Boasting in Weakness and Deciding I Can't Do It All


Life is always and forever changing: new babies, growing kids, new ideas, and changing perspectives. I feel like this last 6 months have been a season of change for our family.

The first big change happened back in December when we announced to the world that Baby #5 was on the way. I'm not sure anyone was surprised by this news, except maybe me and my husband!

I had just started using a Kindergarten curriculum with my oldest (5-year-old Reuben). I was working from home part-time (15 hours a week or more) as a direct sales consultant with Usborne Books & More. And I was struggling to breastfeed a 9-month-old, potty training a 2-year-old, and planning a birthday for the best soon-to-be 4-year-old I know. 

My plate was full. Our house was a wreck. And I was just tired all the time. The realization that another baby was coming really shocked me back into reality. I knew that *something* had to give. I just couldn't do it ALL. 

I decided to take a break in the month of January and really refocus all my energy on homemaking and decluttering. With me working so much from home, the housework always took a back burner and the disorganization was causing us all a lot of stress. 

Since most of my work was online, I instituted a no screens before noon rule in our house and instead started working on better habits for our mornings. We've always known that our kids thrive with less screen time. We've tried to limit how much TV they watch and how often they use the iPads, but I never really considered how much screen time affected ME. 

I used the time to declutter and systematically worked my way through our entire home throwing out and donating anything we couldn't live without. I started getting back to a regular school schedule with the kids and thinking more long term about their education and our plans to homeschool. 

Through that month of being more unplugged, God refocused my heart on the things that mattered most. I started to see our home environment in a new way. I realized how distracted I had been and anxious. After Asa was born, I never allowed myself to just sit and enjoy life with four kids. I was always busy, working, and always online. 

By the end of January I felt happier and more contented than I had in a long time. Seeing the change in our home was enough to convince me and my husband that I needed to stop working. 

It wasn't an easy decision, financially or emotionally. I was so afraid I would later regret the decision and losing all that I'd worked to accomplish. I kept telling myself if I could just get caught up on laundry and get a meal plan that worked then surely I could somehow manage to do it all. Maybe working and raising 5 kids wouldn't be *that* bad? Other homeschool moms I know seem to do everything, why couldn't I? 

I've always been the kind of person to take on too much. I used to think it was my independent nature, but more and more I'm realizing it's just pride. I want to think that I can do it all. I'm strong, confident, smart, and capable! 

Except when I'm not. Scripture says it's in our weakness that Christ is made strong, and so often I think that God allows me to be brought low by tiredness, anxiety, and the noise of the world so that He can remind me that it's His strength, not mine that matters. 

I've always loved the picture of the Proverbs 31 woman who is able to do it all, working, raising children, charity, homemaking; but if that's our picture of a perfect women, then aren't we all doomed to failure? 

No one can do it all, at least not on our own strength, and maybe that's the point. Maybe when we look at the ideal women we are meant to see our own failure more clearly. As I compare my life to her's all I see is my own weakness, and I realize that I desperately need help. I desperately need a Savior. I need His Spirit to guide my day, protect my heart, and lead me to the best use of my time. 

There are still days when I struggle to really unplug and slow down. It's so easy to get distracted by the world of possibilities at our fingertips, to say yes to every good opportunity, be involved in every conversation, and I forget to look up and be content in the life right in front of me, my kids, my husband, my home. 

However, it's in admitting my own weakness, my inability to do it all, that God has given me peace and joy. 

So today I will boast in that weakness. I will admit that most days I'm in over my head. I struggle to be content. I can't do it all. I fill my plate too full and let the things that matter most suffer. I struggle to be still and trust that God's way is always best, even when it requires sacrifice. 

I can't do it all, but that's okay because Christ already has. His grace is enough for this life and the next. And if I lean on His grace and trust in His strength, then thankfully that will be enough. 

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:19

1 comment:

  1. This was beautiful and convicting from another mom who also takes on too much. Thank you for sharing your heart.



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