"How do you do it?!"
They are, of course, referring to my amazingly clean house and kind and gentle attitude towards all who are graced with my presence.
They're talking about having 4 kids, 4 and under, and one with special needs. I joke about my house and my attitude, but they are actually two of the things that I'm struggling with the most right now. You know in the movies or on TV, when someone gets mad, sometimes they make steam come out of their ears to be comical? I feel like that lots of days, only without the 'comical' part. So picture me, angry, steam coming out of my ears, fed up with the whining, messy house, kids hitting each other, touching everything they're not supposed to touch, and so on. Do you know what happens next? Everybody survives. Yeah, God keeps giving us breath. I'm thinking it's because He wants me to make good choices and praise Him even in the hard times.
So even in my anger, I desire not to sin.
I do sometimes though. Obvs. If you tell me you never do, you would be met with 'liar liar pants on fire'.
On the days that arent so hard, the way I live life is simple: Enjoy my family. For reals. Its that easy. Still bugs me when the house is a wreck, but I decided that my kids are only this age once and if I am always stressed about the kitchen sink or the pee on the bathroom floor (just kidding. Id totally clean that.), I'll miss something that I'd never get back.
I'd be lying if I told you that having a child on the autism spectrum isnt the most difficult, flesh-killing thing I have ever experienced. If you think thats overly dramatic, then come over here and let me slap you with a wet noodle. Cuz you don't even know.
That is of course, unless you also have a special needs child. Then, you do know. So come over here and let me squeeze you tight.
At the end of the day, when Joel and I sit together on the couch and talk, the things we talk about almost always only consist of how our kids make us laugh and smile. Each one is amazing. Ro may have autism right now, but his personality shines and his progress every day amazes us. Ash is hilarious and quirky and can make anybody smile at any given moment. Bell is a lil sassafrass with a very cuddly side. And Haven lights up at every person who will engage in smiles with him.
On a more practical note, having a schedule is one way the days go by with not too much trouble. 4 days a week, Ro has therapy almost all day. 9am-4pm with a break in the middle. Ash goes to pre-school twice a week. I think when I get a break from the kiddos, it refreshes me a little. Am I the only one? I'm an introvert. I didnt use to be though. If you knew me in high school, you'd never say that, but I think being surrounded by small people constantly climbing on you, it could turn you into one too. I'm not complaining though! I quite enjoy being an introvert. I think there is something to be said for being able to truly enjoy silence.
So the moral of the story here is this: Life is hard, but God is good. He knows it all. He knows when I lose my temper and raise my voice. He sees when I snuggle my kids and hug them when they get hurt. He knows how impatient I am with a baby who won't sleep at night, or with a 3 year old who wakes up in the night and HAS to tell me that he is going to go pee now. And He loves me anyway. And He gives me the conviction and the desire to change. I love that about Him. And that's how I get through my days. With the Holy Spirit always there, teaching me and keeping me from being complacent. You can't be complacent when constantly faced with your own weaknesses. In my experience, you can either choose to change, or you can embrace the faults and keep on living for yourself. I choose the first one. (usually reluctantly but never regretting it).
Have a good day, friends, and thank God for it. He made it, and it's a gift for you.