All the time I get asked this question, "HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?"
Of course I love this question because it makes me feel appreciated or admired, but today I have a real answer. I HAVE A LOT OF HELP!
I usually answered with, "God gives me lots of grace." This is true. I also say, "I have no idea." Then there is, "My kids are really good. That helps a lot." That is also true, but from now on the answer will be, "I have a lot of help."
Let me say that I probably have more help from people then huge amounts of people put together. Be prepared to be blown away.
Our church is amazing! About a year and a half ago one of the Elders of our church asked me what she could do to help us out since we were adjusting to all the medical problems with Miles. She knew that he had lots of appointments with doctors and physical therapist and that many appointments were in our home. I told her that it would be so helpful to have someone help clean my floors and baseboards. I didn't have a problem keeping the house straight but all the floors were a big deal to me. Plus at the time our vacuum had broken so that was another problem. We only had 2 rooms with carpet, but still I couldn't vacuum in there. Well, she started coming over to our house personally and cleaning our floors. She also was the youth leader at the time so she took up an offering one night to buy us a vacuum! AWESOME!
Well, after awhile of that the church started paying someone to clean my house twice a week for us! TWICE A WEEK! There are seven people living in this house, five of which do not clean up after themselves and my house is usually always clean. People could stop by almost anytime to a nice clean home. That means more to me than I can explain. Of course I still straighten up the house a million times a day(or delegate it done), but everything looks clean. That is an amazing thing for such a large family!
So, we have that major thing! The next major thing is that a woman from our church, I would kiss her on the mouth if she was here right now...she does all our laundry! ALL OUR LAUNDRY! Her and her husband are amazing servants! They are behind the scene servants! On Friday I separate all of our clothes into baskets and gather hangers. Before bed I put them in our entry way and on Saturday morning her husband comes to pick them up. He has a key to our home so he just unlocks the door, puts all the baskets in his truck, and takes them home without saying a word to us. Most of the time we never see him come or go. We'll just notice the clothes are gone. Sunday evening the clothes are returned to me washed, dried, folded, hung and smelling wonderful. It's one of the most fuzzy feelings I get when I see all our laundry for the week folded in such a way that make my towels look brand new from a store. Clean and folded laundry for seven people is a truly huge task. When I see it all ready to be hung up joy wells up inside of me.
Okay, those are wonderful things. There is no denying that, but let's step away from services and let's talk about our family! We have the best of babysitting of anyone I know. Randy's Mom, Shirley is the schedule Grandma. Her and I work out a schedule and she is faithful to keep the schedule. She makes sure that every week on the same day that I get to go grocery shopping without any children. She picks up the boys from school every day. She keeps the girls and Miles on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings. If we have to go to Ft. Worth for Miles she keeps the girls during the day. She washes our dishes when she's at my home. She's amazing and giving. She serves our family all the time. She considers it her calling right now. By the way, Randy's Mom is 72. She makes 72 looks great! Okay, then we have my Mom, Donna. WOW! This woman can outrun me any day! I don't know how she does everything she does! This is the Grandma (Grammy) that will take ALL the kids over night so Randy and I can have a date. We can call her to watch our kids the evening of and she will drive right over. She is never out of energy. She makes the kids amazing birthday cakes. The only limit to the cakes is my own kids a imagination. One year my sweet Spencer wanted a "Mommy Cake". She made a cake that looked just like me. I was pregnant with Miles at the time so the Mommy Cake had a pregnant belly. She's fun and spur of the moment. She will take those kids places that I don't dare to go. So, we have the Grandma that will work a schedule (very valuable), we have the Grammy that will drop whatever she has going on to watch our kids (very valuable)and we also have my Grandma Jody. This is the kids Great Grandma. She started with Joey and now she's all the way to Melody, but every Thursday she comes to the house, picks up Melody, takes her to the story time at the library, checks out movies, and then goes to McDonald's for lunch. They always have a blast. It's such a treat every Thursday. It's just amazing how wonderfully blessed we are to have family that love us so much, and pour themselves out over and over for our family. Each one of them are so valuable and special. My kids have real relationships with their grandparents. I know my children treasure each one of them. I know Randy and I do as well. They make us better parents because we are able to be refreshed so often with their help.
