(This post is not an announcement of any kind. I’m reflecting on motherhood. Don’t worry mom- I wouldn’t tell you like this!)
One moment you realize you don’t feel so good. Then you realize you haven’t felt “so good” in several days. Hmm.. come to think of it, you’ve been a little extra tired lately. Strange. Coffee doesn’t taste all that great either. Actually, nothing does.
A short while later– a drugstore purchase, a quick trip to the bathroom and then a few minutes of waiting and then… GASP.
Pregnant the test says, Buckle Up for the Wildest Ride of Your Life, it should have said. You’ll never be the same again and you won’t want to be, it could have said. I guess “Pregnant” takes up less room.
From that moment on, you become intimately acquainted with both the unbelievable blessing and the regular sacrifice of being a parent. From the early days of constant nausea to the later days of packing 18 lbs. of gear just for a quick trip to the store, you realize that what that sweet person said was true, “You’ll never realize how selfish you are until you become a parent!”
Some of the sacrifices are big, and obvious… like the way you are no longer able to finish anything. Finish a meal. Finish getting ready. Finish a conversation. Finish a chapter. Finish a thought. You die to your former way of living always just as a couple, in order that you might live a new life as a family. The newness brings CHANGE. It brings discomfort. It brings sacrifice. But it brings SO MUCH BLESSING.
Some days in the midst of a time when things have been particular crazy, or when it feels like He and I haven’t had enough “us” time– I have found myself almost a bit “nostalgic” for earlier days. An older photo of us will catch my eye and I’ll stop and remember what it was like to be “Lance and Cindy” for a minute or two. (Now before you get all upset and think I’m ungrateful for my amazing kiddos– hold on, I didn’t say I was proud of it! just keeping it real!)
Thankfully, almost immediately, God shakes me of this mental mourning days past as I look around at all that surrounds us. Baby Dolls in strollers. Goldfish. Princess Sippy Cups. Dress-up Shoes. Well-Loved Board Books. Hairbows. More Hairbows. Little girls rolling around on the floor together, one minute hugging– the next minute pulling hair. Little evidences of these cherished gifts we have been given.
More importantly, the SOUNDS that surround us wake me from this irreverent hyper-nostalgia. The giggles. The chatter. The sounds of Little People being walked across the playroom floor. Tiny feet running from across the room, just to hug. The singing. Yes, even the squabbling.
I know that to some it seems crazy. I’ve seen their looks as we slowly move through Target, stopping again to pick up the last thing that Abby has chucked over the side of the cart. But they have no idea– that I really would never go back. I would never trade what I have for the life I used to. The daily gifts of being mother to these precious lives infinitely outweigh what little freedoms or sometimes even elements of pride I “give up.”
The word SACRIFICE means to die. The OED defines it as, To surrender or give up (something) for the attainment of some higher advantage or dearer object. And then also, the surrender of something valued or desired for the sake of something having a higher value. My children. My family. Our opportunity to glorify God is that higher value. They are that “dearer object.” and there is NO sacrifice too great.
So on those days when you feel like you just. cannot. function. with. any. amount. of. generosity. When you feel poured out and empty and have nothing to give to anyone at all. When you feel like you just NEED A MINUTE ALONE. Take that minute (or two.) and ask for help. Ask for remembrance of what gifts these little “mess makers” truly are. Ask for strength. Ask for God to love them through you. Ask for HIS peace.
For on any given day, no matter how poured out we feel, He knows. He not only knows, He has felt way beyond our deepest feelings of exhaustion and sacrifice. And He is enough, friend. His grace is enough. In our exhaustion, we lean hard on Him and find REST in ABUNDANCE.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)