Doing the Next Thing

I stayed up too late last night. 

(It was worth it though as I was talking to a dear friend and rocking an over-full fussy baby).

But that makes mornings hard.  Overwhelming.  Getting out of bed was not what I wanted to do.

Julia’s personal motto is “I can do hard things.”  I was thinking about that this morning, lying in bed just wanted more sleep.  Hard things are overwhelming for me.  It’s like looking at the whole mountain rather than grabbing on to the handhold right in front of me and getting moving.

I felt like I couldn’t do hard things.  Like this morning alone with three was well beyond my ability to accomplish.  How to keep them all diapered and fed and the laundry caught up and heaped clean in baskets?

And then Ann’s post came to mind. 
And a my heart settled on my motto for the day (maybe even a life): Do the Next Thing.

And so I rise.
I feed the baby.
I collect the laundry.
I pull out and hang wet diapers.
I toss in a load.
I soothe the fussy baby.
I change little girl diapers.
I return a phone call.
I pick up some things from the messy floor.
I do the next thing.

Suddenly, I’m halfway through the morning, writing a blog post I didn’t think I’d get to, and realizing that I’m almost halfway up the mountain by grasping one handhold at a time.

I can do the next thing.
By His Grace.

Counting the Graces of being given 2417-2488 “next things” to enjoy.

  • Baby smells
  • Baby noises
  • Bronwyn repeating me as I exclaimed “Holy cow!” after a giant Sedryn burp
  • Toddler halloween parade
  • Daddy and Aeralind playing “Where’s your toes?”
  • Shrieks of “Toes!”
  • Little girls asking for me in the night
  • Derek working half days this first week with three
  • Gaining 3.5 ounces ABOVE birth weight in 8 days.
  • Being comfortable snuggling with Derek once again.
  • “Bye, bye, pun kin!” choruses when we leave the house.
  • Derek’s help even when he’s exhausted, too
  • A partner who does life with me shoulder to shoulder
  • Gratitude journal fitting perfectly in my burp cloth basket for late night feedings
  • 3 healthy kiddos
  • soft strokable newborn hair
  • Bed time prayers with the girls as we put Sedryn to bed
  • Longest stretch of sleep for momma since before his birth
  • Tamara coming to visit with Lydia
  • Bronwyn and Lydia learning lessons in sharing
  • All 3 girls gobbling down lunch
  • A husband who is so helpful
  • 5 days of meals delivered which the girls devoured–even the ones I thought they wouldn’t eat!
  • 5 sweet ladies preparing those meals
  • Carving the pumpkin
  • Power drill antics
  • Pumpkin Ice cream
  • Roasting my first set of pumpkin seeds
  • Little girls liking the pumpkin seeds almost as much as the ice cream
  • Night feedings
  • Chatting via email with Julia about marriage
  • Long naps for me and the girls and Sedryn
  • Close-up Derek snuggles
  • Sedryns tiny little stretching face
  • Laughing at his giant manly burps
  • Almost 4 hour stretch of sleep for me and Sedryn
  • Derek cuddling Sedryn until he fell asleep after I had tried get him to nurse both sides for 1 hour
  • McKayla and John entertaining and caring for the girls while I did my newborn photo session with Sedryn
  • Sedryn soiling 2 pairs of my pants, 4 blankets, and one laptop keyboard (it was a perfect arch!)
  • Laptop keyboard drying out and functioning again
  • Barb’s chili leftover
  • Singing Rich Mullins with Derek on the way to the farm
  • Little catnap for the girls
  • Derek’s banter in the kitchen with the women
  • Sedryn sleeping on Eva for over 2 hours
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Little girls on a hayride with daddy
  • Sharing stories in the kitchen
  • Nursing Sedryn in a quiet room free from eye pokin adoring toddlers
  • Bronwyn melting down from hunger and exhaustion
  • Little B tightly wrapping her arms around my neck
  • Listening to Bronwyn tell me her version of the day
  • Grace that the girls got on ahold of a permanent marker on the back porch and not in the house
  • Aeralind consenting to sit on my lap and tell me about her day
  • Girls who cleaned their plates and started on some of the other kiddos’ plates (hysterical!)
  • Sedryn curled up on Nana
  • Ruthie coralling and changing the girls
  • Derek kisses in the kitchen
  • Everyone so exhausted from Farm Days that we were all in bed by 9:30
  • Gratitude journal combating the I just want to sleep blues
  • Yummy chili still leftover for lunch
  • Falling asleep at naptime
  • Girls super excited about a halloween festival
  • Not having to wait until his due date to hold Sedryn
  • Laughing as the girls slid out of the bounder at the festival over and over
  • Running to Target to spend generous gift cards from Tamara for the girl’s birthday and for Sedryn
  • Meal from Karen where the girls gobbled down so much rice!
  • Karen generously and wordlessly cleaning my kitchen after supper
  • Karen and family joining us for supper rather than just dropping off a meal
  • Enjoying Karen’s converastion until 11
  • Sleep
  • Girls loving their lacing beads and “Choo choo” purchased with Tamara’s gift card