Enough of Me to Go Around

Part 1

There are days when to rise above the clatter, I have to yell.  {That makes absolutely no sense, but I do it anyway–and we all have a good laugh over the ridiculousness of it.}

There are days when everyone’s emergency becomes my crisis.

There are days when I wonder how my 7th grader will get into college, if my 4th grader will realize math is not her mortal enemy, how my Kindergartner will ever learn to read fluently, when my preschooler will stop tackling his younger brother every chance he gets, if my toddler will ever stop eating chapstick, and if the baby will someday sleep somewhere besides his car seat.

It is on those days I wonder if there is enough of me to go around.  Am I somehow cheating my children out of a normal life?  Is all this sharing somehow bad for them?

I also wonder when I’ll get my act in gear and grow up.

You know, the kind of “grown up” who lives a life without hitches, hiccups, or help.

But God is merciful to meet me at the edge and remind me that what he has called me to, He will equip me for. (Hebrews 13:21)

I didn’t randomly decide one day  to have as many children as possible.  That was God.

I don’t homeschool because I think I’m some great teacher.  That was God too.

He called me to a life that is very different from the one I had all neatly laid out.  And He’s not going to leave me to muddle through all by myself.

In fact, the days when I feel stretched thin, bogged down, and bent out of shape are usually the days when in an effort to control my environment, I lose sight of the things that truly matter.

I’m a pretty laid back person by nature.  I’ve had friends describe me as “even keel.”  But lately, I’ve been uptight.  This move is not going smoothly.  I feel like life is spinning out of control.  I have people asking for details and I can’t even throw them a bone to keep them quiet for a day or two.  Everything is up in the air…and I’m afraid of heights.

Somehow I forget my own best advice:

God’s ways aren’t always my ways, but God is always right.

In order to have enough of me to go around, I have to let go of some of my expectations.  I have to let God lead.  I have to be content with his Light only shining on my very next step, rather than the entire path.

Only then will I be the mom I need to be.

If I’m caught up in what I think or what the world thinks or what my next-door neighbor thinks, I’ll never find the freedom to live my life based on what God thinks.  I’ll never take the day off of school just to walk in the park and sing silly songs with my kids.  I’ll never ask the 6 and under crowd to join me in the kitchen to make cookies.  I’ll never let my 12 year old stay up late just to talk.  I’ll never watch my nursling sleep in my arms.

There isn’t enough of me to go around. I am one person and I cannot possibly do it all.  But God hasn’t asked me to do it all.  He’s asked me to give my all…to Him.  He’ll order my life from there.  All I have to do is live it.

Tomorrow:
Practical Ideas for Having Enough of Me to Go Around

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36 thoughts on “Enough of Me to Go Around

  1. Amy, I feel this way often. I’m glad I’m not alone. I am thankful that God is faithful and always sees us through. Thank you for this encouraging post.

  2. Wow Amy. There are days when I read what you have written and think “Did she just slip inside my head and write down everything I was thinking and feeling and convert it to her life version?” God is teaching me these exact lessons and I am so grateful for the encouragement and knowing I’m not the only one. I think I tend to give off the impression that I’m more capable than I feel and sometimes that’s feels quite a lonely place.
    Your posts are just one more light shining down on my life, giving me hope, joy and the determination to go on as God is calling me!
    Thankyou!

    • Thanks, Anita! It never ceases to amaze me how the things I am dealing with seem to be so pertinent to other people’s lives. I think there are things that are exclusive to a mom’s world that we all share from time to time.

      • I also think you must be listening to God and writing what he wants, when he wants… He knows just what we need, when we need it and I find quite often what I need to hear comes through your posts!

  3. Wow Amy, this is right where I am living too! As I lay awake at night after getting up AGAIN to use the bathroom (just 5 1/2 weeks away from welcoming baby # 6 into our arms and home)these are the same fears the enemy tries to feed me…that I am not enough…I guess what the Lord has shown me through His Word and through you and your honesty, is that I am NEVER going to be enough…BUT HE WILL ALWAYS BE! Thank you for sharing your journey with me, so I know I am not alone on this narrow path :)

  4. Amy, I am so glad you take the time to blog! I really needed to read this today. I am going on day three of a migraine and I am just trying to make it through each day with 5 little boys, one about the same age as your littlest one. I feel like all I can accomplish right now is to feed the family and nurse the baby. The tv has been on a lot, unfortunately, but I know this is just a temporary situation. God will see me through this, too. Thanks for the encouragement. I am really thankful that I subscribed to your blog by email so I don’t miss any of your posts! :)

  5. Beautiful post. I love it on so many levels, but I especially love it because I bought the lie some others say in the homeschooling world: you can and should do it all. I’ve beaten myself up because I am not the highly organized and highly efficient kind of mama. I’ve felt I was falling short of God’s best because my house wasn’t always clean, my children weren’t always obedient, and my teaching wasn’t always wonderful. I lost sight of who God made me, who He calls me to be and who my family is vs. who other families are.

