Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Not Cut Out For This

It's the end of a very long day and I hesitantly type it into the chat box.

"I have no idea what I'm doing. Sometimes it feels like it would be better if we could just all go our separate ways."

Because family life is many things. Many happy, easy, blithe things, yes, but also many hard things. Many "I didn't think it would be this way" things. Many "I don't want to do this" things. At the end of a long day when my patience ran out long before lunch and every interaction thereafter was anything but pleasant, when my texts to my husband could be made into a manual on why not to have kids, I tell my best friend: "I'm not cut out for this."

But the thing is, no one is.

That's the way it is with refining. With sanctifying. That's how it goes with becoming holy. Our original state isn't made for it. It's only through the self-sloughing, the burn off of resistance that it's found deep underneath.

No one it cut out for this. Instead, we are sanctified through this. Through the predictably unpredictable nature of human children. Through the messes and the bills and the unexpected snags. Through the temper tantrums and botched discipline attempts, the marital disagreements and the days when quitting seems the only viable option.

When I think of it this way, I can see it as good. As opportune. As the point, really, of family life. Not smooth sailing. Not easy seas. If it was that simple to get along, would we be?

When I'm up to my eyeballs in the needs of others, even keeping another person's heart beating in my sleep - I can feel spent. I can believe that service is in the doing, the making, the cleaning, the feeding. I can forget altogether that begrudging giving isn't the point. My long sighs and eyerolls and texted complaints show me for the fraud I am. Because all of it is null and void without coming from a heart place. A love space. I can scrub that kitchen sink til it shines but if the only way I can speak to my tween is with a sarcastic snap, I missed the point.

Yes, life would be easier if we never had to share. If we always had what we wanted when we wanted it. If we all got enough sleep each night. But life isn't about what is easy, and lifting only light things doesn't build muscle.

If I want muscles of mercy, service, humility and compassion, I need to work them. Thankfully, family life gives me ample opportunity for just that. Through every bad day, it's the promise that keeps me afloat. Even this is for His glory and my good.

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  1. Good stuff. I have called my mother with a breaking voice uttering these exact words.

  2. Lydia, you are so very "cut out for this"! I understand the feelings...of being inadequate, overwhelmed, exhausted! But I often have thought of the five loaves and the few fish that Jesus multiplied to feed a multitude. I give him the little I have, and then pray that he will take them and fill all of the very needy people in my house, in my life. You are victorious!

  3. Wow... That's so vulnerable of you. I never thought of things that way. I don't have children of my own, but am finding step-children and what comes with them to be "baggage" . I know that sounds awful, but at the end of every "moment" I realize that yesterday I wasn't half the person as I am today. I know that the options I've chosen to take and not take in my life could have yielded such wonderful things, and I'm finding those things in those "bags." I have found that my personal responsibility now includes a Lot of patience, not just with the children; and the idea that I'm partially responsible for putting moral productive adults into the world. My prayers are no longer asking for silly single girl things, sometimes a bitter aging woman lamenting.they have turned Into actually pursuing grace, practicing mercy, and sheltering them from the ugliness of what divorce could have done. I have learned to focus my frustrations into opportunities to strengthen our multi parent family.
    So many times I thought how easy this would be...And...So many times I've wanted to shake a kid and say "you're old enough to know you need to shower..." I can tell you with certainty that I was not cut out this... But through the pox and measles to failing grades and bullying I look at Noah, at Jonah, at Moses, etc etc etc none felt they were cut out for it, but they took the challenge God presented and grew to be more like Christ. So, who is really cut out for what... You don't know until you go to bed and say your prayers and find they are all about those tiny people who Need you to be cut out for them... So I keep trying...I love my Gucci baggage...with greasy hair, manipulating little pouts to get me to bend, and the love I get back even when I say no.
    I read your post and it's so applicable to so many situations. Im glad I took the time to read this...because from outside looking in, you seem to be at master at the craft of motherhood. I have no doubt you're cut out for it, but I'm finding comfort that you to feel this too.
    God bless all of you and yours. As well as thanking you for being so vulnerably naked in your words.

  4. Lydia, so beautifully spoken. Who cannot relate to this? What I love about coming for little visits at your place is the real woman I meet here. But a woman who desires to know Jesus, who seeks His glory above approval of men. One of these days we're going to understand just how the Spiritual world is intertwined in the tangible and then it will all become clear! For the hope of that day, we stumble through one little bit at a time.
    Thank you~

  5. So appreciate your honesty. I am not cut out for this either.


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