I've had a rough morning. No, I'm not going to lie, I've had a rough five years. Ever since I decided to stay home from working as a teacher in 2010, that's when it got tough.
Yes, staying home has been the toughest thing I have ever done in my life. First, there was the loneliness of being away from a community. Then there was the sinking feeling of "What am I going to do with my time." Hence, making my own business, to hopefully fill my days with productivity and fruitfulness of getting something accomplished besides cleaning up throw up off the floor or changing another diaper for the 13,000th time.
I cried again today. Knowing that having a third kid will leave me even more tired, hungry, in pain, and scared than before. I just don't like surprises AT ALL. The scariest thing is that I'll be doing it all alone. Yes, my husband is a great help to me. But he doesn't have to physically have the baby, get surgery for the third time (I can only have c-sections because I can't physically dilate during labor due to some weird syndrome) and feed the baby at all hours of the night. My husband works all day. Therefore, leaving three kids to be entertained and educated alone comes to me.
I am a very goal driven person. I live my life by them. I love order and I hate chaos! Which is why having a child, much less three children is VERY difficult with me at times. You can never reason with a child. You can't never explain why we have to wear a jacket outside, or why we ran out of their favorite sippy cup. And then there is the MESS. The mess that always seemed to cake on the floor, just when you spent all morning cleaning it up on your hands and knees. Which is why having children has wrecked every single life goal that I ever had for myself. I once wanted to be a principal by the age of 35. I wanted to be a working mom. Then I when I decided to own my own business, then I wanted to be the most popular photographer in the area. Now, I can't even get jobs during the "on-season."
I think it's so easy to look online and see all the wonderful things that I should be doing, should be making, should be teaching, should be creating, should be traveling to....
I always feel as if I am not doing enough as a parent, as a wife, as a Christian, as a woman, as a business owner, as a human being.
I really wish I could focus and only do one thing at a time. It was easy in college. I just needed to study. In early married life, it was be the best wife I could be and work a day job. As a mom with one small infant, I could have my house clean for the entire day and write books and go to the grocery store with no problems. Now, as a mom of two, going on three. I am lucky enough to get one thing done at a time. My large goals have shrank from massive "hairy audacious goals" to daily "wins."
My life verse is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I only wish that I believed that 100% of the time. Sometimes I just fall into bed knowing I have to do it all over again the next day.
Being a mom is the hardest thing I ever had to do. Harder than getting a Master's Degree. Harder then living in a third world country for two months with a stomach worm. Harder than digging trenches in New York for a mission trip. Harder than being a night-shift janitor at college. Harder than hiking a mountain, or crawling in a cave, or climbing the inside of the Statue of Liberty, Harder than training to be on the varsity basketball team at 5 AM every morning in high school (Yes, I've done all these things).
I have only now begun to understand what being a parent really means: complete selflessness. Selflessness that has only caused me to thank my heavenly Father for His complete sacrifice on the cross. As the Apostle Paul wrote:
3: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
4: not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5: In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7: rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8: And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9: Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11: and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus, had every right to be the most upset with God for messing up his plans. Jesus was probably perfectly happy living in heaven, having dominion over the entire universe and then God gives him the hardest assignment of his life.
Not only did God want his only son to be born as a humble baby, live a unknown life, but to ultimately die a criminal's death for wrongs that he didn't commit.
Jesus was beaten, bruised, cursed, laughed at, mocked, shamed and regarded as nothing, but yet he had everything.
So my beautiful mess of a life, if not accomplishing anything of worldly value, if points to the CROSS at any point, I have succeeded.
Thank you Jesus,