Lord, I want to do something great for you!
I repeated this prayer when we came out of the newborn fog after my third son was born. He was an "easy" baby but I felt like I was suddenly drowning in the chaos of three boys under four while trying to keep up with everything else.
At first, I thought that the chaos and unsettled feeling was a sign that I should be doing something else in addition to being home full-time with our children. Instead, the Lord's answer was consistent as I asked to do something great. He seemed to challenge how I was spending my days. To be honest, I was making a lot of excuses for why I wasn't getting more done and instead of facing the work before me, I was tempted to distract myself with other opportunities
.I felt like the Lord was telling me, if you want to do something great for me, be present where I have you. Get your home in order and establish routines so you’re not stressed all of the time. Then you will have the space to hear me and love your people better. I heard this during my short prayer times and I kept encountering it in books and devotionals I was reading. Be present where you are right now.
At first, I resisted but I continued to feel burned out and unsettled so I started to take small steps toward getting our home and family life in order. I had nothing to lose. The steps were small but God blessed my small efforts. From getting up in the morning to pray before my boys woke up and tackling the laundry and meal plans, I began to make progress toward more order in our lives. I was experiencing the Lord’s patience and mercy because my efforts were so small but I felt such peace and encouragement during this time.
As I made little attempts to bring order to our lives, I was tempted to belittle my efforts or discredit them because nothing was turning out perfectly. I was interrupted by my sons and had to recalibrate all through out the day. However, my husband and I began to encourage one another to focus on making progress instead of fixating on how imperfect things were at the time. We felt like we could attempt anything because the goal was to take steps forward, not to do it perfectly. We were also able to delight in our sons more because we were more realistic about how to incorporate them into our daily schedule, recognizing that interruptions are to be expected.
A routine began to emerge and order was established simultaneously. I’m now convicted that I can glorify God by tackling the task at hand – that task he has placed right in front of me. Life still feels unpredictable at times while raising our three young sons but we continue to experience greater freedom to take on whatever life throws at us because we have a firm foundation of routine and order to stand upon.