Okay, here's another thing. Miles has such a wonderful nurse! Her name is Christy. She started working in our home in early September. She has no idea, but she has taken this gigantic load off of my shoulders. She works so hard for our family. She works from 7:45 to 12:45 in the afternoon at our house Monday through Friday. What she has done for me is given me back my Mother role for Miles. I was so busy everyday being Miles' nurse that I had no time to just kiss and hold him. There are so many things that he needs everyday that there wasn't much left of me to be his Mom. I have enjoyed him so much in the last few months because I think of him as my little boy instead of my patient. It's beautiful thing. Chirsty isn't just a nurse. She really does love Miles. (Who couldn't?) She genuinely is concerned for him, and treats him so special. She fits in our family so well. It's like having another me in the house. I'm so thankful. I've heard a lot of home health nurse nightmare stories, but mine is sweet! I trust her with my most valued earthly possession, my child.
So, clean house Check.
Awesome church body, Check.
Clean laundry, Check.
Wonderful family, Check.
Help with Miles, Check.
What else...Oh yes, My incredible husband.
I've heard people say they have the best husband in the world. I believe it's possible that they have the best possible husband for them. I know I have the best possible husband for me! Randy is an amazing man! He's the one that I wonder how he does it all! He runs his own business in such an organized way. He is a man of his word. He loves people even more than I do. He really does want to honor God in the way he lives every day life. He loves his children and does whatever it takes at the house to make things go smoothly. He wrestles with the boys, he loves on the girls, and he takes care of Miles in a way that makes me want to cry. He's so full of love and compassion for people. Most of all he loves me in a way that makes me feel confident and satisfied. I trust him and feel secure that he has my best interest at heart. He loves God and honors Him even when no one is looking! He blesses me every day.
Also, I have great girlfriends and one nice friend that is a boy, but not a boyfriend. In this adventure with Miles my girlfriends been the best friends a girl could have. Just like the Grandparents they all have special and valuable needs that they meet. Some buy me gifts when things are cruddy. Some know when I call that they will hear my cry for about a half an hour. Some pray for me all the time. Some pick up my kids from school when we've been on another Ft. Worth trip with Miles. Some send me sweet notes or email to tell me that they love me. Most of them encourage me often. I can only imagine how lonely I would feel if I didn't have them. The Lord has blessed me indeed with friends.
So, this morning is a great example of all the help I have:
I will highlight a name when someone is helping me.
The Laundry Fairy had to take a week off so that left me to do it. This was a disaster! I got so behind. After she did a weeks worth of laundry and it was delivered clean I still had not folded or put away the previous laundry so I was really behind. The laundry was a mess! Last night I came up with a plan. I asked Randy to take the boys to school, and then drop off our girls at their Grandma Shirley's house so I could get the laundry in order. He did that for me and I began to undertake mega laundry drama that had built up in our house. As I started to do that Christy arrived to start taking care of Miles. About the same time that Christy got here so did our house cleaner. All morning long we passed each other as we worked on things. It took me the same amount of time to put away all the laundry as it did for the house cleaner to do my whole house! I'm talking she cleaned everything, but that shows you how much laundry I had. As we were passing each other I kept thinking about how the Lord was taking care of me. He knows how much help I need. He told Randy and I that we were going to have five children. He knows how much work is involved with raising five children. He has been so faithful to provide me with all the help I need. As I was working in my home a wonderful friend of mine called to arrange a time today to come take our family photos for free.
The Lord is so good and faithful to bless me and take care of me. I'm so thankful to him. He amazes me with his goodness. He gives me a lot of help. That brings me back to the beginning of this whole thing.
How do I do it all? I HAVE A LOT OF HELP! I have a lot of help from Jesus Christ and his beloved people!