I have a sweet friend that lives in a nearby city. She and her husband have 7 children from age 18 years down to 10-ish. All but one are adopted. He is self-employed and she is full-time mom. She loves Jesus so, so much. I visited her a few years ago and marveled at the schedule she created for herself. Here is what I remember of it. She wakes up early, and her husband brings her coffee and takes over whatever nighttime parenting remains, meaning she gets to get up and he will lay with whatever child she was sleeping near. She gets to spend about an hour in prayer, scripture, solitude with the Lord before she starts her day as a mom. Her husband takes over the early morning stuff and then goes to work and when she is up and ready, she would home school her children, do community ministry, communicate with international adoption ministries and families…..She found a way to have time for her own relationship with Jesus, as well as do the work He had called her to in family and community.
I feel like the grass is greener on that side of the fence. I wish I had that latitude to start my day with so much time and contemplation……but God calls us all to different things. He does. I am sure of it. He wants each of us to set aside time with Him for sure….but some of us have to wake up and hit the ground parenting as soon as possible……without the hour of coffee, scripture, prayer. Some of us find those moments later in the day, when we find ourselves alone for a bit in the kitchen as we prepare dinner and the right songs comes on the radio and we feel the Presence of the Holy Spirit fill our space……some of us hold the hand of a hurting soul and pour out our love and empathy just in time to feel God fill us up again, and then move on to the next thing…….the point is…..we can all get there. We must be intentional about seeking God. We must. Our lives depend on it.
My husband cannot start the day an hour ahead of me, serving me coffee and getting my children up and moving. His job is different. What he can do, and what he is doing right now, is keeping my children occupied and loved downstairs so that I can end this day all by myself. He has been gone for over a week for work and I have had to be both mom and dad and I am burned out. I warned him that I was and he came home with a plan. He is loving them and making up moments he has missed because he has been gone this week, and I am in a quiet room alone before bed.
Lets have conversations with each other about how we manage to have time alone, time with spouse, and time caring for our children. Lets compare notes and gain ideas from one another so that we can all do a better job of taking care of ourselves and everyone else.