Sunday, November 10, 2013

When Every Straw Feels Like the Last

In the last 12 months, we have built a house, moved, had a baby, an asthma diagnosis, paid $4500 in deductibles, started Kindergarten, changed flooring and paint in another house, moved again...all pretty major life events. By the grace of God, we survived them all, sanity (relatively) intact. 

But lately, y'all. Lately, the little things have been so heavy. 

The constant volume of laundry, the amount of cooking and dishes, the cleaning up after tornado-Kam, the never ending fight of handing anxiety to God, the asthma learning curve, the fear of missing something with severe asthma care, the non stop work of a photographer's Fall, the need to encourage Kyle instead of taking out frustration on him, the need to be a patient, calm momma when the mess and whines make me want to scream...all the ladies reading this know I could go on and on. 

Each little thing has been hard this week, and I feel like I'm not doing a good job...not keeping up with anything...simply not enough. I want to whine and cry just like my sweet five year old tends to do after 8:00 PM.  

My chest fills, breaths shorten,  eyes begin to well, and as the tears overflow and run down my cheek, I feel the Holy Spirit reminding me all these daily struggles are part of a big blessing. I focus.  I could be crafting, in a perfectly organized, alphabetized, bacteria--and snot--free, beautifully decorated craft room. I could get 8 hours of rest every night, and work out an hour every day. I could have dates with my hunky husband each week, and we could have friends we spent uninterrupted time with playing cards, and games. Without three kids under five, that would be my life.  

Neat, pretty, rested. 

So my emotions shift, my heart melts, and I am humbled to tears of gratitude for the blessings of my children. The blessings of a mess made by kids at play. The blessing of exhaustion due to loving sick or hungry babies through the night. The blessing of learning about health complications in my very much alive 2 year old. The blessing of an empty savings account and arms full of a baby boy. The blessing of making the few quiet moments each day with the love of my life, my partner in our adventure, special even though those moments lack any degree of extravagance. The blessing of a paying job with flexible hours, that I enjoy. 

I fail everyday. God redeems and forgives me, and picks me up as I try again. I will keep reaching, crying out to Him, because these blessings revolve around Him, and NOT my work or ability. 

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

Simply, what do I want in my life? I want my family. I want joyful Children, and a full marriage. I want a grateful spirit. I want more than organization, success, and outer perfection! It begins--and never ends--with a chasing after Christ. 

So, I will continue to pursue, mind and body weary, because true joy and peace comes only from Him. 

Can you pray for me today? Can you tell me how I can pray for you? Can we come together to encourage and uplift, rather than judge and compare? After all, straws CAN break our backs, but what if we weave our straws to strands, and bring our strands together to become unbreakable cords? (Ecclesiastes 4:12) None of us can master what God has for us without Him, and without the encouragement and honesty of fellow believers!  

We need Him, we need one another. Here's to teamwork. Here's to hope :)

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