Today I was wearied by the mess in the house, the several small children tugging at my clothes and when they are not begging for food they are contributing heavily to the mess in the house, and the overflowing calendar which means there is no time to attend to the mess in the house. (There is a theme- I have too much stuff, but there is no time to take care of that problem either.) I lost my temper with my children, sobbed in the bathroom, and sat frozen on the living room floor.
I felt too weary to do school with the kids. I felt too weary to oversee the children picking up after themselves. I felt too weary to clean the house or do the dishes. I felt too weary to try to make healthy food for the family.
This reminded me of a verse that I desperately clung to when I was potty training my oldest two children:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
This principle applies to so many things in life that can become wearisome.
1. Do not give up potty-training and you will reap a harvest of no more diapers.
2. Do not give up exercise and eating right and you will reap a harvest of a strong, healthy body.
3. Do not give up reading your Bible, praying, and memorizing verses and you will reap a harvest of wisdom, godliness, and peace.
4. Do not give up training your children and you will reap a harvest of children with good habits.
5. Do not give up listening to your children’s chatter and you will reap a harvest of a deep relationship with your children.
6. Do not give up going to work and you will reap a harvest of a paycheck.
7. Do not give up cleaning your house and you will reap a harvest of a refreshing environment (even if it only lasts a few minutes).
8. Do not give up teaching your children to clean the house and cook and you will reap a harvest of housework help.
9. Do not give up shepherding your children in their relationships and quarrels with one another and they will reap a harvest of lifelong friendships with each other.
10. Do not give up watering your garden and you will reap a harvest. A literal one.
The harvest we hope for will come in its season, at the right time. We must have patience with the process and keep going. Even when we don’t see any change, we have to trust that obedience to God’s Word and faithful diligence will produce good fruit.
So I got up from the floor and tried to call my husband and accidentally called my mother-in-law. It was a sovereignly appointed accident, however, for after I hastily hung up before she could answer, she called back. She listened to me, encouraged me, and then told me, “This is one of the hardest seasons in life. Hang in there.” It is so nice to have hope that things might get easier down the road. Moms are so great. I am so glad that God gave us moms!
When I did get a hold of my husband, he told me, “School is the one thing you can do that cannot be undone, so that is probably a good thing to do.” So we picked up the spilled (flung is a better word) box of 1000 (not exaggerating here) craft sticks (we pretended like we were harvesting corn… though the game definitely lost its appeal not too long into this process and then we discussed that it is probably not a good idea to fling the entire box of craft sticks all over the back yard). Then we did school. We hid verses in our heart, learned to recognize some new sight words, and played with patterns on our geoboards. If I do not grow weary in teaching my children and if I have patience with this process, I will reap a harvest of educated children.
So in the words of Yo Gabba Gabba, I will “keep trying, keep trying! Don’t give up, never give up.”