There are many stages in life when we feel pulled in too many directions. Maybe you have a demanding job, a sick family member, or a special needs child. As a mom, and especially as a homeschooling mom or one with younger children not in school yet, it seems that our people need something from us every minute of the day. As much as we love them, this is harder on some days than others. (Actually, when I’m consistent in taking my cod liver oil, I have a lot more patience – you may want to read what I wrote about it being my All Natural Chill Pill.) From now on, however, when I’m feeling overwhelmed with the demands and general craziness all around, I’m going to re-read the following, which helps me gain perspective.
These insights came from a commenter, Bender, at Jen’s post on What Makes a Good Life, which she wrote about the contrast of her current life (with almost 6 kids) to what she calls her past ‘museum life’…
Life is hard when all of your time is filled with doing things for and with other people.
Life is harder still when all of your time is empty and alone, and you struggle to find something to do to fill that abyss in your life. To have what some might think is the ultimate freedom, the radical autonomy to be without any duty or obligation to others, is actually a taste of Hell.
To be with others who have need of you, need of your love, need of your self-giving, is the more authentic freedom, paradoxical as it may seem, because it is more true to our nature as human persons — we are made to love and be loved in truth, and it is in such truth that we are set free. We are free to be who we are made to be, social creatures made for fruitful loving communion with others in one being.
The further paradox, though, is that to fully love the other, to better love our spouse or our children, we must in a sense, put them second, not first. That is, we must love God first, before we love them. But in so doing, we do not love our family members less, but more. In loving God before we love them, God takes our love, multiplies it by His own, and gives it to the other in an even greater and fuller measure than we could on our own. In love, God is not a competitor, He is a multiplier.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on that in the comments!
As a side note, you can also read more here about how God can be a multiplier when it comes to your finances, too. And many times I’ve seen him do the same thing with my time. When I give him the first part of my day (reading my bible or devotionals, praying, etc.), that precious time before the kids are up when I could be getting so much done, then the rest of my day often goes really well. 🙂