it’s hard work

Sometimes I’m so busy raising kids that I feel like I’m missing their lives. (Does that even make sense? Yes? No?)

That sensation hit strong a couple of weeks ago. I was feeling really bad for myself. Feeling like these kids are growing up so quickly, and I’m missing the whole thing because they’re such handfuls.

And then I sort of laughed at myself. Laughed because I get so, so, so sidetracked sometimes!

The Holy Spirit reminded me: The point of all this is not sentimentality. It is not the “How Many Warm Fuzzies Can You Have” game. A string of exhausting days with few-and-far-between picture perfect moments does not necessarily equal failure. (My melancholy mind always jumps right to failure. Sorry if that seems dramatic. Ha!)

The point (He reminded me) is
— young boys to men
— fools to wisdom seekers
— darkness to light

There is very little that is cute, warm, or fuzzy about those things. They are serious, war-waging, blood-sweat-and-tears things.

So should I feel like I’m a failure when I’m exhausted? When I feel utterly spent? No. I’m in the trenches and should be giving 100%.

When we were first married, Ryan would sometimes remark on how tired he was. Our dear landlord would smile and say, in his Down East way, “Well, it’s Friday evening. If you’re not tired on Friday evening, you’re doing something wrong.”

And sometimes I have to remind myself of the same thing: Stop being an idealist. Real life is work, and being tired isn’t a sign of failure. (Yes, it’s a sign of weakness, but I’m learning to be content even in that.) Do I need to cave to the flesh when I’m tired? No. There’s grace for that. And joy, too.

But this is not vacation; this is work. This is not my destination; I am moving forward. There are gifts along the way that fill my mama-heart with incredible joy — but that is not the end goal. To see Jesus formed in them. That will be the greatest joy.