Just do the next right thing…that was one of Elizabeth Elliot’s favorite things to say. I just can’t tell you how much that one statement has meant to me. At times I feel incredibly overwhelmed, but when you get right down to it, all you can do is just do the next right thing. That is always so incredibly comforting to me. It is good to re-evaluate how you spend your time. I am constantly having to say “no” to things that I would love to do, and “yes” to the more necessary mundane things in life. Quite honestly, I find that some days doing the mundane gives me a rest from my own mind. Sometimes my mind is so loud!
Often I am asked by new mothers, “How do you do all that you do?”. There is really nothing very special about what I do. I begin the day with prayer and ask God what things are important for me to do today. It is very rare that I do not hear in my Spirit, teach your kids, walk with your kids, talk to your kids, train your little ones, encourage your older ones and of course, to take care of Scott’s needs.
I also tell them that I didn’t have the 7 children all at once. They came one by one and that gave me a chance to get used to caring for more at each time. To tell you the truth, I needed all the time I could get (usually 2 years) to learn because when Scott and I married, I didn’t know anything about kids. As I was faithful in the little things in life; those things no one sees, I began to be able to handle more on my plate. I wish I could say that I was always faithful, but being human, I didn’t reach that goal.
Sometimes going to bed is the next best thing. I rarely, if ever, have taken this advice, but I do believe that it is true. When you can barely lift your head from staying up all night with a sleepless baby or a bigger one that has had nightmares or is sick, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is go to bed and sleep yourself into a happy mood. Staying joyful is the key to living successfully. That is hard to do when you are tired.
As the kids have gotten older, they are able to take a large load off of me in the area of housework, cooking, helping plant the garden, tend to the chickens. All of our sustainable living didn’t happen all at once either. Each year we still continue to add to the information and the sustainable life.. We never stop learning and growing. The great thing about it is that we can do this with our kids. Once they know all everything we know, wow, we can handle a lot!
Living life together, learning together, and exploring together gives me the opportunity to live out my priorities while I am continuing to grow and learn. I think that this is what makes my life work. I look forward to what lies ahead. I know that it won’t be easy, but I am excited about the future. When I feel I am losing my way, I will do the next right thing!