I can say with certainty that where ever you are right now and with whatever is going on in your life, it will change! It won't always be like this. Try to see the bigger picture of your days and know that it all passes, usually too quickly!
Count them folks, that is 8 kids ages 2 to 7, 3 of them 2 yr olds and still in diapers. That's a lot of little kids for a grandmother to wrangle on her own all day! Our bodies are not up to it most times or our nerves. And I don't know about your kids, but these kids are uber full of energy and noise and arguments and crazy wonderful imaginations! And oh the messes they can make. I don't have this many kids all the time, only on occasion. On days I do though, it kinda turns into a wild kind of craziness that can put me over the edge (literally!) or fill me with joy. How do I know which kind of day it will be? By the choices I make.
If I am not careful, my days caring for my grandchildren will find me acting like a Martha and not a Mary. As I write this, they are running all over the house and I am trying to quickly write this down while it is on my mind. It would be easy to turn on the TV and command them to sit there for a bit while I do my thing. That's what me as Martha would do. Mary would patiently be interrupted over and over and deal with what ever situation arose with kindness and love.
If I am not careful, the Martha in me would be annoyed, and perhaps also vocal about it, - when I finally get the chance to actually sit down with some needed food, then immediately hear a call from the bathroom for help before I take my first bite. My Martha tendencies would complain about never getting a chance to eat in peace at all. Mary would put her meal aside and answer the call peacefully and swiftly.
If I am not careful, messes would make the Martha in me complain about having to pick up AGAIN with my back aching to the point of feeling like there is a fire burning there, all the while - berating the kids for making the mess in the first place. The Mary in me would calmly see the mess as a thing of beauty where happy children played and then employ them to help clean up with joyfulness while counting her many blessings.
Yes I am a Martha who longs to live as a Mary. My 'to do list', my need to have things ascetically pleasing, my desire to organize and control and do things in a certain order.....need to daily be crucified. Hourly - to be crucified, so that I may live like a Mary inside my Martha skin; blessing these precious children with grace and mercy. Setting an example that I hope is followed, like muscle memory, into their everyday lives with all those they associate with....from now on!
I choose how I will be, who I will be like in every situation that comes, moment by moment. Setting an example is hard, make no mistake about that! When I say crucify... that invokes the thoughts of a gruesome sight doesn't it? That's right, setting examples is one. rough. job! But these are little people we are growing into adults! Adults who will one day be in charge of our world. We MUST do it right!
And don't misunderstand. I am not attempting to allow the kids to do what they want and run around trashing my house! That would not be at all what I am trying to accomplish. I want them to grow into responsible adults who value people and care how they treat them and how they allow others to treat them back. I have high expectations of their behavior and attitudes. Higher at times, than their own parents do.
Think of yourself as the stone that is thrown into a peaceful pond. What kind of splash do you make in their lives? Big or little? What is the ripple effect are YOU creating? Because once thrown, that stone will enter the surface of their hearts and minds with a splash, big or little. And it will create ripples that will go on, perhaps for a long time, maybe forever!
So when I took this picture of this happy little guy who had just finished eating a cupcake covered in chocolate frosting, I can be Mary, cropping out the mess and see only that smiling happy face. Martha doesn't see the smile, she sees the mess on his face, on his hands, on the table and floor and wonders why she let him eat that cupcake in the first place. How will she ever get him cleaned up! Martha wants to show you the picture of the table and floor and his hands along with that cute face so you can feel bad for her having to clean it all up. But I am not going to let her show you that pic, nope.....because I am choosing to act like Mary, I just crucified Martha - again ;)
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