Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits… Psalm 68:19

I’ve been thinking about how busy and crazy the holidays usually are. Holiday commitments on top of our regular, daily hodgepodge.

For that reason, I’m so grateful for this week of Thanksgiving. Time to take a break from school work, time to bake, be with family, but most importantly time to count blessings.

So in order to prepare myself for the full December schedule ahead and to allow myself a slow week to savor Thanksgiving, I took a look back. I found something I wrote when our youngest was just three weeks old. See, we’ve had two Decembers with newborns. Both of them were mighty memorable. One involved a broken leg and a cast when youngest girl was nursing at 11 days old. But we won’t go there today.

One December, almost three years ago, I typed for both stress relief and to save my sweet husband from the assault of an ear full when he came through the door.

I was overwhelmed. So many needs at once. There are still days like this. Though certainly not the same type of intensity as with a newborn in the house. A different type – more measuring the needs of the age range.

As I read it again I chuckled. I smiled. And I was grateful I wrote about this crazy day. It won’t always be this way. It reminded me that so much has already changed in these three years.

Life with Five – December 20, 2007

Since the morning was a blur of helping get children fed and dressed, changing diapers and gathering library books, I’ll begin with taking the eldest to a piano lesson.

We are out, so why not treat ourselves and eat drive thru food? Because everyone wants something different that’s why. In the future, I won’t ask. Since we had 45 minutes during piano, we went through two different drive thrus. Pick up eldest. Eat in the van.

Unload at the library. Get the picture. Two older children, carrying loads of books to return, struggle through the door only to allow it to close on younger sisters and Mama, lugging the car seat with the baby.

We get in the building and two-year-old reminds everyone (loudly) that we are in the library and we need to BE QUIET. I park the baby near the two boxes of toddler books and sit down in a toddler chair to read to two-year-old. Only she’s over in the adult fiction section now.

Bubba protects the baby while I try and play catch youngest girl. Repeat three times.

We do manage for the older three to gather their arms full of books and head to the check out. Youngest girl goes and tries out the water fountain. I wonder what new germs we will now have.

I place my library card on the counter, along with the 50 cents for overdue books. One child huffs at having to carry not only her books but the two I picked out for youngest girl as well. Bubba patiently asks the librarian to help him find some Star Wars books, unaware of our need for escape.

Back in the car. Much crying from two-year-old over being strapped in by her buddy. Home finally. Everyone helps clean out the trash from lunch. I carry in library books, two diaper bags and the baby (asleep through it all in the car seat).

I settle the youngest girl down for a nap. The baby wakes up to eat. He enjoys the bulldog mobile but not having three diaper changes. I give one child extra work for whining about picking up library books out of the floor. Two argue over who gets to go to the mailbox today.

I finally get the baby down for a nap after settling him three times with the paci. Desperately make it to the bathroom. Only as soon as I close the door, middle girl bursts through asking for me to open the jar of peanut butter honey. She exits only to announce, loudly of course, that two-year-old is up from her nap. Only a 45 minute one today.

I put two-year-old back down in the bed. Whew. I settle down and put my head back in the big chair. I close my eyes but not long after hear someone breathing right next to me. Two-year-old is back up.

OK. What could change the course of this afternoon? Decide to make popcorn for everyone. Print out coloring pages. All are satisfied with juice cups and snack.

Once more I settle back down in the big chair. Middle girl announces that two-year-old has a stinky diaper. I fix that. Then send two to their room for yelling and pushing over coloring pages.

Finally, I give up. I head to the computer to check email. There’s a pick up notice.

A book we reserved at the library is now ready.

Life with five is busy. (Life with less or more children is busy as well!) Since I typed up this day, I have, for the most part, forsaken life in the drive thru lane 🙂 Yet, never a day goes by when there is not a character issue to address, loads of laundry to do and a lesson to be learned. Some days I have to put my head down and get a new perspective. At the end of the day, I may have to just step outside. Often I have to look upward and yell out a “Help!” to the Lord.

Daily. Daily. Daily. Asking for help. Turning to the word within sight.

Yet it’s when I remember to give thanks that something good always shows up in the overload.

(Heavy sigh over four pair of shoes scattered at the back door. Mud… Thank you Lord for the rain. We needed it. And, thank you that they remembered to take off their shoes here…)

Thanksgiving, in the midst of the day-to-day, the hectic, the tough times, never fails to highlight the blessings.

Blessed. Indeed I am.

Print the cute turkey in the top photo and other ‘kids’ table’ printables at Alphamom.

Related: Beyond Survival: Practical Answers