This post originally appeared on Not Quite Qualified on March 9, 2014. Like so much... much is the same and much is different.
I hear those words on a daily basis. It's usually followed by "I don't know how you do it."
And I sometimes nod. Other times I want to cry and curl up in a ball
and just hide under the covers to watch endless episodes of Parenthood
for days on end. Somedays, I feel like I must be doing something right -
that the fact that I can juggle so much is a testament to my
We went to church today, and I was able to meet one of my sweet friend's
mom's after the service. We talked about our littles and some of the
day-to-day struggles, and after I delved a bit into my life, my friend's
mom turned to my husband and asked him if he was the Stay-at-Home Dad.
It was a sweet question and completely warranted. It's one we've
wondered about endlessly, and we've decided for now that attending
daycare (and therefore both working full-time) is the absolute best
thing for our three littles.
It's not to say that we don't share the responsibilities. Because we do.
And it's not to say that he doesn't also get time to himself. Because
he does. But still, at the end of the day, Justin takes much onto
himself and becomes second so that I can pursue social work and my
master's degree in social work.
I wouldn't be able to do any of this without him. Not the piles of
laundry. Not the endless dishes. Not the toddler themed dinners. Not the
nighttime routines (which he did by himself last night so I could
study). Not the sick days. Not the doctor's appointments. Not the court
Often I think about giving it all up. About forgetting grad school
specifically. And I wonder about the career path I've chosen. There are
times I'm sure Justin wishes I would give it all up. But he would never
ask me to or demand that I do. Because, somehow and some way, it works.
this crazy, hectic, always going life, works.
We do get tired though. There are nights when we can barely crawl into
bed. There are mornings when it hurts to wake up and times when we both
feel sick from pure exhaustion. And we ask and wonder (sometimes out
loud and sometimes silently) if we can truly do this for the rest of our
Usually, when we get to the ends of our ropes, God does something to
show us that He's still there. And then He lengthens our ropes -
sometimes a lot and sometimes just a little. But always the rope is
How thankful am I for that. How grateful am I that in those many, many
moments of weakness and guilt and questioning Jesus is there to tap me
on the shoulder and whisper (and sometimes yell) in my ear that He's
bigger than all of it and that if I would just let go and focus on
I spend most days feeling guilty. I feel like I am constantly taking
time away from some aspect of my life. If I work too much, I lose out on
time with the littles and my husband. If I hit my snooze button for an
hour (or longer), I miss out on time with Jesus. If I eat dinner with my
family, I might not answer a call for work. If I go to bed early, I
likely will not finish all of the reading I have for grad school. It's a
continuous cycle, and I feel lost inside of it - much like socks go
missing each time a load of laundry is started. And yet, somehow, it's
all alright. Just like it's okay for socks to somewhat mismatch, it's
okay for me to go to work with no make-up and to miss picking up the
littles from daycare. It's okay because I'm still here - doing the best
that I can, just as every other mother and father does.
Jesus has been reminding me that guilt does not come from Him. He's also
repeatedly showing me that He has brought me to where I am that and
that He placed Justin in my life so that we could walk through this
season (and many others) together. Jesus has also been reminding me that
I do so much more than I think I do and that I do it for the benefit of
I love my husband. I love our littles. I love my clients. I love those I
work with. I love my friends and my family. I even love the people that
often seem and feel unlovable (though I have to constantly go to Jesus
for that one). I do a lot. I am busy. But we all are. And Jesus works in
us and teaches us through it all.
There's no life that is inherently harder than someone else's or busier
than someone else's. At least, that's how I believe. Yes, some schedules
require a bit more maneuvering and creativity. Yes, some people fall on
harder times while others seem to sail through life. Yes, some people
get sick with cancer and those don't. But we are all given the lives we
are for a reason. I would struggle to walk in the shoes of a
stay-at-home mother of one, and she might stumble in my shoes. And
that's a beautiful thing. It's a reminder of who Jesus is that we are
not all called to live out lives that directly resemble one another.
The other thing that Jesus has been reminding me of? How beautiful it is
to remain silent. How wonderous it is to listen. I'm still working on
this one as I have a tendency to talk, talk, talk, but He's showing me
that it's good not to respond and that it's okay to simply emphasize.
And to remind myself, and anyone who might listen, that Jesus is over it
all and that He sees our lives - how different and how similar they are
- and knows what each of our specific needs are.
So, yes. I am busy. But so are you. And Jesus? He's the busiest of them all.