Can I be honest and say out loud that I have felt disappointment and sadness by the many sacrifices that I’ve had to make for my family’s sake ? I understand 100% that I made the decision to have kids and I’m not complaining or regret them in the least. I love and adore my children wholeheartedly. However, there is a side to me that often wonders what my life would look like had I taken a different route. I suppose this is a slippery slope for anyone to go down because we simply cannot know what will happen at every turn we take.
I wonder about the possibilities because there are so many days that I’m just stuck in a routine: wake up, make the kids breakfast, take them to school, come home and tend to the baby, try to get housework done, go pick the kids up, cook dinner, endure dinner, night time routine. This cycle continues every day. With the exception of no school on the weekends, it’s pretty much the same thing then as well. It is easy to get lost in my thoughts while I’m doing another mind numbing task such as washing the dishes for the 4th time of the day.
I’m on this journey where I truly want to be optimistic and increase my faith through any challenge. It is so easy for me to be spiritual when I’m alone or when I’m listening to an awesome teaching. I definitely feel good in those moments, but when it comes to very stressful moments of dealing with one child scream my name, while the baby is crying and the other one is off doing who knows what, it’s pretty hard.
Recently, I’ve had to make yet another sacrifice. I had to give up school and withdrawal from class on the 6th week of the semester because there was no one to watch my kids while I went to school at night. My husband’s work schedule got changed to nights and so this left me S.O.L. It hurt my heart so much to have to drop because I knew in my heart that it wasn’t just this one class; having to drop was symbolic for me having to give up the entire dream. I just felt that this door was being shut. I’m currently on a path of reflection.
1For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
I have this scripture in huge bold letters in my dining room so I get to see it every day, but it doesn’t always sink it. I want to change my mind and really live this out if I say that I believe it. Sure this door may have been shut, but God is greater than any plans that I have. He can take whatever disappointment I feel and change me and/or my surroundings. His plan is perfect, always. Yes, I believe this…for other people. Why do I struggle so hard to believe God’s goodness for me? Well, perhaps it’s because I’m impatient and I want to see results NOW. But that’s not how God operates. He wants me to maintain a positive attitude while I patiently wait on him. See, whether I’m patient or not, I still have to wait so why not have a good attitude about it? I guess it’s time for me to start encouraging myself. I have to stay rooted in God’s word. If I allow doubt and regret and fear and disappointment to take hold of me, then how do I know that I’m not hindering my own blessings?
Here I am making my small problems really big problems. Instead of counting my blessings, I spend time thinking about what I don’t have, where I could be, what I should have done. I realize that when I do that, I am one of those people who crucified Christ. When I spend time dwelling on insignificant things, then I’m saying that my problems are bigger than what Jesus did on the cross FOR ME. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so why does anything else matter?
I don’t want to say that what I feel doesn’t matter because it does. I know that God cares about me and my feelings. But, instead of venting to others about my problems, why don’t I first go to Him? Spending time with God feels weird at times because in the natural world it seems that I’m just sitting alone and talking to myself. But that is so far from the truth. There have been times where I just sit in a room and say “God I need you.” Or, “God I can’t” and he blesses me by reminding me of certain things, or he’ll have someone text or call me in that moment. Seriously. God is real and he’s at work and I know that he works on my behalf. What I need to do, is get my head and my heart to line up.
I usually gripe about being a woman/wife/mom because of all the work involved. It is a tireless and oftentimes thankless job. Who would willingly sign up for this? Well, I’m not the first one and I’m certainly not the last one. My purpose in writing this is to encourage myself and other mothers that everything we do in this life will not be in vain. The key though, is to do what we are supposed to do, and as much as possible, have a positive heart without allowing negativity to weigh us down. I have spent way too many years feeling sorry for myself and just being negative and it hasn’t done anything for me. I may not have tangible proof that everything is going to be alright, but I sure have faith that God knows what he’s doing. He loves me and He loves you.