remember all those posts in the first weeks of max’s life? yea… my mom AND richard were around then. one post a month since they both returned to America and work respectively… this, my friends, is my new reality.
strangers see me out with my three littles under five years and say things like, ‘wow, you’re brave,’ or ‘you’ve got your hands full,’ with either disapproving glances or eyes full of pity.
and they are right i do have my hands full. but i don’t feel brave, i feel in over my head. when friends ask how i am doing, half the time i have no idea what to answer, mostly because i haven’t thought about how i am doing. instead, i have been triaging. all day.
you know that film, ground hog day? my life feels a little like that. waking up each morning to the same day as before. except in my case, without the time, energy or brain power to improve it from day to day. it sounds depressing when i write it out like that, but in all honesty, hopelessness about ever feeling ‘on top of things’ has started to creep in and i wonder when i will have a day where i feel i can gain some ground, get some space and strategise about better ways to do my life. i feel like it is survival right now–and barely so.
however, last week, when a group of friends from church were hanging out at our house, on of the guys said something so encouraging that my perspective on my situation shifted almost immediately.
we were praying together as a group and one of the guys said this:
sarah, i know you have said that you feel like a hamster in a wheel, just doing the same mundane thing day in and day out. but in my head i see a ballerina pirouetting, moving constantly and so fast and doing the same turn over and over again, but so beautifully and with such grace. i know you feel like your life is crazy right now and that it never stops but i feel like god wants to remind you that what you are doing in loving these small ones is a beautiful thing and that you are doing it beautifully.
tear jerker! it was so what i needed to hear and also lead me into a real moment of understanding god’s grace for me in this season. things are crazy. mental in fact and at the end of most days i feel slightly disoriented, just from all the needs and tasks at hand. i don’t feel i have chunks of time to eat or go to the bathroom, much less to spend with god to get the energy or grace to love these little well.
yet, i think about those ballerinas who spin. most pirouettes involve an action known as “spotting”, where the dancer fixes her focus on some stationary point in front of her and brings her head round to see that spot at the end of each rotation. this constant focus on a focal point is how the dancer keeps turning without getting dizzy.
it is a short–often less than a second–but deliberate refocussing on the same unmoving spot. most of the time, i only have less than a second in my crazy days, but that is all i need! god is my rock, his love never fails and his goodness is unchanging. no matter my day, my success or failure at self-control, or my children’s behaviour, his goodness, faithfulness and love for me–and them–does not waver. the perfect father is my perfect focal point.
knowing that he sees my crazy spinning as beautiful and elegant and not at all hamster-like has changed my feelings about my days and my kids a ton. but knowing that his expectations of me in this time are only to keep fixing my eyes on him, the dad who has everything that i need for each day, even if only for a second, has changed my feelings towards myself entirely. that is something that i can do and he will give me what i need for everything else.