The hardest thing I've done in my life is live through the every day.
It's mundane. It's sloppy. And it's hard.
I want to be all like “Yay! Cherish the moments!” but secretly inside, I want to crawl away to a quite home where there are no little ones to constantly peck me to death.
Yes, peck me to death. Children are like chickens and having them around all day, ‘erry day is like being slowly pecked to death by a chicken. It's a blood bath.
I see you through the screen… judging me… “But Shaye! You are so blessed. You have wonderful children and they are a gift from God!” HECK YES, I am! And HECK YES, they are!
But the reality is that raising children is just like any other task in a fallen world – it's hard. As I slaved away over the dishes last night, the two boys grabbed wine glasses from the dishwasher just in time to slam them together with an enthusiastic ‘CHEERS!' before they promptly shattered and littered broken bits of glass over the brand new woven rug I'd just put down hours before.
I cleaned it up. And then I whole-heartily shouted to Stuart “I'm so tired of living in a fallen world!“… *insert anger shout*
And I suppose we should feel that way. After all, a Christian is a pilgrim in a foreign land. This is not our home. All of this world is smeared with sin and brokenness. Even something like parenting cannot be fully enjoyed because we're all so bound and entangled in selfishness and rampant sin. It's in everything and it's everywhere. We can't escape it.
As much as I can cling to my Father's promises, I do. But being the broken individual that I am, I still find myself longing for my children to be grown adults that can come to visit for supper, help me clear the table, and then leave so I can finally go to the bathroom all by myself.
I know I'll miss these days. I know that.
For the homesteading, homeschooling, work-from-home Mama, there is little breathing room. Very, very little breathing room. And today is just one of those days.
You mop the floor, they decide to make homemade lemonade while you're changing your clothes and trail it all around the entire house. You know the days I'm talking about…
…I can hear my husband now: “So you're upset that they're living in the space?”
Yes. Today I am. Today I want them to live in a different space, a tree fort outside perhaps, where lemonade trails make no difference. Today, I want them to stop kicking each other and fighting over who gets to push the mop over the sticky lemonade. Today, I want to feel like any of my words are making even the teeniest difference in their hearts.
A few weeks back, I was talking with my Mom about all the meals we ate growing up. For the life of me, I couldn't think of one meal that she'd made and served to me. I remember what we ate but I couldn't remember a specific time. It made her so angry! For almost twenty years, she made and served me three meals a day. She meal planned, grocery shopped, prepared food, and cleaned up. She slaved every day for my well being. And here I am, a grown adult, being like “Oh, thanks Mom, for all that stuff I can't remember that almost killed you and pushed you to the end of your sanity.”
…I can hear my husband now: “Just because we don't remember specific events doesn't mean they didn't have a lasting effect on who are as people.”
True, so true. He's so wise.
So as I mop and fold and scrub and clip and nourish and discipline and guide and pray and plead and cry, I'll try to remind myself that even these small actions, though they couldn't care less about them now, will (please God!) have a lasting effect on them. That somehow, despite it's insufficiency, the work will be worthy.
The hardest thing I've done in my life is not what you'd think. The hardest thing I've done in my life is get through the day with joy that only comes from knowing someone worthy died in my place. Christ died so that I could sit here on my computer and whine like a little baby about the sausage stuck to the bottom of my new sock or the spilt milk that is currently dripping from the table to the floor. I know the joy. But I don't feel it all the time. And that is the hardest dang thing in the world. To believe it when you don't always feel it.
God, help me with my unbelief!
I caved and let the littles watch Little House on the Prairie so that I could collect my thoughts enough to not go completely mad. There is literally sausage from lunch stuck to my sock (still wearin' it) and milk dripping to the floor. The kitchen I cleaned for two hours last night is littered with crumbs, dishes, smears, trash, and legos. The laundry that was empty yesterday is now two loads deep. Willy won't nap. There's a poisonous spider living in the corner of my staircase. I broke my favorite wooden spoon. It's raining, somber, and Stu is gone.
This is where I am.
The every day.
The hardest thing I've done in my life is to believe that these days will bring me one step closer to a heaven where my soul will be completely satisfied through Christ, wine glasses will remain intact, selfishness will turn to worship, rage will turn into praise, and for eternity, my heart and my body can rest.
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