“God gives one step at a time.”

our family, according to Caleb, age 6
Best part:  Caleb drew this and then said, “Here, Mommy, do you want to put this on your blog?”  Yes!!! Bliss!!  See, I always get permission before I publish their work.  Oh the things I could show you, if only I could always get permission!
  Somewhere around 4 pm every day the kids and the work and the chaos level start to overwhelm me.  It’s around that time that I know homework should be getting completed, sometimes my kids are at their friends’ houses or vice versa, supper must be dealt with, the baby has his thing going on, Daniel must be kept out of trouble….and there are just so many thoughts running through my head at once!
  Do you get that way?
  I feel like that guy on t.v. with all the spinning plates, and I must keep them spinning or they will all just crash to the floor.
  I start to feel very, very tired, looking at the massive amount of these spinning plates, and a large part of me just wants to sit down and let them all smash.  (the plates…..not my children…..just to clarify….  we’re speaking metaphorically here!!!)
  I had that feeling today.  John David had had only cat naps all day long, thanks to the pick-up/drop-off brothers routine (That’s FOUR trips because Dan went to preschool today as well).  Daniel and Joshua were playing in a pillow fort in the basement.  Caleb was doing Reading Eggs on my computer, my bed was covered in clean laundry to put away, no one had done homework yet, supper hadn’t really been addressed yet, and I knew that Caleb’s den meeting was only two hours away.
  I couldn’t sit down on my bed, thanks to all the laundry, so I just stood beside my bed and grabbed my Bible and flipped it open, just hoping to open it to something I could use for my tired soul.  
 This doesn’t always happen perfectly, but today it really did.  
  I opened it to the book of Jeremiah, chapter 13, and in the margin, I had written, “God gives one step at a time.”
   Huh.  I don’t remember writing that.  I don’t remember if I came up with that on my own or heard it from a sermon or a book, but it was good to read.  I quickly read through the first half of chapter 13 to see how it related:
  God told the prophet Jeremiah to buy a linen belt, wear it, and to not let it get wet.  Jeremiah did as God directed.
  Then God told him to go to Perath and hide the belt in a crevice in the rocks.  Jeremiah did this too.
  Many days later, God told Jeremiah to go back and get the belt he had hidden.  Jeremiah did this, and the belt was ruined and completely useless.
  So God explained to Jeremiah:
“In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.  These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt–completely useless!  For as a belt is bound around a man’s waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me.’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor.  But they have not listened.'”
  Jeremiah 13: 9-11
  Now that is a seriously random Bible story that you don’t hear too often in children’s church, eh?
But I love the concept that God gave one step of directions at a time.  All of life is like that.  I didn’t set out to have four children.  That was revealed to us one step at a time, as we have gradually grown our family.  We didn’t set out knowing exactly what problems 2013 would bring and how we would tackle them, we just had to roll with the punches.  God gave us what we needed, when it was needed.  Some things we’re still working on!
  We have a lot of decisions and unknowns and just plain life to get through in this coming year.  There’s one thing in particular we are having to wait on, and of course it’s always a bit of a challenge to wait, but that’s okay.  God will reveal what we need to know one step at a time.
  And that’s not all that can be taken away from this little section of Jeremiah 13.  I also need to be careful to not let my pride and stubbornness get in the way.  The last thing I want to be is useless!
What if we had given up on babies before God gave us this one?  I have FAITH he will not find as much mischief as our darling little Dan man!!!
 checking out his feet
 So thankful God gives one step at a time.  I could not have handled knowing I would end up with four little boys even just a few years ago!  And just think what I could have missed!!
Lone Ranger artwork by Joshua
I hope you all have a GREAT weekend!

Trusting God

Caleb, our newest cub scout, and Daddy, his fearless Den Leader
  Ya’ll, Caleb is so proud to finally be a cub scout too.  He has now been to two scout activities, and he has one more this coming weekend.  I think Alan has been pleasantly surprised with being Caleb’s leader.  While Joshua has a better behavior track record at school, Caleb is a lot less……excitable at extracurricular activities than his antsy older bro.   He once had a baseball coach who said, “He’s like the toughest, quietest kid, and he never smiles.”   ……um, of course, we know Caleb is actually quite the blabber mouth, but since baseball wasn’t really his fave–he was pretty subdued there.  
I can’t wait to get a picture of our two scouts together this week!!!
  I have mentioned several times lately that my current life circumstances have been leaving me feeling extremely overwhelmed and highly stressed out.  The baby phase is always tough anyway, and when you have a lot of other things going on, plus Alan working late, it just seems even tougher to me.  I’d love to stop the world and wait on John David, but of course, that’s just not possible.  
I keep trying to strategize and find a way to make my life easier, simpler, and more stream-lined.  I HATE feeling stressed and out of control.  I like being able to stroll breezily along, humming a happy song in my head.  : )  I’m not kidding.  This is how I like life to be! 
  This, what I’ve been doing lately, is not like that at all.  
-There have been tears.
-lots of negative thoughts
-lots of not-so-nice things said
-lots of wringing my hands….
  I feel so sorry for people who live life always this busy!  Life is short, and the grief is not worth it.
  I pounded the pavement twice today, just to clear my head, pray about this, and think about this.  I do not want to be cranky no-fun lady.   I took a run this morning–I LOVE going for a jog–and my message from God felt very clear:
   I need to trust him.
  You know what the Bible tells us that Jesus did, after constantly being surrounded by people?  He went off to a quiet place by himself to pray!!  Over and over again it tells us that he did this!
  Okay, if Jesus needed to retreat from his family and friends and be alone, you know we need it even more!  People that were around him constantly needed him and wanted help from him– healing, teaching, advice, food, you name it!  
   What does that remind you of??  Motherhood!  Little people constantly needing you, and sometimes you just have to get away!
  By 4pm, I had been alone with the teething, nap-fighting baby, for a while.  Alan and Joshua returned from the store, and I got out of this house as quickly as I could.  I knew I didn’t need to go spending any more money, so I just went for a nice, 2 mile stroll, and I basically prayed a “Jesus take the wheel” sort of prayer…..
  So here’s my game plan for this week:
1.  Trust God. 
     He gave me this.  He can help me through this.
     “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Proverbs 16:3
2.  No preschool.  
    We’re skipping that this week to see if it helps.  Preschool days are the ones I dread the most because I spend the entire morning shuttling kids to and from school, making John David miss naps and become very, very CRANKY!  See, he hates being strapped into his car seat, making those days super hard.
  My sanity and John David’s comfort do still matter!
3.  Chill.
   I can only improve myself so much.  There are still only so many hours in a day, and no one expects me to be Wonder Woman.  My family would rather have happy mommy than super-accomplished mommy.
4.  Schedule my work-outs.
   Exercising helps me.  It helps me lose the baby weight.  It helps me have energy.  It helps me feel happier.  This is something I just don’t need to skip.  I can’t tell you how good it felt to be out jogging today.
That’s it.  That’s my big plan.  Four things.  Surely I can do four things!!!!!
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”        Mark 1: 35

Quote of the week:
Caleb:  Oops!  I forgot to give Miss Russell her hug!
Me:  Do you hug her everyday?
Caleb:  No, but when I end on orange, I always hug her.

Quote from two weeks ago:
Caleb:  *frowning deeply*  I just ended up on blue…..
Me:  Oh?  What’d you end on blue for?
Caleb:  Because, Mom, I just couldn’t hold my horses!!!!


Wishing you all a wonderful week–may even your Monday be great!!!!

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