One of the biggest struggles in my life is dealing with constant interruptions. Surprisingly, this is a relatively new phenomenon for me. When my friends and I would get together with kids and visit five to ten years ago, we had the same interruptions, but I was able to keep my train of thought and come back to the conversation with relative ease. I could work, watch kids, oversee school work and talk on the phone with no problems. Multi-tasking was a natural ability and I could hardly comprehend any human not having the same set of skills to keep the proverbial plates spinning. The last two years have taught me many things about myself, not the least of which is that I can no longer multi task. Apparently the adrenal glands that regulate stress in a normal person have become severely fatigued in me. As a result I can literally only handle one thing at a time. I think God may be trying to teach me something here. Homeschooling and raising seven children in one household rarely offers one task at a time. Heck a mom with one kid at home rarely deals with one thing at a time! So, here is the evolution of me over the last three years:
Kids dressed in clean clothes, bathed several times per week, house clean and all toys and items in their proper place.
Kids dressed in relatively clean clothes. Kids get baths under the following circumstances: we have Church the next day or they played in the sandbox and didn’t go swimming afterwards. The house is clean if you can walk through the kitchen and your feet don’t stick to the floor and the toys are put into the closest cabinets or bins just to get them off of the floor.
Have a conversation with any adult, get interrupted, reply lovingly and continue the conversation with said adult. Repeat 100 times during the course of the visit–or phone call.
Have a conversation with any adult, get interrupted, snap at the poor child who dared to enter the room, completely forget what I was talking about, get frustrated with myself for not remembering, stress builds, give up on conversation and exclaim to the household that I can never finish a single sentence or project without interruption. Make a note to go out on a date so that I can actually have a complete thought with my spouse, only to forget all the important things we needed to discuss when we are out on said date.
So, what do you think God is trying to teach me? I think it is a lesson in patience. Patience with my kids, yes, but also patience with myself. I am having to learn to accept my limitations. Because conversations are so rare, I am learning to enjoy them more when I am able to have them without interruptions. I am learning that when I speak, it needs to be important and not just me talking because, well, I like to talk. The whole experience has brought me closer to God because I can talk to him anytime about anything. And it is teaching me that I need to work on discovering what it is that God wants me to do and just do that. If I am doing His will, then it seems like everything falls into place without interruption or too much struggle, not that it is always easy; but, somehow it just works out. Can you believe I only had one interruption while typing out this blog post? That is a miracle in itself, or at the very least a grace from God.