    Resting with and for you in this season.

    And on a funny note, we had a very chaotic 4 years and during it people kept asking me what was happening. I kept saying, “God has me on a need to know basis with all of this. When I need to know, I’ll know. Then you’ll know.” ;-)

  6. Wow, you crawled into my head too. What a day I had and what a perfect post to encourage me. He’s got me on a need to know basis too and I need to grow up and accept it!

  7. Thank you Amy…your post was just what I needed. I especially loved the part ” In order to have enough of me to go around, I have to let go of some of my expectations. I have to let God lead. I have to be content with his Light only shining on my very next step, rather than the entire path.
    Thank you Amy for being an encouragment. Your blog is helping Christian mothers everywhere as He uses you to reach people who are weary.

  8. Ah! I love this post! Just today I was feeling stretched a little too thin and feeling like I haven’t been doing a good job as a result. It’s great to know that someone else is having to admit that there isn’t enough of her to go around and yet still seeking to do everything that God has asked her to do. Thank you for this encouragement. I look forward to tomorrow’s post!

    In Christ,
    Angela

  9. Thank you !!!
    for posting this today. It was one of those days where I just wanted to throw in the towel and quit.
    The morning started with a cabinet falling on my preschooler because he was climbing it (no injuries praise God) and the baby needing to be nursed at the sometime we had this big mess to clean.

  10. Thankyou for this, so encouraging. Good to know that other mums have the same joys and struggles. But also to be certain that God will provide for all our needs :-)

  11. Ohhh, this is good for me to be reminded of today. Thank you so much. We have 9 children and I’ve experienced all you’ve mentioned in this post, but am in total like-mindedness about the Lord’s plans for us. Blessings on your efforts today, Amy. =)

  12. Thank you so much for the reminder.I am a perfectionists and mother of five wee ones.Having #5 has been such a struggle as I feel I can’t do it all and am overwhelmed all the time.God used your words to encourage me to take it step by step and not look so far ahead.God bless!

  13. oh, my!!! This post was exactly what i needed to read today. Thank you so much for sharing your heart here. God is so good never to leave us where we are at but always desiring to draw us deeper into him.
    Thanks again for this wonderful post.

  14. I.am.in.love with this post. If I were a pinterest kind of girl, I’d have to have an entire section devoted to linking back to encouraging mama posts like this one. :)

  15. I realize this was posted quite awhile ago, but I have been reading through a few blogs trying to find some inspiration. How do you make sure you’re not forgetting about your older ones?? I have a 7yo, 5yo, 3yo and newborn. At the end of the day it’s been my 7yo who has had to wait patiently while everyone else got taken care of. It was my 7yo who had to listen to a picture book instead of the next Magic Treehouse book he wanted and so on. Now this 7yo is very patient, quite mature, and always wants to help out and I feel like those wonderful qualities have allowed me to steamroll him throughout the day. How do I make sure I am giving him a fair shake b/c I can’t seem to figure it out?? Dad is in class all morning and works 3pm-12:30am…so I really need to figure out this juggling game before my 7yo resents all these brothers he loves so dearly.

    • I actually have the opposite problem. My older children seem to get all the attention, so I have to work really hard to make sure my littles get attention. One thing that worked really well for us in the past is to have a scheduled time each day for each child. Your newborn has you at his/her beck and call, so no need to schedule that time, but give each child a 30 minute slot at a specific time each day that is just for them. Or if that is too much for you, try giving them a day where they are the one who helps you in the kitchen, the one who sits by you at the table, etc. Hope that helps!

  16. Thank you for posting this…This is me right now. I felt alone and couldn’t put in to words. I feel like I am spinning out of control, surrounded in chaos and not being the best I can be….thank you for reminding me to give it all to God- I keep wanting to, but pull it back. You have reminded me of my perspective an that my wee ones won’t be so little. I say I”ll always have time to clean, but still don’t manage time to just be, just play. Because I can’t manage it- only God can!

  17. As a mother of 9, I am often feeling the same. Thank you for this article. It lets me know I’m not the only one who feels this way. The days that I feel the stretch the thinnest, are the days that make realize I need to let something go, and enjoy my beautiful children.