Our sweet little Benson turned 6 weeks old yesterday.
And what a mixture of emotions I've cycled through as I've sought to use my time with these little ones the way Heavenly Father would have me do. I feel immense joy and Heaven seems so close when I hold this precious child in my arms and breathe in his new baby scent, rubbing my face against his silky-soft skin. And yet at the same time I feel so totally overwhelmed with the demands of 5 little people who all need me.
I feel gratitude and satisfaction as I am able to devote my time to serving my family, but at the same time I feel impatience at spilled milk, curtain rods pulled out of the wall, and muddy footprints on the new rug because life is so hectic right now that even those 10-minute setbacks seem like more than I can handle.
I feel close to my Heavenly Father because of my dependence on Him to make it through each day, and I simultaneously feel detached from any feeling at all because of sheer exhaustion.
I remember my mom watching a collection of family videos from the time in her life when she too had 5 small children, and I remember her commenting that at that point she was in a constant frenzy as she tried to do everything she needed to.
The remarkable thing, though, is that the frenzy was lost on me as a child.
I took it for granted that there would be clean clothing in my dresser drawers, my meals would be provided for me, and my school papers would be signed.
I can only hope the frenzy is lost on my children as well as I struggle to keep my head above water.
Tears sting my eyes pretty readily during these tender days...
sometimes tears of regret, but often tears of hope.
Like when I hear Lincoln say in his prayers, his little head buried in my lap, "thank Thee that I almost always get to cuddle Mommy during my prayers and that I love her so much."
Or when my kids are painting with watercolors and I discover that among the pictures set out to dry there is a picture of me holding a little boy's hand, big smiles on both our faces,
Or when I feel frustration because almost without fail when I kneel down to pray each morning I am interrupted with a thousand requests and I get the quiet reminder that these children are learning the value of prayer as they regularly walk into a room and find me on my knees.
How grateful I am for the assurance I have that God will take my feeble efforts as a mother and turn them into so much more.
(Pictures from about 2-3 weeks old)