The first year after my son Reuben was born I fought this transition with everything in me. I had never learned discipline and hard work in my life before. I didn't know the satisfaction and joy that laboring for the Lord would bring to my heart. I wanted my old life back and naively thought that it would eventually return.
When it didn't I went through some dark times. Not only was I mourning my old life, but my body was changed. My relationship with my husband and even my sleep schedule was altered. Everything was different and it was a difficult year that I remember blogging through with tears and prayers and the wrong heart attitude.
I think my transition would have been easier if I had the right heart attitude. Like I have now, where my eyes are on God and his plan and I realize that raising kids does take sacrifice. But that these sacrifices are made willingly by me because I want to honor God. Before I had kids I didn't really understand or live my life realizing that it belonged to God. I thought my life belonged to me. But having children was the catalyst to sparking total surrender to Christ in my heart. I'm not perfect, I still struggle, of course, but my attitude has made life much more bearable and brought so much joy to my heart.
Motherhood isn't glamorous. At least not the way "the world" and "Hollywood" paint beauty and fashion, or worth. It is also hard work. It takes effort and attention. It takes planning and love. And I think it also takes total surrender to Christ. It takes sacrifice of my will and my desires to God as I serve my family. This doesn't make me special or anything--it is what God requires of everyone. It is just me doing my job.
Anyway, I spend a lot of time scrubbing the floor. Sometimes negative thoughts swirl through my head with the suds. I'm meant for more than this. Why do my kids make so many messes that I have to clean up. My life has no meaning. All I do is cook and clean. There must be something more for me.
But I have come to realize a lot of things about scrubbing the floor. And I have come to be thankful for this daily chore and even to love it. Now while I am scrubbing the floor I am showing my son and daughter how much I love them by caring for them. I am teaching them discipline, because they scrub floors too! Even my 16 month old daughter can help. I am worshiping God by caring for my home and serving my family.
I'm not above scrubbing floors. It's okay that life didn't turn out how I imagined it would. It's good that my livelihood isn't easy because it keeps me close to God and in surrender to him. I now try to have a favorable view of scrubbing floors and chores and child raising--because I don't want the seeds of bitterness and regret to fester in my heart and I don't want to raise my children with a mom who is always unhappy, stressed out, and pining for what she can't have.
I have everything I need because I am a child of God. Even in the hard times. Specifically as a American! And even if I lost all my worldly possessions, I can't loose my faith and trust in God. He will care for me like the lilies of the fields in Luke.
And here, in surrender to God, he has shown me the deep joys of motherhood and family service. My place does have meaning, a meaning that fame and fortune and klout could not touch a finger to. The glory and riches of God surpass all other glittering idols.
So, sometimes my life is scrubbing floors but I love it. Sometimes I don't sleep but to God be the glory. If Corrie Ten Boom's sister Betsie can give thanks for fleas in the middle of concentration camp, I can give thanks for dirty diapers and whiny voices and wet kisses and the same book for the 10th time. I can give thanks for husbands who work late and little boys that don't want to go to bed and saying "please put your shoes on" for the 14th time. God sure has blessed me and I will give thanks, because we are never promised tomorrow.
Luke 12:27-40 (ESV)
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.