When the day drags on, there’s supper to be made, and I am out of energy, I remember: this is more than a job. It’s a calling.
When I tire of the world’s perspective that tells me I have too many children, not enough luxuries, and not enough money, I remember: these are souls I’m raising. Eternal ones. I’ll never regret them.
When I’m running out of space to organize more things into, I remember: less is more, and we’re just about to the point where we can eliminate all toys. They have siblings to play with, after all.
When I stick to the floor, I remind myself that someday, syrup will no longer be considered a deadly weapon.
When I find sand in my bed from the child who napped there earlier, I try to remind myself: someday, they’ll be too old for naps. And then, I’ll long for the time when they were little. (And the time when they’d disappear into their beds for an hour or three each day.)
When I feel nauseous and tired, I remind myself that it’s but for a season, and there are so many women who would love the chance to feel a baby move inside of them.
When I discipline the same child for the same disobedience for the twenty fifth time that day, I think, “Think what this strong will can accomplish if I persist.” And so I do.
When I catch a cold from the baby who suffered from it for a day (and is, more often than not, the child who insists on chewing on the shopping cart handle) and I suffer for a week, I’ll try to be thankful. I’m alive and honored to parent that child. And obviously, I haven’t finished my job yet – or he wouldn’t still be chewing on the shopping cart.
When I have to choose between cleaning my house or schooling my children, I’ll choose schooling my children. The house isn’t going anywhere.
When I’m tired and crabby and find chores undone, I’ll scold. Then I’ll jump in and help. Because I don’t want my children to only remember the scolding.
I’ll mend the “fluffy” tulle skirt again and again, knowing my daughter loves it.
I’ve never, ever had someone tell me they wish they had less children. I’ve never, ever had a mother tell me to spend less time with the children. I’ve yet to hear my two year old tell me how clean the house isn’t, or complain when supper is simple because we spent the day at the park.
When I serve my children and die to self, I remind myself. I’ve got nothing on Christ crucified. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in self pity when I’m having a bad day, when the kids have offended me with their disobedience in the store again, when I’ve given and gotten nothing in return. But really, I’ve got nothing. Here’s to choosing joy, choosing service, and choosing to pursue the goal with my all. Because that’s all I’ve got.