May 09, 2011

Me? The mother of three?

Yesterday was sweet. Mother's Day. I didn't cook not one time. And Anthony let me buy a couple of large throw pillows for our new couch/living room/house.

But this morning, the morning after such a sweet day, even AFTER spending time in the word and praying specifically for patience and kindness, I lost it.  I think the washing machine was the straw. I pulled out a pair of boxer shorts and up came a knotted mess of clothes and like a sleeping dragon waking, I got angry. I yelled.  I didn't merely "unknot" the clothes so I could hang them up to dry. No. Really, it's a miracle they were all still intact once I got them out. They definitely didn't have any sort of self-esteem left when I got through with them.
After my episode, part of which was unnecessarily taken out on my amazing husband, I went in my room to pout to pray and figure things out. Why had I gotten so angry? The Holy Spirit in that gentle, but firm way He does things convicted me of my selfishness and well, my selfishness. He comforted me too and while the greatest comfort came in the fact that my Lord is willing to listen to me even when I'm being a big baby, I also found a little relief in the fact that clothes balls won't be coming out of my washer in a couple weeks (see post below) and that I won't have to wash the dishes in the kitchen sink just so I can brush my teeth (only sink in the house now, changing in less than 3 weeks!).

So childish and selfish, isn't it? Part of it is culture stress of course, but part of it, most of it really, though of all the things I'm conscious to do in my spiritual walk, was because of my selfishness and unthankfulness. Discontentment. Why should a stupid washing machine with an agitator bring me comfort? Holy cow, I have CLEAN water that comes straight out of the ONE sink in our little house right now and I can wash my dishes and brush my teeth in that one sink without fearing that I'm giving my self, my unborn child, or my family some sort of water-borne illness. So ungrateful I am!

So, now that the kids are taking a nap (the Lord is merciful, amen?) I sat down to get on the internet and came across this post from a blog I follow.  This little lecture in the form of a Mother's Thoughts was EXACTLY what I needed for my selfish, high-maintenance, un-Christlike attitude today (and way too many other days as well). And while not all my selfishness stems from me fighting to save "Sharon" in the midst of her disappearing into the "Rivers kids" a HUGE part of my life is my children, and with the addition of #3 it's just going to become more-so... and so often my attitude and my heart towards them isn't what it should be. 

As the mother with 2 little ones and another on the way I really wonder how there will be enough grace to cover me, the Dragon-Mama, some days... this perspective below (I should probably print this out and post it on the fridge or above the kitchen sink...whether I have to brush my teeth in it or not) is what I want to learn from the Lord.  Then maybe our clothes, my husband, and our children won't suffer from my selfish fire-breathing ways...

The following made me cry.

A "I'm so sorry Lord" kind of cry.
A "teach me Lord because I want this type of wisdom" kind of cry.

These were written by a mother-in-law on the request of her daughter-in-law who wanted to learn from her...
I grow increasingly convinced that God values children much, much more than we do.

We value a clean floor more than children. We value free time more than children. We value the good dishes more than children. We value going out to eat or watching grown-up television shows more than we value children.

All the world, including the church, tells us that children are a bother, perhaps even a mistake. If you don’t believe that, introduce a family with many babies into your church and see how long it takes for someone to say, “They know what causes that, don’t they?”

We have let the world convince us that a large family is a curse, when the Bible clearly teaches that many children are a blessing, a sign of God’s great favor.

If I had the choice right now, there would be more children in my family. And I think I might be brave enough to let God decide how many.

I remember that it seemed a little frantic around my house when the children were little. I never got “it all” done, whatever “it all” is. There was not much privacy or money or free time. There was lots of laundry and garbage and stinky stuff. The boys were going to be 2 and 4 forever. It was never going to end.

Don’t get me wrong - I enjoyed my boys. But it was all colored by that worldly, selfish, hurry-up-and-grow-up attitude. And then it was over. I woke up one morning and they were almost as tall as me. The next day, or so it seemed, they didn’t even live with us. Now there is not much garbage or laundry or stinky stuff. And there is much more privacy and money and free time.

I’d trade it all in a heartbeat.

I would do laundry around the clock if it meant I could have one more day with my little boys in my home. I want the piles of blue jeans back. If my family had been larger, perhaps I would have grown in wisdom and learned to treasure the tiny victories and agonies of everyday. Perhaps not, but at least it would have lasted longer.

You think they’ll be little forever. You can’t imagine being able to handle – afford – care for another little life. But you can. And it will be over before you know it, with plenty of years left to use the good dishes. 


Brandon and April said...

Love it. every word of it. Why is it on the one day that we're supposed to feel like pros at this mothering thing, is the day that the Lord challenges us more than ever before. Yesterday I found myself thinking..."hmmm, if only it were legal to chain my child to her bed...then maybe I'd get something worthwhile done." Lovely. Just lovely those thoughts going through my head on Mother's Day.
My kids eat on ugly bright orange, green, and yellow unbreakable dishes right now. They are hideous. But I shall be reminded of this mother-in-law's words every time I reach for one of those awful plates. :)

Morgan said...

I had a major meltdown on Mother's Day, too. What's THAT about?! I put it down to being sick and feeling awful, but at its root, it's really just selfishness. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

jdk0103 said...

Love the words of wisdom! Thanks for posting it :) Sorry we've been behind on checking on your blog. Trying to catch up now!!! We are excited to see what's all going on over there. We sure miss being there personally to experience it with you. Know that we are thinking of you guys especially as you transition to a new place! Can't wait to find out about baby I3!!!!!! Any name ideas yet?????