The Inner Struggle


January has been hard for me.  We have our Christmas decorations down, but still not put away.   There is a underlying sense of clutter and chaos lurking around the circus, rather than the clean slate, fresh start of a new year.    I long for a good, deep clean to get things in order, top to bottom and help me to feel on top of things once again.   But, it seems each day I am pulled by the more immediate needs of the day… sick kids… volunteering at school, entertaining guests, New Years cards (never got to the Christmas cards, did print New Years cards and really wanted them mailed before Feb), and school work.  At the end of the day, I am working on dinner and cleaning up dinner and then this pregnant momma has no energy to tackle the deep cleaning… or to be honest, even the laundry for that matter.  And so, I plop myself down on the couch and watch some of Lost season 5 with my hubby, before retiring to bed, hopeful that tomorrow will find me with more time and more energy. 

This morning, I had had it.   One can only turn her head on the mess so many times.  I was eager to dive in and take control of the house.  Win it back from the evil clutter monster and rid myself of the stress. 

But it was Bible Study day. 

And thus began the inner struggle. 

If I go to Bible study, we’ll be gone for 2 hrs, the key 2 hrs of the day when the kids play nice and I can usually accomplish something.  I’ll come home and it’ll be time for lunch, then naps, then school, then dinner prep.  And another day will go by with the couch overflowing with laundry to be folded, the hallway filled with clothes to be washed, and bedrooms strewn with toys. 

Every day of the week it has been something.  Monday, my turn to volunteer at the tutorial… out of the house till 2, Tuesday… our day at home… I made a dent in things, even got the Christmas New Years cards ready to go out, but then the afternoon was spent with baths, and a visit to two friends homes.  Wednesday I dropped my son off at school, took my daughter to gymnastics, did a quick grocery store run, then headed home to unload groceries, make lunch, and go back to pick my son up.   Tomorrow morning we have to go to the pediatrician to get my daughter’s stitches out and Saturday and Sunday are booked solid with plans. 

All of these things are good things, but when will I tackle my house? 

So, I really didn’t want to go to Bible Study and I told my husband.  I wanted to stay home, let the kids play while I cleaned and then do schoolwork in the afternoon.  But I knew that was not a good reason to skip.  I knew I should want to go to Bible study.  And my kids learn so much from their classes.  Am I going to really choose cleaning house over the spiritual development of my family?

I really wanted to.

But, alas, we got dressed, fought over brushing hair, found shoes, and scrambled to the van to scrape the windshield and arrive 20 min late to Bible study.  I sent my husband this e-mail as I raced out the door.

Subject: leaving for bsf

with grouchy kids, stressed mom, and a messy house...

pray for my attitude.

love, me

I’ll be honest.  I typically do not put in all the time and effort required to full glean from my Bible study.  All too often, I am merely warming the seat.  And when it comes time for the lecture on the passage… I quite often mentally check out as I think of the tasks awaiting me at home.

But today, today, God had a message for me.  I know he wanted me there.  The sermon (for lack of better word) had me.  I could totally relate it to a situation in my life.  And I was convicted of my lack of faith in this area.   I was presented with an opportunity for growth and even for encouraging someone else in my life, and I would have totally missed it, if I had stayed home to clean.  And even though none of me wanted to go this morning, and my reasons for going weren’t holy or devout, God still mercifully spoke His message to me today.  The Holy Spirit touched my heart and gave me a word of hope and encouragement.  One I would have missed to stay home with grouchy kids and a messy house. 


  1. I have toiled with the same inner struggle countless times (esp. in my working mom days) and sadly, I made the wrong decision countless times as well.

    I am so glad you are a woman of faith who really thinks these things through (and even knows when to ask someone to pray for her attitude).

    So glad God spoke to your heart today.

    And I hope you are able to get that deep clean done you so desire to do. I know that feeling also. Gosh, I wish I lived closer. We could take eachothers kids for an afternoon so the other could accomplish their cleaning. Then we could meet for Cokes/Iced Tea at Chik-Fil-A.

    Ah, I can see it all now. I'm going to have to inform Derek that there are many Toyota dealerships in Annapolis that probably could use a new salesman!

  2. Thanks for this post--I too am an exhausted MOM of 4 and work another full time job--and wonder sometimes if I will ever- even catch up, more or less get ahead.
    I know God has it all planned out for us , but geez, does he know how exhausted we Mom's get?
    After reading your blog-I vow to pray more and read His word more often.----Thanks----

  3. That is a hard that I also am met with all too often. I'm so glad that your decision to go to Bible Study was blessed by the message you received. God is so faithful to us in our times of need!

  4. Crystal, I hear you!!! Our new women's Bible Study began Tuesday night and I honestly didn't want to go. The thought of getting everyone bathed and in bed and then leave the made me want to groan aloud. However, I dragged myself there even though the couch and to do list were calling my name. And God blessed me with an incredible message and renewed energy to study His Word. So thankful for God's grace even when our attitudes are less than graceful!

  5. Great post. I too struggle with this. How is it we get so busy? I feel like those precious morning hours are lost every day. I don't know how you do it being pregnant. I'm glad you were refreshed at your study. God really does work miracles in our hearts.

  6. just finally read this post everyone's been talking about. glad you had a good morning at BSF. altho i think there are many times when it's ok to choose home over Bible study, you were wise in your decision and God blessed you! glad you had a rejuvenated spirit. here's to many more Thursday mornings when it's not even an issue bc in you're rear view mirror is a house that is sparkling!

  7. Thanks for sharing your struggles! I thought I was the only one who only gets 2 productive hours in the day (and I only have 2 kids)!

    Isn't it amazing how God speaks to us when we are too overwhelmed to think we could even hear what He is trying to say!

  8. Awesome! I am so glad that God taught you something and made you smile!

    It's hard enough for me to get all the things done that i need to do around the house, and my kids aren't even school yet. Trust me, you are super woman!


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