“I Get To” Changes Everything
I get asked all the time about how I do it. It’s pretty simple. I get up every day and I just keep moving forward. My days are VERY busy. Unbelievably busy. Things don’t get done around the house sometimes. My house will never be in perfect order. I wish, but it isn’t going to happen. This is hard for me to admit because I like organized and having everything in its place. But we also have a Lainey whose favorite activity is to throw anything she finds on the floor and I do mean everything. She likes to grab cups and run through the house spilling everything every where. We have 8 littles between 5 and 8 who like to leave things around and since we home school there are lots of hours of the day to move things to and fro.
I have done a lot in the past year to simplify. I have removed so much stuff in our house. I have gotten rid of almost all my knickknacks. I don’t have time to dust. I don’t want to worry about who is going to break what next. What have I learned from this simplification? We have too much stuff. Way too much stuff! I have removed bags and bags and bags from this house and there is still more to take out.
It makes me sad to think of the money I have spent on things that just don’t matter. We don’t bring toys into the house unless it’s someone’s birthday. We regularly go through items to see what they are and aren’t playing with. If it’s not being worn it’s gone. We still have way too much stuff. It’s hard not to when you have this many people in the house but we are working harder at only bringing things into the house that will make our lives better.
There are things that are non-negotiable during my days. Morning hugs and kisses. Codey and Lainey’s feedings. We have five kiddos that are in diapers and four will be for life. Catherizations. Medications are a must and are given twice a day to 11 of the 13 kids that are at home. Meals and prayers around the table. Quiet time with Dan. More hugs and kisses before bed.
House cleaning, school work, and appointments make up the rest of my day. Every day looks a little different. Kids who come from trauma have days where they need you to drop everything and we do that. This past year has been extremely difficult for Jasmine. It would be hard to put into words how hard it is when someone is on meltdown mode all day. It’s emotionally draining for everyone in the family and you have to take the time to repair the damage that is done.
When I say I am going to bed, this is what needs to be done before placing my head on my pillow. Take the littles downstairs to get ready for bed (Grace often helps with this.), change Codey, take Jasmine to the bathroom (this takes two people) and put her to bed, feed Lainey and give her her last meds, cath JJ and give her her meds, story time and give everyone hugs and kisses.
Sometimes it is overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to go to bed without all the other stuff. Sometimes I just want to take care of me and not do everything else. Sometimes I am just plain tired. But when I have those pity-party moments where I start to think “I have to do this, this, and this”, I stop myself and change it to “I get to”. Perspective changes everything.
I GET TO…
…wake up in the morning to the sweetest, sleepy smiles.
…hear mom, mommy, mama hundreds of time throughout the day from little kids who went years without this privilege that we all take for granted.
…get hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs, and more hugs. (The best part of every day.)
…hear “I love you” over and over again.
…help little hearts heal.
…wipe away tears.
…have a ring side seat to God’s big and little miracles.
…sit by hospital bedsides while children heal.
…serve with a willing heart.
…watch little souls blossom before my eyes.
…watch little minds learn and grow.
…hit my knees repeatedly.
…give up control.
…turn it all over to the one who knows best.
…prepare meals that little ones love.
…wash, fold, and put away clean clothes to wear.
…have access to the best medical care around.
I GET to do it all of these things every single day with my very best friend.
I am blessed! Beyond blessed! SERIOUSLY blessed!