By Kristine John
It is a fact that I must juggle.
I juggle my time, my energy, my patience, and my sanity.
I juggle hugs and kisses, talks and screams, homework and Dr. appointments.
I juggle all of this, and so much more.
At times, I feel that I'm reaching a new level in the juggling act.
It's been approaching that point for some time now...but unfortunately, it just feels like I'm being thrust onto a larger stage before I've perfected my technique.
Unfortunately, it's not balls or other inanimate objects I am dealing with.
I think it would be much easier if that is what I was given to juggle with.
Instead, it's the lives and schedules, the health and well-being, the appointments and meetings that 9 of us must deal with.
Some weeks are a little more sane than others.
Other weeks we approach with every night full, some nights looming over us with more than one obligation in line.
My husband and I discuss who will cover which area, or in essence, who will catch what ball before it hits the ground and either rolls away or sits unnoticed for a time.
I was often told that I needed to enjoy the time when my family was young.
As a mother with 5 small children ages 7 and under, I found this advice hard to believe, and even harder to implement.
My most recurrent thought was that if only I could be given 10 minutes alone...I'd regain just a little sanity and be able to be not only more effective as a person...but also as a wife and mother.
There were quite a few balls to juggle, but I didn't have to reach too far to catch them, and it was rare that I actually felt that I had dropped the ball in fulfilling the obligations that my family set upon me.
Now that I've got 7 children, the oldest has turned 12, entered the Young Mens program, and officially started taking part in the after-school clubs that are offered to middle-schoolers.
I'm starting to see my arms aren't going to be able to reach as far or as effectively as they once did.
I've started relying on my son to juggle his own schedule and feel the consequences of dropping the ball on his own.
I simply cannot be there for him all of the time and cushion the blows that come when we make mistakes in communicating.
It hurts to see him struggle somewhat, but he knows that I love him...and that I don't want it to hurt him to learn responsibility.
It is however, a process that he must go through.
In the midst of this juggling act, I see, that the next few years will include many lessons on numerous different levels that in which I will need to focus on teaching 14 hands (which are smaller than my own) to juggle their own responsibilities.
Thank goodness I have an experienced partner who can help, not only with catching the balls that are thrown, but also with the instructing that must occur within the lives of our future jugglers.
Thank goodness for him, and for the Master, who holds the complete plan in His hands and helps us understand the importance of each ball we throw.
This juggling act, after all, with divine help, is one each of us can learn to perfect.