Dawna Austin
Early morning coffee (yes, I found an organic coffee that doesn't kill me), cuddling with kids in bed, and groggily reading through Facebook posts on my micro, teeny weeny iPod, I came across a post which hit me hard.    It was entitled "Parenting is Kingdom Work" (it can be found here)

As a stay at home mom, busy with homeschooling and everyday life as well as multiple sclerosis, for some time I have felt that I am falling short on my calling.  Sometimes just getting what needs to be done during the day feels like running a marathon.  Sure, I love my kids and they "know" it. Yet when I flop in bed exhausted each night, very aware that only half of my daily to do list has been checked off, I feel as though I have missed the mark -- eternally.  Just as one knows the importance of daily exercise yet struggles to incorporate it into each day's routine, I struggle with teaching my children what matters most.  "If only I had an extra 12 hours today", I sigh.  As a child, my parents were very busy, trying to support our household, and I was often left on my own, as mentioned in that post.  How does one retrain one's mind and change it here and now?  I have felt this conviction for years now, but feel stuck and overwhelmed in my physical weakness.
  
I hope there is a book out there that gives helpful advice on how to manage this with minimal energy.  I'm sure there is .. somewhere.  My prayer is that I can find ways to push past my tiredness and lead by example. 
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7 Responses
  1. Kari Wutzke Says:

    Oh Dawna...being a parent is the most amazing, draining, frustrating, exhilarating job around. To do it without an illness is difficult, to do it with an illness is where you show your strength, your perseverance and your ultimate sacrifice.

    My children have seen me sick most of their lives and the resounding positive effect that it has had on them is beyond words. They tell me daily, in words and in actions how much they admire me, how they know how to be strong and how they have learnt from me.

    The things on your list will be there tomorrow, your kids may not...invest what little energy you have into them and God will do the rest in time.

    If you need to sit and breath, don't feel guilty...we all need to recharge but when you have an illness it might just be more often, even if that means every hour you sit for 15 mins.

    You are an inspiration...keep strong my friend, God is walking this path with you!


  2. Amy Says:

    Good article. On the flip side, this is a blog post that really helped me a while back- I was feeling like I couldn't "play on the floor with the kids" enough, especially because of my health issues and the time I have to spend making food for my crazy diet and such.

    http://www.girltalkhome.com/blog/qa-pt.-2-i-want-to-be-a-godly-mother

    I also find it helpful to include the kids when possible in the work I have to do; working and serving together and just living life together can be so valuable.

    You're doing a great job, press on sister!!


  3. Miss-buggy Says:

    you are beautiful. you are an awesome mom. God is pleased. You do what you can with the spoons that you have for the day. Careful which spoons to use and where. My heart aches for you. We are our worst critics. You do so much for those babies. You are an amazing example and I admire all you do!


  4. Shammy Says:

    Dawna, I used to subscribe to your blog, but then we got busy with moving (from Texas to Florida). We have MS is common. I was accidentally diagnosed four years ago when I was 54. I found out that I had a breast tumor, and picked a doctor who was my age and female. Just so happened that she had been living with MS for 19 years, and the first time we met for the cancer diagnoses, she was suspicious of the fact that my left toes were slightly tingly. It was serendipity! Anyway, my MS is very mild and hasn't progressed much in four years, but I still read up on it.

    I know you have tried the "liberation" treatment without success. I just read that you cut out dairy and gluten. I was wondering if you have heard of Dr. Terry Wahls? She has the aggressive form and was in a wheelchair. The short version is she turned her MS around with her own version of the Paleo diet, which also restricts grains. If you don't know about her, she wrote a book, "Minding My Mitochondria" and has a facebook page, "wahls foundation". Karen Krueger follows her protocal with great success (was being hospitalized monthly, and after starting the protocal, went almost a year) and also has a f/b page by her name.

    Since my MS is fairly mild, I'm not motivated to try the Wahls protocal full on. Yet. But I remember how bad you were feeling when I used to read your blog.


  5. Dawna Austin Says:

    Yes, Shammy, I have her book. Sadly Food is not my MS trigger, although eating the incorrect foods do make me feel worse. Changing to strict only paleo doesn't seem to make much difference. I still eat very much paleo, but the odd time will have some quinoa or something. I have always wished my MS was food-triggered. I always love those stories of people that cured their MS by diet changes.


  6. Anonymous Says:

    Dawna, it's been almost a year since your last post. I check weekly and pray all is well with you and that time has just slipped by. Wishing you a wonderful Easter Weekend. Debbie (Calgary)


  7. Anonymous Says:

    Check your blog weekly to see if you have been able to post. It's been quite a while since we have had any updates. Hope you are well -- Merry Christmas to you and your family, and a wonderful 2015 !!