Right now has the dubious distinction of being the most intense season I can remember living.
Before now, I would have said that having 6 under 8 was the most intense season. I give my husband and older daughters full credit for being marvelous partners in keeping our household up and running, and back when there were 6 under 8, we did not have our daughters helping the way they do now.
We opened our hearts and home to our 4 new ones believing whole-heartedly that we'd be fine because we'd lived through the season of having only little ones at home.
I forgot to take into consideration that our family dynamics are utterly different than they were back then.
Back then I could say, "They're fed, they're clean (enough), they're loved. We're good."
And it was true.
It is not true now.
The older girls need so much more than to be fed, clean, and loved. They are growing up, needing experiences and education far beyond the basics. They are capable of handling their physical needs better than when they were preschoolers, but they need more socially, emotionally, and spiritually than ever.
As such, I am recognizing that I have to be more on my game than ever.
And I have to cut corners.
This is not a season for homemade Halloween costumes, homemade bread, daily crafts, or library story hours. This is not a season for frequent dates with my husband (but some--always some dates are needed), volunteering to clean up after a homeschool dance, or missionary work. This is not a season for unit studies, fancy menus, or foreign language study.
It IS a season for playing outdoors, sharing great books, folding laundry, washing dishes, listening for babies and to teens, choosing which activities are best, chore charts, school schedules, and drawing close to one another.
To draw close to one another.
But not just to one another--to draw close to the Lord.
That's what I care most about right now.
That's what this season is for.