As I'm sitting here trying to finish up my study of failure I start looking at the pictures scrolling on the frame on my husband's desk. I see a picture of Michael come up that was taken in the yard at our first house in New Mexico. I started thinking back to that time and thinking that life seemed so easy at that time. I don't know now if what I am remembering is completely accurate....probably not. But, what I remember is we were relaxed, fun and enjoying life. It seemed that we spent a lot of time playing and enjoying each other. I picture the house and don't remember there being toys, clothes and other stuff just all lying around the house. I don't remember it looking dirty and seeing spider webs everywhere I look. I do have to say I remember the dust, but that didn't matter if I had just dusted 15 minutes earlier!
Here I sit trying to write out a devotion on failure and the biggest failure I have felt and continue to feel is that I have failed at being a good wife, mom and homemaker. Now I know most of you will say “You are a good wife and mom and you do good taking care of your home....remember you do have 4 little ones all 6 years and under”. And while I thank you for cutting me some slack, it doesn't change the fact that I feel like a failure in this area. I have never been one to like to clean, but it doesn't mean I can't do it or that I don't like a clean house. Every time I walk into the kitchen barefooted I get so frustrated. The floor is always dirty and it seems I don't have time to clean it properly.
How is it that just adding a couple more kids has made me feel like such a failure? Well, to be honest, we didn't just add a couple more kids. With more kids come more toys and clothes and more messes. It means more people wanting to sit on my lap and read books, but my lap hasn't gotten any bigger....well, maybe the backside. It means more people wanting one on one attention and my time, but there have been no more hours added into a day. Also, we have always been involved in the church we were in. We have always gone to every service (unless sickness is upon us), we have always been involved in music and helping in kids programs, the nursery and in our Sunday school class and other areas. This has not all changed, but in being the Pastor and pastor's wife does bring on a lot more responsibilities (whether from our own expectations or others). It does bring on more concerns. Now don't get me wrong.....I LOVE BEING A PASTOR'S WIFE! But, being a pastor's wife and a mom of 4 little ones and just a wife in general, does get a little overwhelming sometimes. And I guess to be fair...it is our first church so we are still learning. Maybe one day I will learn to let others do things or figure out how to get others to do things that they don't think they can.
People tell me I'm doing too much. We know we are sometimes doing too much. But, it is hard trying to decide what things we don't do because it is too much for us or that someone else can do. We sometimes feel that if we keep doing it then no one else will because it's already being taken care of, but I guess sometimes I am too afraid to not do something because it may not get done and then someone may miss it, but not be able to do it themselves.
So, back to the wife, mom, homemaker stuff.....I guess what I'm trying to say is this is where I feel I continue to fail. I know my kids, like all other kids, have their moments and act out, but for the most part I think they are pretty good kids. I know one day they will all be grown and my house will be quiet and I will miss the noise. I know that I will one day look back and wonder where all the time has gone. I know one day I will have a clean house with no toys lying around. I know that one day my laundry will all be washed, folded and put away in a timely manner. I know that one day my meals will be just for 2 again. But, until that day I am going to remember that even during this time I can take pleasure in the challenges that I encounter each day. I have HOPE in MY Lord. I may be weak, but HE is my strength! He will lift me up and help me through these times. He will give me the strength to clean up another glass of spilled milk, wipe another snotty nose, pick up the clothes & toys that are not mine and He will give me the strength to do it with a smile on my face and with His joy in my heart. He will also help me remember that just because the kids have smiles in the pictures and the house may look clean at the time.....doesn't mean it was always that way!
.....Just an added note....I was looking at a friend's pictures today on Facebook of her kids and husband. They were trying to get a picture on Father's Day of the dad and 6 kids. There were 5 pictures posted and there was not 1 picture of them all with smiles or all looking at the camera! I laughed and thought "I'm sure that's their life on a daily basis". Then I stopped and realized just a couple weeks ago I was frustrated (and feeling like a failure) that my sister took 300 pictures and we couldn't get a good one of the kids with my grandma or a really good family picture!! I realized though that I will look at these pictures and be able to remember that "that was life". :-)
So, yes, I feel like a failure sometimes and yes, I do fail at things sometimes. But, I have to remember that I am weak so that God's strength can be seen. It's only by His strength that I can make it through ANY day! I can choose to learn a lesson from my failures.