31 March 2016

Hand to the plow

I was convicted yesterday morning of putting my hand to the plow and looking back. Really, my hand is lashed to the plow -- it's not like I'm going to leave my family -- but every day is a struggle to embrace this season of life and not wish it was different.

Nothing crazy is going on behaviorally, I just have four little kids when I previously had two. Two of those kids don't speak English very well, and one of those kids is just starting to feel "safe" enough to say how she really feels about things... which I know I should be glad of, but, you see, I don't like whining. Also wading into the world of crying, and I feel almost bewildered. Ezra has never once sat down and cried when he was upset. I am not kidding. He may cry while he hits something, or throws something, or yells angrily what he wants. But loudly crying when something doesn't go her way? What do I do with that? #recoveringboymom

Don't worry; I'm figuring it out (slowly). It doesn't help that my attachment to my girls isn't as rock-solid as the boys. I simply haven't had enough time. I mean, come on, I've had five years with Ezra and eighteen months with Judah. So, you know, I have to actively think about doing some caregiving things that I unconsciously do with the boys. That's not wrong, and I know that in my head, but even that there's an internal difference for the kids I've parented for years and the kids I've parented for almost two months is really draining for me. It's hard for me to ever feel like a successful parent right now. And that makes waking up today to do the job I feel like I failed at yesterday pretty tough.

But my dear friend reminded me of a little truth this morning that helped reorient me when I was really starting to steer off-course. She reminded me (okay the Holy Spirit reminded me through her point) that, for some seasons, we are servants most of the time. And what we do is serve. Do we get the thanks for it we would if we weren't servants? No. But we're called to servitude. And we aren't celebrated or encouraged or noticed like we want crave. Still, my service is a glorious offering to God, and he notices.

I realized that I've been parenting my kids out of my love for them, and it's just not enough. There isn't enough of my love for any of my kids that doesn't run out by 9am these days! Gifts is my primary love language, and I've been laying down my life as a gift to my children. Of course I'm going to struggle! My preschoolers and toddlers (omg I have so many kids) aren't capable of handling such a gift well.

But God is able to receive the gift of my servitude and self-denial in his utterly capable hands, and the hiddenness of my life is not hidden from his sight. I know that every load of laundry I wash, meal I make, bottom I wipe, and every time I book it from one end of our tiny apartment to the other to mother my kids is received as an act of worship and of love. Seriously though, how do you people who live in more than 900 square feet keep up with your kids?!? I am calling "I'm coming!" to break up fights or comfort a kid or tell someone "no, you cannot play with that right there right now" all day long!

Okay, I got sidetracked from my totally poignant and spiritual point. Anyway, my kids don't deserve my life. Look, I love them so freaking much, but I can't let them be my purpose. For me, it's not enough. I don't even care how that makes me sound, they can't be the "because" of every thing I dislike doing in my current job description [raise your hand if you love washing urine off your hands, or parenting two kids who are fighting over a used paper plate]. The reason I take hold this plow every morning can only be found in God.

1 comment:

  1. Love you! You're my hero. I don't mean that sensationally or condescendingly either. Like when people say it because they're secretly glad you're going through something that they're not.

    You're my hero, because of how you serve so faithfully, it reminds me that I can do it to.