What if I was having octuplets? Whew. Five weeks ago our dog had a litter of puppies- the money we were going to use to spay her in early fall ended up having to pay for vet bills for our very sick other dog (who fully recovered, by the way). We thought she was done at six pups because there was a long lull, and ran out for a bite to eat, arriving home to find two more. Ugh, I thought, if we keep one as planned, we still have to find seven homes for these little squirmy creatures. They are adorable but let me tell you, care for eight puppies is enough to tip most people over the edge of sanity, especially since momma Annie is less and less interested in their clamoring at this point.
I can kind of relate to poor Annie, since we have had two bouts of sickness in our family over the past two weeks, and even though I have only two little ones right now, one of my sweet daughters is really a challenge to my patience when she is sick and I wouldn't mind taking off beyond the fence for a quick run through the orchard like Annie does to get away for a few minutes, although my six-months-pregnant body would rebel and I'd be hobbling by my third step. Naturally bent towards whining anyways (like her mother?), whenever lovey-girl is under the weather she kicks it up about ten notches- on top of (or probably because of) being unable to sleep through the discomfort of her nasal congestion. Ack! So, my patience wearing thin, I gritted my teeth through the morning, trying to hang onto the encouragement I read before closing my eyes last night at Grace Full Mama: (these are just a few excerpts but the post isn't very long and is definitely worth reading in full)
...And this American-born girl pushes back against her “rights” being taken away. Among the things I expect in life are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness . . . but also electricity, running water, noise ordinances, and a place to escape the heat. The growing pains of this selfish heart groan against what I view as “the basics” being taken away from me. I mean, shouldn’t a person have a right to flush the toilet when they want to?
...But to learn how to “get along with humble means”? To be honest, it wasn’t that hard, the giving up of life and home to follow the Lord overseas. The big sweeping drama of leaving family behind, and traveling into the unknown has excitement and exhilaration attached to it. But the every day, sweating it out? Not so much.
...Set your mind. Dwell on Him. Set your mind on the Gospel, the Good News of what Christ has already accomplished on my behalf. Set your mind on things of eternal importance, not on the petty things and silly worries here on earth.
There was no promise or even suggestion that motherhood should come with some inviolable rights that I am entitled to; motherhood ruins the concept of entitlement, and for the better! My body and mind may be tired tonight, but my soul is refreshed after this long day. Because I continually had to stop, re-set my mind to dwell on Him in the midst of my own selfish desires, my own focus on my performance, my own anger or irritation at perceived "injustices" to my person (like getting ample sleep at night is some "right" I am entitled to, and of great significance- ha! Tricky lies!). Because Jesus promises He loves me enough to finish the work He began in me, regardless of how small-minded I am, regardless of how often I kick against His loving and firm discipline, regardless of how often I fail at "doing better," and regardless of how poorly I represent Him sometimes to those closest to me. My struggle results tonight in praise to the Lord for children and a husband who forgive me and a Savior who offers forgiveness beyond measure, and hope for more and more grace tomorrow.