a sanctifying sickness and motherhood.

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.

Enter… videos?

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…

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “a sanctifying sickness and motherhood.

  1. Sara B. says:

    I love this post! I can definitely relate to many of these things. (No, you are not the only one tempted to have a pity party on hard mothering days!)
    I’ll definitely check out more of your blog. I just started a new blog on motherhood and God’s work in me through it. I am glad wordpress makes it easy to navigate to other blogs too – found yours through the tag surfer. Anyway, keep up the good work!
    Sara B.
    http://biggerlens.wordpress.com/

  2. Barbie says:

    Loved this post! I think that this is something EVERY mother wrestles with. Praise God that we can turn to Him when we’re feeling desperate. πŸ™‚

  3. Jill says:

    To echo the other comments, yes, Annie, every mother struggles with this. You know why? We’re not Jesus. None of us serves our children as selflessly as He has served us. And thank God that he has! His ultimate act of service (laying his life down for us!) means that we don’t have to be condemned when we struggle. We have the gospel and grace for our shortcomings. And it’s because of this gospel and his selfless example that we are called to lay our lives down for others. I am convinced that parenthood is God’s vehicle to beat the self out of me. It’s painful, but good. Love you. Praying for you.

  4. Joy says:

    I feel like my comment to your post could be a novel! In fact, it feels like eons ago that I started writing a book with my SIL about perfectionism and body image. It focused mostly on the outward things and achievements and our need to strive for perfection. We were going to title it something along those lines…However, in the past 2 or 3 years, I have discovered the new title for my “book”. It’s called motherhood. The thing that brings up all the ugliness to the surface. Exposing selfishness, weakness and confronting the achiever in myself.
    I feel like young moms in particular experience some different battles during the early years of motherhood. We aren’t highly accomplished in our career nor did we have our five year plan all set before we had kids. Nope. We do this crash course style. And among trying to figure out what our “new” life is supposed to look like- we can’t help but remember that old life. You know, the one where you could predict your week. Go out on dates. Have alone time with your husband. Go to the gym or read a book.
    I have to confront the green eyed monster on this one. Some days it is difficult to be with people that aren’t in my shoes. That probably sounds bad. I feel bad saying it. But it’s true. Most of my 25 year old friends have muchhhhh more freedom than I do. That can be hard to swallow when I didn’t plan on my life looking this way.
    Enter in- the grieving process. About 6 months after having Jude, i found myself having tremendous anxiety which moved on to feeling like I couldn’t control anything which moved on to the dreaded postpartum depression. (I would like to mention here that Jude was a HORRIBLE sleeper for the first 2 years and many studies show that sleep deprivation increases the chances of PPD-it not, causing ppd. Also, weaning can kick moms into post partum depression. Oh, and moving and change in job are other risk factors πŸ™‚ Sounding familiar…)
    A huge step for me was crying. grieving. mourning. Actually acknowledging that there was a loss of the “old life” allowed me to move on. It emptied out a lot of the fear and anxiety that I had lost the chance to “do” all that I had planned. I realize this might sound extreme, or Debbie Downer, but it was my experience. I love my kids with everything!!!!!! but it took allowing myself to fee all of the crap for me to really enjoy my kids. Yes, there is a difference πŸ™‚
    I am definitely still in the process of figuring things out. I worry about going through another dark season but trust that God taught me things in the last one and if I have to walk through the valley again- there is purpose in it. I guess what I am trying to say is that, if you are having a hard day. I. Get. It. If you are looking at yourself in the mirror- dark circles and a little thinner than usual. I.Get.It. If you look forward to your morning cup of joe like an asthmatic looks for a deep breath of air. I.Get.It. And I am strangely comforted to know that I am not alone in my struggles and my hope is that you will find comfort in this as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s