One thing I've noticed in my own personal Christian walk is that there are so many opportunities we miss. We really need to miss some of them, so that we can go for the one we feel God's called us to accomplish right now.
For example... Once I was out with the four littlest children getting shots for J and S. They were two and a half hours waiting in a no doubt germ-infested room. They were tired and crabby and hungry and Elf and Emperor were tired and crabby and hungry. I had to go to the bathroom, I felt dirty and I was picking up screaming, tired infants and going on my way into the house.
That's when my very elderly neighbour started to come over to say 'hi.' I told her she was welcome to come in with me and have lunch with us, but that everyone was really hungry and crabby and needing of a peanut butter sandwich. I felt awful seeing her walk away, knowing I could have spent a bit of time chatting with her, but she knew she wouldn't have my full attention and went home. But if I did that, and put the children downstairs and really spent the time she'd wanted right then, I'd have HAD to ignore my children and their very immediate needs. She's one of those people, God bless her, you have to have QUIET to hear, and you have to watch her carefully because she forgets things and she's unsteady on her feet.
I still don't know that there is any good way to handle such things.
Or the church nursery. You know what? I've signed up for monthly nursery duty because having two of the ten or so children under four kinda obligates me. It really is the least I can do. I know I "ought" to volunteer in childrens' church and in the youth group since I also have two children in each of those areas. But I don't. I must be lazy!
Honestly, every day, I just think I have one more day to get through somehow. I don't know... Then the next day I think I just have one more day to get through somehow... I have just spent EVERY bit of energy constantly changing diapers, feeding children, homeschooling, disciplining. CONSTANTLY. I sit around for maybe 20 minutes in the morning, and another 20 at night. Otherwise, this is life. I leave my internet up alllll day long and as I walk by I can see if someone left me a comment, a lifeline to the outside world. Yes, I am that sad. Yes, that is the entirety of my social life. Thanks for enabling me. ;]
Or, you know, in order to help THIS child and change his poopy diaper, I must ignore the other one with the math problem or another baby howling for a bottle. Sometimes it's hard for me to figure out which comes first: bottle or math? "Both" I find too hard to do simultaneously because I'm a crappy parent. Should it be "make lunch" or "pull J off the wall for the 5,000th time today," knowing that the second I turn my back to make his stupid lunch, there he goes again standing upside down on the couch with his feet in the windowsill? Or J has just kicked or stepped on the girlie again. Comfort the girlie or make J sit in time out? Something is very wrong with me that I can't do "both" effectively at the same time. And when is the kid going to "get it?" I'm frustrated!
Am I less of a Christian that I must prioritize my deeds every day, all the time? Because guess what, sometimes I eat my lunch and let Elf and Emperor work out their differences alone. Sometimes I've just had it. Am I less of a Christian because I don't live for Jesus any more? I just live for my children. Because that's all I really am. ALL I really do. Or perhaps I am not a Christian at all if I don't see "greater purpose" to my life. I could tell you about everyone else's. Maybe, just as I am blind to my own faults, I am blind to my own good qualities as well.
OK, so here I am complaining more... to describe it... I am swimming. I can't stop or I will drown. Every day, I tell myself I just have to do this for today. I can't think about what will happen tomorrow. If I think about it, it becomes too much and I don't know how I'm going to cope. I don't know how other people do two things at once. But I wish I could. Sorry.
So how do other parents manage their children *and* volunteer for stuff? Maybe just because their children aren't autistic and don't flip out in public, it's easier? Maybe they have a better biology than I do and don't get stomachaches when they think of being in a crowd or leaving the house? Maybe still better, they have more of God than me? Does it work like that? I pray about it, but still feel like throwing up when it's time to get ready for church. I will say that church is better for my health than "public school," because going there made me dizzy, headachy AND wanting to throw up.
Am I allergic to places where good works need to be done? What is wrong with me? I'm sure not going to ask a doctor. Last time I mentioned offhand that I don't drive on highways ever because I'm sure I'll die if I do and I get so nervous I do stupid things, the doctor said they have a prescription for that. (???) How on earth can you prescribe away the fact that my intestines will wind up on the highway because all the OTHER cars are going too fast? Just as an aside, if there were a national speed limit proposed I'd vote for "30" with strict enforcement. All you people make me nervous :]
Perhaps this is a phase. I don't remember feeling this overwhelmed when I had "only" four children. Maybe when they get bigger, it isn't as hard to handle? Well, that's my hope. This post has been very difficult to write and taken me several days. I wonder what you are going to say about it.