|not one fighter in my boys bucket was surrendering...|
I had to create my own flag.
I don't know if my words are reaching their hearts, I don't even know if their ears are listening, but I keep saying them. The battles are real.
My husband watches war documentaries (a lot). One common thread I have seen is the military starts to lose ground and many times finally lose the war when they are fighting on too many fronts, also when they have very few if any allies. This seems to apply to chasing wounded hearts, too.
When several wounded hearts are struggling at the same time. The days become long and wearisome. My strength is depleted with no pauses in the battle I start to suffer battle fatigue. Couple this with a lack of supplies, no allies to come to my aid and redirect the battle fronts, and I start to lose the war. That is exactly when the words "I can't do this anymore" enter my head and pass over my lips. I am ready to surrender, admit defeat, and settle for whatever terms will bring peace to my home. Only a heart of determination, a faith that God has called me to do this and He will rescue all of our wounded hearts if I just stand my position, keep me from throwing up the white flag.
God is my greatest allie, my supply, my hope, my rest when I am weary.
However, I am realizing I need to have a battle plan. I need to finish well. Thinking of war strategies, and battle plans, I realize I am not doing all I can to ensure victory and protect my troops from unnecessary losses.
The danger of fighting on too many fronts is that supplies become quickly depleted. Time is the first "supply" depleted in the battle of wounded hearts. I have found a few things that help free up time for the melt downs, the heart to heart talks, the bridge building, the snuggles, the tears, etc. Menu planning is HUGE for us. A lot of time can go into the feeding and care of nine people. When there is something in the crockpot already the little scrimmages and even some larger battles don't deplete or throw off the day's battle plan. When it's 4:30 and someone is falling apart over a homework assignment or the bickering is overwhelming, it is usually because I have no idea what I'm feeding the troops or I waited too long to start the preparations. I need to find more ideas for when this crisis and my lack of planning collide. Calling out for Pizza isn't always an option :-) Another sneak attack on my supply of time is definitely the internet. I need to manage this time more wisely, sigh.
What about Allies? Have I identified all of the possible allies around me? I think I fight way too many battles alone. Do I have to? Are their ways to have more people come along side of me and build up the troops without dividing them? Something I am definitely exploring very soon, like today and over the next few days as well.
What about R&R? I don't think I take near enough breaks from the battle front to replenish my weariness. I NEED to make intentional time to refresh my body, spirit, mind, etc. I do take time each day to have a quiet cup of coffee and read a bit in God's word. I read other good books, a little, a paragraph at a time while using the bathroom, anyone relate? I try to take a short cat nap in the afternoon 2 - 3 times a week. There are a lot of battles in the afternoon and evening. I need this little replenishing of my strength. I just don't think I step completely away and take care of me enough.
I need to remember also Who is fighting for me. 2 Kings 6:16-17 "'Don't be afraid,' the prophet answered. 'Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' And Elisha prayed, 'Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.' Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." Lord, give me eyes to see how much you are fighting for all of us!
I definitely need to make a new battle plan. This is a new perspective for me. I hope it means I will have fewer "I can't do this" moments. I hope the strategies will help me fight another day.