Thursday, April 18, 2013

Finding Worth in the Hard Days

I had a post all ready to go up today, about what has been working for us during this season of life.  But  last night, after finally getting my shower at 7 pm when my husband got home, after making dinner that wasn't well received by the kids (and then hearing the cries of "I'm hungry!" as soon as I cleaned up afterward...), after dealing with 2 babies crying at once for the hundredth time...I knew I needed to write a different sort of post.  And I was taken back...

Back to a doctor's visit, shortly after my 3rd baby was born.  My OB, a man of God, a man who "gets" big families, a man who knows what he's talking about, he told me right before I walked out the door: "When you are out with your kids, remember that people are watching.  You are a ministry now, a testimony.  Remember in how you treat your kids, how you speak to and of them.  You are showing the world that children are a blessing.  Remember that."

 I've carried the weight of that statement for years and, in most ways, I think he is right.  I squirm when people talk negatively about their children, when harassed looking mothers scream at and shame their children in public.  I feel the need to show the world my belief that children are always blessings, that God is good and His gifts are good.  The thing is, good doesn't always mean easy.  

Sometimes I feel that I must make this look easy, or else have to defend it as still worthwhile.  It's a funny thing, isn't it, that need to make parenthood look simple?  I believe it stems from the belief that if something isn't fun or constantly gratifying, if it's not personally fulfilling at all times - it's not worth doing.  We know Motherhood is worthwhile, so somehow we must defend it also as being simple and natural.  But we don't expect that of athletes, do we?  Or of someone pursuing an advanced degree?  "If it's hard, why have another?" is something moms often hear, but how often does a PhD hopeful hear that?  "Oh, it's hard?  May as well quit then."

Motherhood is hard.  Motherhood with lots of littles?  Whew, it's crazy hard!  And yes, I focus on the good and on the beautiful because there is so much beauty and happiness and little glimpses of God in it all, but that does not mean it's easy.  God is all good, and His gift of human life?  Beautiful!  Marvelous!  A brilliant revelation of His great love for us!  It is not easy, but it is good.

I'm walking through this life in the vocation I feel called to, and I feel so blessed to be here.  But I am as broken as the next person and sometimes this life just feels like more than I can do.  It's then that I look into the faces of each of these people and realize that being called to be a Mother is to be called to a life of daily sacrifice.  A sacrifice that isn't always wrapped up in a neat little box of self fulfillment or perfect peace.  A sacrifice that means living life the hard way, avoiding easy street and heading straight for self-donation highway.  Sometimes I lack the grace to see that.

So when dinner is burning and that baby howls after spitting up all down your back, toddler tracks in half the backyard on his boots, husband calls and says he is going to be late and the older kids are fighting over which movie to watch - I remember that I don't do this because it is always fun and easy.  But like a marathon runner, I do love it and it is worth it.  So I struggle on what to put out there, knowing that the world does not always understand that a hard day where nothing goes right can have worth.  Does have worth.  And I wouldn't trade it for the world.



A sacrifice that is worth it, every day.  That's Motherhood.


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14 comments:

  1. So beautiful and so real! Thank you for your inspiration, as always.

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  2. Beautiful post. You are such an inspiration to future Mama's like myself. Have a blessed week. :-)

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  3. Good stuff. It is hard work. But often the hardest things, the ones that require the most personal sacrifice become our greatest accomplishments. Please remind me of this in 3 months ;)

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  4. Precious picture. Yes it is hard but it is also full of many blessings.

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  5. And your words are so wonderfully poignant. I often say that the hardest things in life are the most worthwhile and motherhood is that! :-)

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  6. I couldn't agree with your more. Such a sweet photo.

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  7. Sometimes it is so much *more* encouraging to hear another mom-to-many express a little overwhelm-ed-ness than to see the beauty of her day. I too, love and cherish my babies but of course there are difficult days and moments when knowing the hour, the minute, that Daddy will be home seems essential! Blessings to you and yours for this very sweet glimpse you've allowed us.

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  8. It's true. It's hard sometimes! It's so worth it -- loved your words. Thanks for joining!

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  9. Thank you. Something I think more of us need to say.

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  10. After dealing with three sick kids who are throwing today I needed this post. Thanks so much for writing it. It is hard, but we will get through it and yes - it is worth it.

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  11. So much truth here. I started "early" with my kiddos...my oldest was born when I was 19. He is now a teenager, and many of my friends are now dealing with newborns and preschoolers. It is so hard to be both real and encouraging when they turn to me for advice. So many days I want to tell them "It gets better!" when what I'm really thinking is "Wow, that sounds like my day!" I pray that we all will be Spirit-led and transparent in our encouragement, just as you are!

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