clean hands vs. a clean heart

17 Jun

Sometimes I want to freeze time.  I want the children to stop growing up!  I want everyone all together around my dinner table.  I want all 7 children huddled and snuggled around me as I read a story book out loud.  I want all of us to pile in the vehicle and drive to the park.  Oh, the joy of having all your children together, content and happy.  swinging by Mc Ds on the way home for an icecream, baths and 7:30 bedtime.  OH….those glorious days!  I never thought at that stage that it could get any more complicated, and back during those days it sure didn’t always feel “glorious”.  Often I thought those days were challenging and would dream about they days when everyone was more independent etc.

But here I am, coming down the other side of the hill,  and boy, life gets so complicated!!!!  Kids going here and there, friends over most days, activities, late bed times, new freedoms.  Taking some to the park while the others stay home and do yard work.  Taking some to the hospital while others are scattered here and there.  My heart is feeling stretched.  Do you know what I mean?  Just different, busy and just plain ole complicated!!!

I feel like my life is shifting.  I feel the joy of entering this new stage along with a “um…I sure can’t be in control of everything like I used to be, micro managing everyone’s days.”

My oldest will enter the local Christian High School this fall.  My youngest will continue in school and move up to first grade.  We are praying about sending the new sisters to the public school down the street for part of the day, maybe only an hour to get extra help, maybe all day?  We are praying about what to do with our dyslexic son, like we do every summer.  Would he be better in school?  I have always thought no but now we are feeling the pull that way.  This would leave me at home with two, our 7th grader and 4th grader.  “Homeschooling” but not the majority.

I told Chris, potentially next year I could have 1 at Christian High School, 2 at the Christian grammar school, 2 at the local public school and 2 at home with me.  UGHHHHH!  “Chris, this is crazy!”  “Well, he said, you could just have all 7 at home.”   “Okay, yup, you have a point!  That seems completely overwhelming right now.” And there was a day when that way the best for our family, having everyone home, so much EASIER to train them, to discipline them, to enjoy them, PEACE.  YES!  PEACE having the 5 home for school, it was nice, simple, I enjoyed having no accountability and being the pricipal, superintendent and teacher.

Everything is up in the air still for me.  5 at home?  2 at school?  maybe, maybe not.  God knows and so I’m just praying and trusting that he’ll direct.  I know He will.  I need to open up my hands and submit to His plan, swallow my pride, my plans; to line up my ideal with His ideal.  I don’t want to do anything out of fear.  Keep people home out of fear or send people to school out of fear.

In the mean time I’m enjoying “summer break”  I may even finish unpacking from our China trip this week (oh yes i am serious!) I may get through piles and piles of papers and books in my bedroom.  I may get to sort through the kids clothing figuring out what fits and what doesn’t.  Those who homeschool know, some years homeschooling just seems to be your whole life!  That was my year this past year.  I have got to look at the big picture or I risk feeling discouraged.

I got to take my time in the little bathroom off of our kitchen this morning.  The children were outside and in the basement.  AH!!!!  Oh how much I appreciated being able to take my time washing my hands and actually got a glance at my self in the speckled  mirror!  “No one is calling my name!”  I stood and relished it…..then, I NOTICED IT…..IT!

Yes, IT was the filthy hand towel that I am certain has not been changed in my little powder room bath since we came home from China….Let’s see.  We left for China on March 27th and I’m sure I must have changed it the week before, but maybe not!  Ok, so that towel has been used by my guests, construction crew, and family everyday, several times a day for almost 3 months!  WOW!  That’s amazing.  WARNING TO THE JONES CHILDREN:  DO NOT WASH YOUR HANDS IN THE MUDROOM BATHROOM!!!  Hokey petes!

I’m realizing other things like that with our “2 months home with the girls” day that passed this week.  OH WOW!  The boys sheets have not been changed since we came home from China….and on and on!

But, guess what?  we are all still living and loving and lookin’ pretty good, we are all relatively healthy and smiling!

Chris and the kids: the 8 people I'm responsible to feed each day. Our kitchen table got shoved out because we extended our island so 9 stools could sit around it. This is where we end up eating every night, I'm the one standing and being the go getter most nights. Our dining room is right around the corner but it seems like so much more work to transfer everything to serving bowls and setting the table in their, then cleaning up. We've been doing paper plate dinners for years now. Not my ideal but what is working for me right now.

Yes, summer break is my time to catch up. My time to enjoy the children, every single minute I have with them.  Yikes, it goes so fast! (no mimi does not have a major stick up in her hair, it’s a pineapple on the counter behind them.  My kids never have stick ups!  ;)

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One Response to “clean hands vs. a clean heart”

  1. Laurel June 21, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Dear Friend: Your home looks cleaner than mine, and I only have a cat! Enjoy the kiddos. You are doing great.

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