It just isn't possible. To be patient for all of those 14 or so daily hours with the kids asking me questions, ignoring mine, forgetting things, and telling me what they think. Alone, I can't.
As I faced three days manning the house while my husband was on a work trip, I prepped myself for the endless demands. The pressure starts to get to me, and I can imagine a version of this mom hyperventilating or running away. It's a lot to handle by myself. On my own, I get tired. I run out of patience and hear my responses snap like dry twigs. It seems like there is no respite, always being on the clock.
And then Jesus said "Remain in me." I kept repeating it to myself. Choosing to let go of anxiety and step forward one scenario at a time, peace followed me. I didn't allow my mind to race ahead to everything I had to do. I resisted the urge to freak out over every misstep. "Remain in me," He reminded me. I made my focus on what was possible in Jesus, not on all the ways I could fail.
Because of course I will fail. I will forget to send in the lunch money or that it was pajama day. I will feel guilty for not reading bedtime stories for at least 20 minutes. I will lose my cool when any one of my children talk back to me like they know better. Apart from Him, I can swim around in all kinds of inadequacy. But I don't have to.
The "fruits" are there on the Vine begging us to take what we need: more love, more peace, more patience, more gentleness, more self-control (Galatians 5:22-13). There will be times when we do need an extra pair of hands, a little help around the house. It's wonderful when we have a teammate that we can count on. But for those days when we don't have someone nearby to pass the ball to, there is more than enough patience to get us through.
Remain in me,
as I also remain in you.
No branch can bear fruit by itself;
it must remain in the vine.
Neither can you bear fruit
unless you remain in me.
I am the vine;
you are the branches.
If you remain in me
and I in you,
you will bear much fruit;
apart from me
you can do nothing.