Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if
we do not grow weary."
I think I watched too many romanticized movies or read too many novels when I was growing up. Somehow I came into motherhood, marriage and adult life expecting my existence to be rosy, sweet, loving, conflict-free, and Beaver-Cleverish.
"We will probably never have a fuss," I said to an older friend as I was entering into marriage. I just knew there would be no conflict! Didn't take long before I broke that expectation.
Often, when all four kids would have respiratory issues, ear infections and keep me sleepless for days at a time, I would be overwhelmed because I wasn't expecting it.
Church splits totally blew me out of the water because I had an expectation that all Christians would be loving and kind. The list goes on.
But since God's will for me was to grow up and grow stronger and wiser, instead of removing me from the conflicts, He walked me through them and I learned wisdom from lots of experiences--sometimes I learned by failing, sometimes I learned by just walking through them and realizing I was still alive at the other end.
But all the while, as Clay and I walked these challenging pathways, holding God's hand, our children were watching and learning and modeling our behavior. Not long ago, ...,
Sitting in the dark shadows of my small cozy library as the sun went behind the
mountain, found me and one of my older children talking quietly of struggles,
challenges, battles of life, and long term endurance. The deep friendship, shaped
over years of shared life, had knit our souls quite together.
I wasn't expecting this moment to be a memorable one. Just a normal moment in
the dusk of day, that shaped a soul-satisfying memory.
"Mama," my grown child tenderly whispered, "One of the greatest things you
have ever accomplished is to keep our family together through love, faith, laying
down your own life, and enduring with as much grace as Jesus could give you,
so that our lives could be whole, healthy and strong.
I know that only God will know the ways you have chosen to give and serve and forgive, when you had to
make the choices to do so. But all of us kids have benefitted because you were
willing to weather the storms of life for us and hold us together."
Sometimes, I think mamas hold the whole world together. Their work is that
Much of our lives as a family has been a battle through raging storms.
But, there are some amazing graces on this side of motherhood, when my four
children have reached adulthood---I don't have to go back through any of the
storms we barely weathered and much of my labor is behind me. And from all of
it, I see four healthy, strong, vibrant young adults who are also my beloved
Life is a journey from our present lives, to the future home Jesus is preparing for
us to live in, with Him, for all eternity. Our own lives are filled with storms and
gales and the blowing winds of a fallen world. Many times, unexpected gales of
life threaten to undo us and overcome us. I hardly know of a family who isn't
suffering through some sort of illness, loss of job, relationship heartbreak,
conflict and difficulties.
An illusion that some people have about our family is that it has ever been easy
for us to hold fast to ideals. Through 17 moves (5 international); clinical asthma
with three of my children; adhd and ocd to extremes in two children; illnesses,
financial issues, church splits, rejection from family members for ideals--so many
storms that I was never trained for or ready to live through. Then there were the
fusses, messes, long hours and no support systems.And then the weird children
and unusual parents--we are all a study in contrasts and misfits.
All family travel into the eyes of life-storms. It is not an evidence of a bad family,
it is the reality of a fallen world, with rebellion and fallenness evident with every
And yet, wanting to love God and serve Him through it all, was the glue that
held me, us, our own family, together when life threatened to tear all of us
It is not the grand, noble accomplishments that are the most
profoundly valuable to God. It is the unnoticed, the invisible
practicing of being faithful, courageous when no one else is looking,
that become the jewels of our faith in the eyes of God.
Accepting a loud, boisterous child and seeking to be patient and gentle over and
over again, when feelings threatened to erupt into frustration and anger.
For the rest of this blog article, find me writing at The Better Mom today--and also discussing Own Your Life with the Book Club there.
To read more about Owning Your Life amidst all of these seasons, go HERE