Monday, June 10, 2013

Letters to my Littles - This cup is mine

I'm sleepy....
                                                                     .......just. plain. exhausted.

My days are a blur of spit clothes and toy trucks, dress up and snack time, time-outs and tickling, boo-boos and sweet kisses.  I live in a season where 10 am feels like the middle of the afternoon, and the anticipation of nap time gives me as much of a thrill as an exotic cruise to a private island.  Coffee is something I look forward to before my head hits the pillow the night before, and sometimes is the only thing that gets me through the day.  I meet more needs before 8 am than there are minutes in a day and multi-tasking is survival tactic.  I can hear a cry from 3 rooms away and decipher within moments who it is and how quickly I should react.  Sometimes, I let my kids fight with each other, because, honestly, I don't feel like explaining one more time why they have to be nice.  I pray for strength - literally close my eyes and ask God to help me- more times than I would like to admit.  The spit up on my shirt out-smells the deodorant that I think I put on that morning.  I burn food - daily.  I forget - everything.  I need grace - every minute.  There are times where I yell scream at my children and praise Jesus in the same 5 minutes.  I say no - a lot.  I forget to eat - seriously.  I sometimes go 4 hours without realizing I have poop on me.  Going to the store for milk with all 3 of my children burns more calories than one of those silly athletic events where you run around and get muddy on purpose.  I run the vacuum 3 times a day, and on especially rough days, it brings me this strange sense of peace that the sound overpowers the crying - just for 3 minutes.  I'm tired - so, so tired.

Weariness has a way of magnifying the negative.  I believe with all my heart that Satan wants it that way.  I think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene - "he became sorrowful and troubled" (Matthew 26:37-39).  He prayed and was strengthened.  It wasn't that He did not want to fulfill His purpose.  He did not have this moment because He was begging to not have to complete that which He had been called to - to save mankind from their sins.  Nowhere in scripture is there any reference to Jesus being in danger of forsaking His path to the Cross.  This had all been settled in eternity past.  Jesus was asking for any other way, because, He knew, as no other did, that walking the path would be HARD!  There was no other way, and He found peace in the strength that God gave in light of that truth.

I am, in no way, comparing the path to Calvary to even the most difficult day in parenting.  I would never be so bold as to say parenting elicits pain as sharp as nails in hands and feet or thorns and spears in flesh.  What I am saying is that if Jesus needed God sized strength, what makes us think that something as difficulty as parenting wouldn't elicit some serious prayer for us?!?! Christ was led to the only path that saved me and saved you.  God led Him and He went to a cross that He had to bear.  Jesus could not handle the cross he was to bear on His own, and needed God sized strength.

Every day - even the ones that I don't want to get out of bed - God is leading me on a path.  A really, really hard one.  I cry almost every day.  I sometimes, like Jesus did, ask for a break.  I ask for peace.  I ask for a possible exit strategy.  There is none - only strength - as much as I need.

At times, I walk through life like a vessel of untruth, refusing to take hold of what scripture says and rather spouting out that strange thing people say, "God wouldn't give me more than I can handle", when it actually says the opposite.  God does not wake up every morning and rain down misery on us, but He never promised we would have no trouble.  On the contrary, His son said, "In this world you will have trouble."    
Then He said, so good luck!  Joke - He said one of my most favorite lines in scripture - "But take heart, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

This path - this God-breathed way too big task of mothering these littles - is one I never would ask to give back.  Even on the hardest, most impossible days, I wouldn't change who God has given me to parent for anything.  The happy moments - the ones where pure joy is experienced and my heart is full to overflowing -  far outweigh the unhappy ones.      

Tomorrow won't be like today (hey, it might even be worse, Jack! ;) ), but as long as I focus on the One who holds tomorrow, it isn't hopeless.

As you and I lay our heads on our pillows tonight, wondering if we even made a difference this day, we should feel encouraged that our weariness can amount to great things.  This weariness we feel - this bone-tired - I can't take another step kind of tired we are experiencing does not go unnoticed by the One who holds our next burst of energy.

Our strength...........
                             ...............our next step...........
                                                                          ......our reassurance 

that persevering through the "sorrowful" and "distressing" is the ONLY way....... one prayer away.



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