Monday, March 23, 2015

We Can Do Hard Things

A couple weeks ago, I started a post to tell you about a fun art project I did with the kids. It was Spring
Break, and we spent a rainy day gathered around the kitchen table painting, and laughing, and creating art for the play room wall.

A few days later, I set the table for dinner, complete with "fancy" glasses and candlesticks. This is something we do a couple times a week, and I had plans to tell you all about it.

Then I started a post entitled, "5 Things that Happened When I Stopped Saying 'Hurry.'" I had big plans for that one.

I had a post about how the chicken coop is coming along. (Most of the chickens and both ducks have "officially" vacated my coffee table and bath tub and are now residing in a semi-completed coop.)

I had plans, folks. Big plans.

But my plans never seem to work out these days.

Mr. J (4mos) is teething (maybe???) and goes on periodic nursing strikes. He's fussy to the max, but refuses to eat or sleep. So that's fun.

Miss PJ (18mos) is going through a "cognitive leap." That's a fancy term the "professionals" use to mean she's going bat-**** crazy. She's transitioning from two naps to one, wanting a later (less peaceful) bedtime, cutting four teeth, working through some food allergies, and trying to talk. (That last one means this: she wants to talk, but can't, gets frustrated by her lack of communication, and flails in the floor while her parents and siblings frantically hold things out to her to see if it's what she wants: "Snack? Water? Doll? Ball? Blanket? Hug? Duck? Prozac?!")

Miss C (8) and Miss M (5) have been ever so patient with the crazy babies while fighting their own double ear infections, sore throats, and fevers. So there's that.

I have never worked so hard in my life for so little results. From the time my feet hit the floor until the last Little is asleep at night, I do not stop. Yet at any given point, my laundry is behind, my dishes are piled up, my floor is unswept, and my hair is unwashed.

In the midst of it all, the PreacherMan and I have started working out again. And here's what I know about the first few weeks back at the gym. My muscles don't work right. Everything feels awkward and silly. I'm sore for days after a workout. And I see zero results. It would be easy to give up.

But here's what else I know: with time and consistency, those muscles start to build. The movements feel less awkward, and even fun. My body is a little less sore and a little more defined. The numbers on the scale and the reflection in the mirror start to change.

So here's what I'm telling myself, and what I'm telling you, in this season of parenting: This is all new. It's hard. It's a stretch. It feels awkward and painful and yields little results.

But we keep going. We push a little harder. We dig a little deeper. We find that survivor - that champion - that's inside each of us, and we push her to her max. Because someday (hopefully soon), it will all become a little less awkward, a little less chaotic, a little less painful, with a few more results. And it won't be because life has become easier, it will be because we have become stronger.

In the meantime, don't worry about what you're not. Ain't nobody got time for that. Think about who you're becoming and what you're accomplishing in these little people. Take a deep breath, a sip of coffee, and a moment to pray. Then jump in and do it. We got this, you and I. We can do hard things.

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