I get that a lot, with having five kids ages five and under. In the grocery store, at church, from the other moms at Bella’s school, everywhere I go, I hear, “I just don’t know how you do it!” “I struggle and I only have two!” “How do you do it? You must be exhausted!”
Well, I am exhausted. But that’s not my secret.
If I had the time to stop and talk with the women who comment on how I get it all done, my answer would be something like this:
I don’t. I don’t do it. It’s not me. Not at all.
Let me explain.
Today I kid swapped with one of my friends, and we watched each other’s kids at the church. I watched her kids in the morning, and she watched mine in the afternoon, and that way we each got time to get things done around the house.
Except after watching the kiddos in the morning, I came home excited to get some cleaning done, and I walked into a completely clean house. (I actually walked in the door and thought to myself, ‘I don’t remember leaving the kitchen this clean!’) As it turns out, my friend Shawna, who I kid swapped with, was in on this plan of getting me out of the house this morning. While I was gone, one of my other friends, Katherine, and my kids’ beloved children’s director at church, Ms. Judy, came and cleaned my house. Also, another one of my friends, Valerie, wanted to help but had to work, so she sent over enough food to feed an army (which is essentially what we have).
Simultaneously, I also have another woman from church who offered to bring us dinner tonight. And another friend at church who offered to watch my kids this morning for me. And Bella is playing at the house of her friend from church, who’s parents take and pick Bella up from school.
We have friends that watch our kids while I take Bella to treatment. We have a church that pours into our family. We have family that supports us when we tell them that yes, God is calling us to something even crazier.
How do I do it? I am part of a family. A wonderful church family. And in our family, we love each other, and we do it well.
We love each other because we were loved first. We serve each other because we were served first. We share in each others burdens because He carries ours. And it is only because of our brothers and sisters in Jesus that we are able to serve in the way we do.
But this is not a story of other people secretly doing my housework or randomly bringing this crazy family meals. This is a story of God’s provision for two broken people who are trying to serve Him. There have been many times since Bella, and also since Tootaw, came to our house that I have thought, and said, “I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I can’t do this. This is too much. I am too little. The cancer treatment. The fetal alcohol syndrome. The system’s flaws. Loving these children well. Getting it all done. I am not enough.” To which Jesus replies,
“You are right. You cannot do this. You are too finite. The task is too large. You grow weary. The race is very long. But I am your God, I am your friend, and I am your provider. I am not finite. The task is not too large for me.
And here’s the thing: You cannot do this on your own, but you are not in this alone, I am with you. And you can struggle in your flesh, or you can trust me. When you trust me, I will provide for you in ways that you cannot orchestrate on your own. This is where I have called you, and I will not leave you here alone.”
And I am filled with peace.
He will provide for us in ways we cannot orchestrate. Like SIX separate individuals from our church family all choosing to serve us undeservedly on the same day. Loving us tangibly. Smothering us in grace.
So there you have it.
There’s my secret.