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Sometimes daily life has such a beautiful steady rhythm to it.

 

 

Getting up early is [almost] easy. There is time to read the Bible, exercise, and get dressed before the kids wake up.

 

 

There is energy to cover the basics of child-training and homeschooling and then explore the world together. After all the normal housework is done, there is time to pursue goals and cross things of the to-do list.

 

 

It’s a season of bounty and blessing.

 

 

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Then something happens.

 

 

Maybe it’s a protracted sickness, or job loss, or tragedy, or maybe even the blessing of welcoming a new child into your home.

 

 

Suddenly, you enter a season of survival. Just getting the basics done becomes a struggle and the to-do list sits untouched for weeks.

 

 

The past few weeks I have been in survival mode.

 

 

On top of morning sickness, we were hit with back-to-back stomach bugs that wiped us out for over three weeks, then severe insomnia and a sudden onset of intense shoulder and neck pain. Add in a generous sprinkling of pregnancy hormones, and survival was the name of the game.

 

 

Maybe you’re in a season of survival too. Here are a few things that encouraged me these past weeks.

Give yourself grace

 

 

God gives me grace. My husband gives me grace. I don’t like giving myself grace. I don’t like letting housework slide while I rest, even when I know that’s what my body needs.

 

 

I’d venture a guess that most homemakers feel the same way. We must learn to accept the grace given to us. As my sis-in-law reminded me, “When we get to the end of our lives, God isn’t going to ask how clean our house was.”

 

 

Prioritize the essentials

 

 

Hand-in-hand with accepting grace, is learning to prioritize. There are some things that simply must get done. When your household has the stomach flu, keeping everyone hydrated and washing laundry make the list.

 

 

Vacuuming the floor and folding laundry don’t. Much as it grates against my nerves, having laundry skip the dresser and go straight from the dryer, to a pile on the couch, and onto my child is not a moral wrong.

 

 

 

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Choose gratitude

 

 

I wish I could say that I haven’t complained at all the last few weeks. I have. I shouldn’t have.

 

 

“In everything give thanks,” God commanded. It’s amazing how much there is to be thankful for when you stop whining and start looking: a wonderful husband, modern conveniences, a sunny day, caring family, and a God who sustains.

 

 

See the funny

 

 

My natural tendency is to take life pretty seriously. That can be a bad thing.

 

 

Learning to see the humor in an icky situation makes it much easier. There have been lots of moments that I’ve had to choose to see the funny. Like the time when I thought we were all better so made a much-needed Aldi run. Halfway through, I started feeling terribly nauseous. Throwing up in a public bathroom has little appeal to me, so I hurried and finished our shopping and bought a paper bag.

 

 

We got the groceries out to the car, loaded up and I felt slightly better. I put the paper bag on the passenger seat. I can always just pull over, I thought, besides, we have to get home! Guess who pulled right behind me? A highway patrol man. Throwing up on the side of a busy street no longer seemed like a great idea. We (barely) made it home.

 

 

My sisters showed up just then to help out. After a race to the bathroom, I laid on the couch and laughed.

 

 

Life is funny. (Sisters are awesome!)

 

 

Put your expectations in Jesus

 

 

When the stomach bug first hit our house, I woke up each morning expecting surely today we’ll be better! Each morning I was wrong. As my hopes were dashed day after day, I realized that I was putting my hope in the wrong place. I was expecting health and happiness, instead of expecting that God’s strength would be sufficient for the day, whatever it held.

 

 

I’ve still shed plenty of tears, but whenever my expectations are in Christ and His strength, He always give grace to sustain me through the moment.

 

 

How has Christ sustained you through seasons of survival? 

 

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rxn_Uw88Yoc/TzA-vqzLvhI/AAAAAAAABD4/cu_H0NjvdyE/s200/Anna+Christensen.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Anna is redeemed through grace so boundless she can’t begin to comprehend it…but stands in awe of God’s mercy to her! She is a blessed wife and mother of three precious children. She is a full-time homemaker and believe building a home for God’s glory is a high and noble calling. She seeks to capture the daily adventure of this calling on her blog, Feminine Adventures. There she writes about her passions: Christian womanhood, mothering the little years, homemaking, frugality and natural living. You can also join her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.[/author_info] [/author]

 

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6 thoughts on “Seasons of Survival

  1. Great post, Anna! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Posted on April 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm
  2. Very well put and very encouraging! Thank you! I am personally in a season of survival mode, dog-paddling to keep my head above water. In the middle of a raging river. And I need to go UP stream. Knowing that Jesus is with me and He totally has this deal is the only thing I cling to. So thankful He says He will never leave us or forsake us. =)

    Posted on April 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm
    1. Praying for you, my friend!

      Posted on April 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm
  3. I feel like I’ve been in a season of survival for…oh…years! About six years ago my husband started enduring harsh persecution at work, to the point of, after two years, losing his position because of slander and defamation. God provided a new job, on the other end of the country, so we said goodbye to all we had known for 10 years, packed up our four kids, and moved. Four months after arriving in a new province we had never even seen before, we had a miscarriage; three months later our basement flooded and we were launched into an unplanned renovation that insurance didn’t fully cover; six weeks later we discovered we were pregnant again. Pregnancy for me is incredibly difficult, and involves much bed rest. Six months after giving birth, a pipe broke in our bathroom, resulting in yet another unplanned renovation. And now I’m pregnant with baby #6…and still trying to homeschool the three who are school aged. I’m still laughing (otherwise I’d probably cry), but six years of “survival” sure takes its toll! We live far away from family, and occasionally a woman from church will come by and help out for a morning, but other than that, we are on our own. BUT GOD! He is my strength. Without his grace I would be a pile of hormonal tears. Some days I still get totally overwhelmed by everything that is undone and that I can’t imagine getting done any time soon. But other days are good and I can catch up a little. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Posted on April 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm
    1. Bless your heart, Melissa… I can’t even imagine going through all that! Praying for grace and strength for you, dear mama.

      Posted on April 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm
  4. When my child was growing up I had to learn to prioritize because of my constant illnesses and limitations. I prayed a lot throughout my life. He has never failed to show me, in his own time. He has touched me with his spirit at times when I thought I could not go on. I was at the brink of attempting to go meet God at one time, before he wanted but he always came through by showing me another path.

    I do have a brief period of lapse of Faith on occasion. I get myself out of it by remembering the times he has been there for me. He is always there., U questioned how some don’t have the faith. They don’t have God at all in their life. How do they go on when they need something to hold on to?

    I hope your family is better by now and you have a great pregnancy. Congratulations!

    Posted on April 12, 2013 at 8:16 am