Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
That is the stage I have entered for the third time in my life. I don’t remember it being enjoyable or easy, but neither do I remember it being so difficult! The bribing and running around and the messes. It is difficult. But I know it won’t last forever and once it is over life is going to be a lot easier (not to mention cheaper… diapers! I tell ya!).
Also, Christmas has passed. We aren’t even through January and, for my children, the blinding luster of new Christmas toys is wearing off. Honestly I was more than disappointed at how quickly I heard the words “bored” and “there’s nothing to do” again. Add to that the son who is already compiling a birthday list- because if he gets these toys then he will “finally have fun.” You want to see a mother turn red in the face and go absolutely ballistic, then (when you add in the potty training) you have found the perfect recipe for that. Ok, I wasn’t exactly ballistic. … More like… Irritated. I was irritated at how little they appreciated all they have.
I was giving my son a good lecture on being thankful when the light bulb turned on again. I was preaching to the choir. I am the one who has not appreciated what I have. I am in the same boat as my son. I am always looking ahead to the next thing, thinking then- finally then!– things will be easier. Once we finish moving, then things will get easier. Once I get through Christmas, then things will settle down and get easier. Once the youngest is potty trained, then life will be splendid. When we make some friends in our new town, then things will be better, I will be happier, etc, etc, etc…
This is why God made me a parent. He has put all of my issues into these adorable little people I am constantly hanging out with and I can’t help noticing their problems. Then He gently says, “Ok, now do you see what I have been trying to tell you?”
I am so busy planning for a future, running ahead to the next stage of life, and thinking that if I only had one more thing… then life would really be easy. And it causes me to miss out on the gift of here and now. My children won’t ever be this age again. This is my chance to be with them here and now. This is a lesson that I think I need to be reminded of daily. The gift of this moment. The grace of God that causes the sun to rise again every morning. I was lecturing my son on how he needs to appreciate all he has, and I just laughed to myself. Then I hung my head and thought, “I’m sorry, God. I forgot how beautiful You are. How You have put so much beauty into this day, and I just passed by it all. I’m missing it. I’m missing You.”
Because the truth is that nothing is going to fulfill that big open hole in our hearts. No birthday gift, no fully potty trained family. Only God fulfills that need, that hole, that desire. He is the one who does not let us down, who does not give up on us, and who loves us as we are.
So if you need a place to start, start there. Start with being thankful that God is exactly who he says he is. And that He is doing a good work in and through you.
Lord, thank you so much for this day. I am so sorry that I have been trying to do things in my own strength again. I am sorry that I have confused getting things done with true happiness. Make my heart new, and open my eyes to see the beauty that you have woven into my everyday life. Thank you for this season, even if it is hard or lonely. Thank you that you are with me no mater what. In Jesus name, Amen.