I’ve been laid up in bed and our couch for the past ten days fighting an inner/outer ear infection and bronchial asthmatic spasms (whatever that means. Apparently it warrants an inhaler which I’m thankful for).
I haven’t been this sick, stomach flu aside, since just before Elianna was born. Having two babies with said disease is nothing short of miserable. Completely miserable.
My husband = My hero. He has faithfully fed the kids, took over my portion of student min work, entertained the girls when all I can do is pop in movies, and served me without my asking.
I hate being sick like this. DUH. And it comes at a time when I’ve really began wrestling with my role as a mama. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little bambinos with a love I can only describe as earthly pure love. But coming up with activities to entertain them both has sort of got me by the neckline.
Enter The Sick.
I have a hard time with this part of parenting. I have friends who navigate it REALLY well and play with their kids and take them on outings and sacrificially serve their babies by nurturing them in the playtime hours in ways I can really only do on the weekends. And if I’m being super honest? Sometimes, on those weekends, I just want to sleep in. I want to drive up to the North Shore without coinciding it with naptime and lay on the beach all by myself or just with JD and a good book.
Lately, I’ve been mourning my pre-baby life a lot.
This is a slippery slope. Quickly, if I don’t catch my self and cling to the work on the cross by Jesus, I find myself stuck in a giant me-only pity party.
Tell me you other moms have experienced this…
Honestly, until just recently, motherhood – though hard – has been euphoric and intoxicating with love and joy. I never missed my old life.
Being sick has exposed my heart. The ugliness of it. The UNserving part. The part that wrestles with believing God wants to restore me and bring me out of my pit.
Lent. A season of repentance. Of preparation for the Cross and Resurrection.
I have nothing to bring to my God, except Christ on the Cross and my belief in an empty tomb on my behalf. It is here, in the intercession that Jesus brings, that brings me hope. My hope that my identification with Christ will humble me and bring me to servitude for my children. That my selfishness doesn’t have to win. That joy exists in serving my little ones and closing down the computer or turning off the tv or forgetting the fact that I will sweat profusely the moment I step outside in the hot humid Hawaiian sun. Or how much time it takes to pack the bags and put on sunscreen and make a lunch so we don’t get stuck in the McDonald’s drive thru with starving kids AGAIN.
I wonder if I’m cut out for this. Parenting.
I’m not, really. Not if left to my own merits, my own wants and wishes.
But just like in marriage and every other relationship that means something… parenting is a process of sanctification. Setting us apart for a holy purpose. Making us like our Servant God.
And when I count the smiles and giggles and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE of my babies as blessing and remember that this joy did not exist before them, I thank God for the opportunity to serve these small vessels and nurture them with adventure, healthy food and dance parties in the living room. And of course, there’s always room for Toy Story 3 and babysitters and rest.
It’s all in my heart.
Praising a God who cares enough to allow my suffering to produce radical transformation. May it be done in me…