In the midst of all our laughter, bickering, lego building, singing, bike riding... crazy lives, we never go long without Matt mentioning this: that none of the parenting books and nobody's wise words ever prepared us for the lunacy we would regularly encounter with our kiddos. Like all parents, we don't just see their lunacy and get to pass by like observers. Nope, this is the stuff we're responsible for fixing, soothing, giving thanks for, rescuing from, forgiving, cleaning up, and not peeing our pants over....
This parenthood, it's worlds tougher than I ever recognized... even just after my mother journey began. It's darn hard.
And sometimes there's funny stories and there's lots of cute stuff- and often all six of us are in stitches at once- but there are other times of heartache, failure, ex-huast-ion and general wretchedness that I can only cry over and lament aloud before God.
This past week has had more than it's share of that ugly stuff and it makes me endlessly grateful again for the story of Jesus, for the Truth about Him that makes me His: that I belong to Him not because I ever have or ever could earn a single star on His chart but because He is a wildly, lavishly loving Savior.... He paid the price, the death price for my sin, and He gave me life with Him. I live with this Sure Living Hope.... hope that remains even when clouded over on gray days.
They say "Don't cry over spilled milk," and I think it's intended for kids, but there are times when I've cried over it too.
Like last week.... I cried over spills when I was just too tired to clean another thing. But the real low point was a certain moment involving throw up. It wasn't Wednesday night when we had guests with us for dinner, (I had spent most of the previous two days flat in bed whole body fevered and aching from a nursing infection,) when after dinner I tossed up the only meal I'd eaten in two days into the basin beside me while I nursed our sweet little girl on our bed. It wasn't the throw up that spurted randomly every half hour or so from our little guy a few days before that. It was the one time our big guy threw up: in the bathroom, sweet legs pressed against the toilet and face turned so that his bucketful of gross sloshed across the whole bathroom floor.
I broke. It was a sorrowful moment for a mom. I've never felt so wasted tired from motherhood, physically and emotionally (not anger but sorrow enough for a year of all this little stuff). Never have I wanted my mom's help, her comfort and care more. I ached and I broke. And I still feel broken.
And broken isn't all bad. It's really true, there's beauty in brokenness. I can see that even from the place I am now, a little bit trembly still. (Honest.) I came across a reminder of gentleness and it made me smile and I lingered with that thought for a while. Yea..... Lord please make me a gentle mama.
It reminds me of our chat about one local friend recently. How she seems so timid (maybe it's cultural misunderstanding, misconnects between us?). And Matt's comment, "I wonder if when we meet Jesus, we won't see that her character is more His style than the Go Get 'Em Boldness we tend to admire?" Maybe she's more gentle than timid? Maybe it's not bad?
Gentle feels like God's perspective on my broken feeling. Just last night I curled up on my knees and Matt prayed with me, for me, that I would dwell richly in gentleness, the gentleness of Christ, as a mom. And just this morning he told he could see some newness there.... "It's a lot easier when I feel so broken and all I have strength for is pretty much a whisper."
I know I'm going to get my voice back and more strength back and get ambition-high and giddy over checking things of my daily list again. But then too, I pray that the Lord will lead me in his gentleness, like I am enjoying this aspect of Him in this tender way, in this broken time now.
(I had planned on sharing a few more of our silly moments but.... I think I'll just wrap this one up for now and try to post again soon.)