her handwriting and reading. kate traced letters. i spent time sitting with them putting together puzzles. i fed them....two meals. i made dinner and popped it in the fridge to avoid dinner prep during that ugly 4:30-5:30 hour. i have bread rising in the oven. yes, in fact, there are toys all over the floor as a result of my dinner prep...no, i did not involve the girls in dinner prep as much as i could have (or they maybe would have liked)...nope, that folded laundry from monday *still* isn't put away...no, my children weren't completely joyful and compliant throughout the duration of the morning...yes, there were a few tantrums and tears (and no, i didn't always deal with them perfectly)...and yes, yes, my children are desperately in need of baths...and the list could go on and on. but my Jesus is showing me a better perspective...and He is telling me to let.it.go.

after all...how long will i have these "little" people under foot? how long will i have horse-drawn lego racecars sitting on my end tables? how long will i have endless hours for imagining and story reading and puzzle putting together? not nearly long enough, i think.


yes, this is elizabeth's recent masterpiece...a horse-drawn race-car (you know, it needed a horse to pull it since she couldn't find the wheels)...what you can't see is that the driver has a pink mug next to her and a black pot in the back...because, you know, every horse-drawn race-car driver needs food and drink! :)

and a few random smiles...most of which have nothing to do with the pictures...i just wanted to share...because, well, call me biased, but i think these girlies are pretty cute. and friday evening was gorgeous, so we headed to the park in hopes of capturing a few good photos. i didn't necessarily get what i was looking for (you know, like where all three children cooperated easily, smiled, looked at the camera at the same time, etc.), but i do think we caught a few sweet moments.


*rain*

*another trip to the orchard...just the big girls and mommy this time*



*mike finished the "backsplash" of the countertops in the kitchen (hence my trip to the orchard with libs and kate while jilly napped and daddy worked)*



*discovering the deliciousness of a new restaurant..."Grand Traverse Pie Company"...yumm-o!*

*a nice Friday lunch and afternoon with mike's parents*



*our cloth diaper trial...thanks to a sweet friend who lent us her stash of bumgenius--so far, so good...we just might be making a switch for baby #4*



*pumpkin pie brioche*

*skillet cinnamon apples*



*friends*

*truth...like this one, in particular, that a sweet friend shared the other day, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God, and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair...."*




*two little voices singing "Jesus Loves Me" to their baby sister*

*watching my Jilly girl explore her world*


5 comments:

Rebecca said...

thank you thank you thank you for sharing. i so need this reminder. you are such a blessing!

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

Love you so much. This was perfet. Perfectly authentic, perfect truth speaking into my life today. Thank you friend.

Anonymous said...

such a blessing to hear that your heart has been restored and your "perspective" transformed by the one and only Jesus! I may have listened and tried to offer help, but only HE can do what you needed today. Take heart, as these days will fly by and all of a sudden the children will be adults and calling you about their difficulties. It all goes so swiftly. I love you, Mom

Jennifer Hess said...

Thank you so much, Amanda! Just what I needed to hear. I only have one, and I feel the same way you do about not getting enough done. Take heart! Remember that you are God's child, just as those four little ones are yours, and loves you even far more than that just for who you are (not what you get done)! Lots of love and appreciation for your open heart.
Love you

swell.life said...

I so know the feeling of getting nothing done all day. Kiddos are so much, constant work...and I only have one! I love your reminder that ultimately, Jesus' perfect love and grace are all we need in a day...and mirroring that to our children. Really, not so icky at the end of the day. :)