As a teenager, whenever I felt overwhelmed, my dad would say, “How do you eat an elephant?” with the answer being, “One bite at a time.” Being a teen, I’d snark, “Why do I even want to eat an elephant?” That “take it one thing at a time, but just keep at it” attitude serves me well as a mom with a large family. While I promise we’re not dining on actual pachyderms, it does feel these theoretical down months of ordinary time are jammed with more than a few herds of Jumbo and Babar’s relatives.
We’re planning a party for our 25th wedding anniversary. I’m working on a book. Last week we drove the oldest out to Dayton to start graduate school. This week we donated our non-working 12-passenger van. There’s a 90th Anniversary of the kids’ school; I’m part of the planning committee. This summer includes band camp and swimming lessons, dental appointments and physicals, two driver’s tests, filling out the common ap, studying for the ACT’s, visiting colleges, a 5 or 10K for one child, and the summer (ugh) math books. Then there’s the ordinary stuff like laundry, bills, errands, organizing, cleaning and cooking. The kids will still need new shoes and haircuts, clothing and showers, bedtime stories and sojourns out into the world for ice cream and library books.
When I look at the disciplined list (firm restriction to 15 or less per day), it still feels overwhelming. So I’m very grateful to Small Success Thursday for making me stop each week, and for the community of SST, that encourages the stillness of prayer even when it is difficult. I’ve felt the support from your prayers, and I’m returning to the regimen of daily taking time for God (even if I did accidentally leave my Magnificat at the DSW while we were getting sandals).
This week’s small successes included moments like stopping to pray, which led to making it to confession, which in turn helped me hear when my six year old son came to me, dressed for swimming. “I want to go to the pool.” he said. If I’d not paid attention, I’d have missed the miracle of that sentence, expressing a complex thought, a destination, and proof he really wanted it (by getting dressed himself). We went to the pool. An awesome time was had by all. Hoping today, if I hear my children speaking, I won’t harden my head against their wishes because of the looming list.
Have a great week of summer. Back to elephant eating….
Copyright 2015 Sherry Antonetti