Have you ever thought you were just living in survival mode? I often think I stay there. But, I believe I may finally have it figured out….we all STAY in survival mode! Just about the time we learn to work with what we have, life changes or throws us a curve and we have to learn to survive again.
Let me back up, I am a wife and mom of four children, ages seven, five, two and a half, and four months. I have been married for nine years. My husband and I were married in June 2003, he finished college that December and I finished the following May. We both started new jobs, then in August 2004, a little over a year after we were married, we found out we were pregnant with our first child. We had barely adjusted to married life and having real jobs, and suddenly we were going to add a third member to our family. Talk about survival! I think I walked around in a daze, when I could get up and walk around without morning sickness, for the first trimester. I really had no clue what I was doing, but God knew. He had a plan. I’m not really sure at that point I was ready to follow it. I wish I could say I was….
Isn’t it funny how our plans are not exactly His plans? Well, we bought our first house that year. Since then, we have had three other children, bought another house, experienced a few job changes, and each finished Graduate Degrees. Needless to say, we have learned A LOT about functioning with a family of six! Nine years and four children later, I often find myself still living in survival mode. My house doesn’t get cleaned very often, I step on toys almost every day, and I yell at my kids when I shouldn’t. My husband and I sometimes have trouble finding the time to sit and have a conversation without multiple interruptions, or one of us falling asleep. We spend as much time as we possibly can together as a family, and I am blessed to have a husband who is home by [4:30], with most of the summer off work. Its crazy and chaotic as we juggle school, karate lessons, church, swim lessons, and all the other activities of our lives. We enjoy frequent visitors, as there seems to always be an extra person at our house, whether its my parents, our friends or our children’s friends. Funny how it seems like our family of six becomes more than that at times!
So, as I depend on God’s word and His guidance, here are a few of the lessons I have learned in the midst of the survival mode:
1. Philippians 4: 19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” I have had the opportunity to be home with my children for two years. It doesn’t really make sense on paper, but God has always provided everything we need, including the friends to walk along life with.
2. God has a plan for me and my family, even though it isn’t always the same as my plan! Jeremiah 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I only have to be willing to follow Him.
3. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” Phillipians 4: 13. Amazingly, I can do a lot when I rely fully on Him. I can live on little sleep, buy groceries on a small budget, and persevere through those long and hard days with my children.
4. My privilege and responsibility as a mom to my four children is to train them in the Lord. This means teaching them scripture through everything we do and helping them understand what it means. It is my job to teach them who Jesus is and to model what it is like to walk with Him. The bible says I will be held accountable for what they are taught. Proverbs 22: 6 says “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” We have a bible verse box in our kitchen and every verse we learn at home, at church, or anywhere else, we put in there to read, talk about, and try to memorize. We try to sit as a family and read the bible every day.
5. Romans 12: 2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test & approve what Gods will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” This is our family verse. We are teaching this to our children and explaining to them that in a crazy, busy world, we are not called to keep up with everyone else. We would rather have less so I can be at home, and so we can spend more time as a family teaching and training in what matters most. This can be a hard decision when we look at others who may have or do a lot more than we do.
My family and I are definitely not perfect, we have good days and we have bad days. A blog I read recently said that we are sinners, covered by grace, raising little sinners. The biggest thing I can do is pray and seek Him to help me be the best wife and mom I can be. I also pray for my children, their salvation and spiritual walk, their friends they grow up with, and their future friends, spouses, and families. Prayer and God’s word are the only ways we could possibly live a life that is more than survival.
#repost from My Journey of Faith Magazine