I don't even know how to begin this post. I just want to share what God's been teaching me lately & I'm having troubles beginning, but I'll start at the start & see where we get to....
|These pictures were taken on my birthday ~ usually the only time I get in front of the camera :)|
In July we came down with the flu ~ the whole family except Dave. The thing is Ellie & I came down really, really badly. I'm never sick ~ I was just saying a couple of months before that that we hadn't even visited the Dr for 2 years (sigh ~ never, ever make those times of comments). Well this flu kept me flat on my back for a few days & I was so glad we were up in Queensland on holidays because my parents were there the whole time looking after us & let's face it, there's no better place to be when you're sick than with your Mum! After our hurried, disastrous holiday we arrived home, but Ellie wasn't getting any better & she was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia. She was a very, very sick girl there for a while & let me tell you I am so glad we live in this country & have access to a wonderful health system. Praise God that with a double dose of antibiotics & with lots of care she recovered. What I didn't tell anyone was that since that flu I've been having troubles with my diet. I've found some things that I eat send my stomach into painful spasms & I end up really unwell. I was able to put it down to some type of bread products & since I didn't have time to work out what it was exactly, I have just stayed away from bread. The good side of all that is that I've lost some weight (smile). The bad side is that I'm still trying to work out what I can & can't eat. (No, it's not gluten as I can eat home baked goods).
The sicknesses continued with someone getting a ruptured eardrum, another a major UTI, general colds & flus ~ it was constant. What a winter it was.
|Zai made and decorated this cake all by himself!!!!|
If you remember in July we also began lambing. I love lambing & it is just so fun to look after poddy lambs (well except when you loose them). I loved also taking on a more active role this year with checking the sheep each day and pulling those lambs in trouble. It was a great experience & I loved being able to help my husband out in this way. (OK the daily motorbike rides were a bonus too...)
You also know that we homeschool. We love homeschooling & we use a wonderful program, but this past term it has been very, very difficult to keep up with. The quantity of work has been excessive & I've been lamenting to a fellow mother that our children do more work than any other in Australia.
Add the normal running of the household, the pressure to get the farm books completed & the farmyard to maintain & I was running each & every day. From the time I woke I would be busy & if you're wondering why my blog has been rather neglected ~ well I just haven't had time.
|My cake ~ baby chicks in a field of flowers having a campfire ~ do you think my son knows me well ???|
So why would I title this post as I did? The truth is I believed I could do it all & more. I actually believed I could keep up that pace & keep a sweet disposition , be a joyful mother, a contented wife & a good friend.
I felt more & more pressure & I know that the majority I put on myself. I am the type of person who by very nature doesn't like to give up or give in (I think bull-headed may be inserted here). So I persisted without changing things & even though I was getting more & more tired I just kept on going.
Well that is until God put a stop to it all. I got a gastro bug unlike any I've ever had before. It was the last week of term & there were projects galore to get done, but I was flat on my back (remember I never get sick -ha). And all I could do was lie there & think & reassess (well & vomit, but you didn't want to know that).
As I lay there I realised that my expectations on myself were too high. That my priorities were skewed & that I really, really needed to start thinking about ways I could streamline my life.
It took a week & a half to get over the bug & that's a whole lot of time to realise that your body just won't keep going if you don't let it rest. So last week I sat down & watched a movie with my children ( I never like to sit still, but I made myself). They were shocked that I would sit down with them & watch a movie. It made me sad to see their excitement at such a little thing that I've been neglecting for so very long.
|Not sure what I'm doing here???|
It isn't easy for someone like me to change things. It isn't easy for me to admit I'm not perfect . It isn't even easy for me to say 'no' to things. But this year I've had to. God has shown me that His will is better than mine ~ even when it really, really hurts; that sometimes you have to stop a ministry if it isn't the right timing for yourself or your family; that you cannot expect to be the perfect housekeeper, homesteader, farmwife, gardener, wife & mother (good maybe, but not perfect). That sometimes when you balance all the balls something is bound to slip & usually it's the important ones that you drop first (like spending time with your children).
Let me encourage you if you feel you can't do everything ~ well you can't. God will always enables us to do everything He wants us to do, but He doesn't place expectations on us that will wear us down (we put those on ourselves). God has given us this one life & He wants us to use it for Him. He doesn't expect us to be perfect, He doesn't expect us to have it all together, He just wants us to come to him with our lives & give it all to Him.
So where to from here.... well these holidays I've been working on ways to streamline my jobs ( which I can't change (well except the poddy lambs that have been weaned ~yay!!), so I need to be smarter about how I do them), I've been taking time each day to spend with my children & I've been making sure my priorities are in order.
I've also been resting (my body makes me as I recover) & thinking. I'm not supermum ~ I never was & I know that I'm not going to ever be. My life here on earth will never be perfect & I am not perfect so to expect that is ridiculous (yes, I wrote that sentence just for me). I need to work on not spending all my time working & start prioritising time with my family, training my children & being a happy helpmeet to my wonderful husband. I know that part of that is making sure I take good care of this body that I've been blessed with.
Heavy lessons for me this year.... but good ones I don't want to forget either.
Now I'm going to go & make some chocolate milkshakes for my wonderful family & then enjoy spending some time together ( laying flooring, but that's alright :)