Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Beauty in the Mundane

Before I begin this blog, I need to start with a back story. When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mom. I saw how much joy my mom took in being with us and taking care of us. She was there to greet us when we came home from school and she was there to see us off each morning as we caught the bus. She made us snacks when we got home and I cannot remember her ever complaining about driving us to all of our sporting events that we had in the evening. She supported my dad constantly as he worked hard to provide a wonderful life for my brother and me. From an early age, I wanted to be just like my mom. When we would go to my brother's baseball games, I would find every little baby and ask to watch the baby while the moms watched the games. My dad used to say that if he could get me to love tennis as much as I loved babies- that I could have "gone pro." Even as I entered high school, my ambitions did not change. I hoped for a wonderful husband and children that I could be a mommy to. I believed (and still believe) this desire for wifehood and motherhood was what the Lord had called me to. I am by no means saying that this is what every woman is called to. Some women are called by Jesus to represent Him well in the workplace. That is their calling from Jesus and it is a blessing when He fills that desire for them. By the sweet grace of Jesus, He did give me my dream to become a wife and mother. He forms our desires and He fulfills them in His timing. I was able to marry my high school sweetheart and, though it took a few years and some heartbreaking miscarriages, Jesus gave me 3 awesome and crazy kids to raise. My husband works so diligently so that I can stay home with our children. I am so thankful that I am able to work the job that I feel the Lord has made me for (disclaimer- again, I do not think that it is wrong for some women to work outside of the home- we all have different callings from the Lord and must walk where He has called us).

With all of that being said, as a stay at home mom, there are many times where the mundane tasks of motherhood can become tiring and I can get frustrated with the daily tasks of raising my little ones and keeping our house in order. Overall, I try to walk in a spirit of gratitude to the Lord for letting me live out my dreams, BUT there are times when I give in to selfishness and I can start being ungrateful for my family and my ministry to them.

Last week, the Lord really woke me up and brought me back to the gratitude that I know He wants me to walk in. Last Friday we were visiting Sonny's family in Wharton and at around 9:15pm, I put Pax and Zoee in the shower at Grandma's house to clean them up a bit before we were going to put on their jammies and head home. I had been working out a little more intensely in the afternoons that week so I guess my muscles were a little tense and tired. When I was cleaning the floor after their showers (they had tracked in HUGE amounts of dirt), I went to stand up and a thousand sharp pains flooded my neck and back. I threw my hands in the air (that was the position that was the least painful) and I asked Zoee, through flowing tears, if she could please get Daddy. Yall, the pain was awful. I consider myself a mildly tough person and I try not to cry in front of others; yet in this moment, I could not stop the tears. Sonny's whole family was there. I tried to stay in the bathroom as long as I could but Sonny wanted me to try and sit in the recliner in the living room. There was no hiding the pain or tears at that point. Grandma, along with Sonny's aunt and cousins, were all there trying to help ease the pain. After a few minutes (and me quietly pleading NOT to go to the hospital), Sonny made the decision that we would not go to the emergency room but we would just drive home and try to get me some pain medicine and see if I could rest. We made it home and Sonny put all of the kids in bed. He helped get me situated in our bed with a heating pad and pain medicine. Neither of us slept much that night. The pain was still very severe and it was difficult to get comfortable. The next morning my mom came and took Pax for the morning so we could rest (the older 2 are pretty good about entertaining themselves and they understood that when I was in pain, they would have to step up a little bit and help out more. Pax just doesn't get that yet!). Sonny decided that he wanted to try and get me into a doctor that could look at my spine. I silently prayed that we could see our chiropractor instead of a spinal doctor. After calling almost every specialist (they were all closed on Saturday), Sonny decided that we should try our chiropractor to see if he could give me any relief from the pain. Our chiropractor was able to squeeze us in and after careful examination, he let me know what had happened. My muscles had been overworked and dehydrated and I had had a severe muscle spasm. He said I would be in pain for a few more days and I would be fine within a week or so.

I share all of this because in the midst of all of the pain on Friday night, I started thinking about the mundane tasks that I sometimes take for granted. When we got home Friday night, I couldn't help Sonny unload the car. I couldn't put Pax in his bed or even change his diaper. The next morning, I couldn't make breakfast for the kids or Sonny. I couldn't make our bed or even brush my teeth without being in pain. All of the mundane suddenly became beautiful. I prayed often on Friday evening and Saturday morning that the Lord would let me have the mundane back. Would He be kind enough to let me change my son's diaper again? Could I please have the ability to put clothes in the washer again? Before seeing the chiropractor, we thought I had a spinal injury. I was in so much pain and I didn't know if it was going to get worse or better. In that time of unknowing, I longed for the simple tasks that I had so often taken for granted.

By the grace of Jesus, it was just a severe muscle spasm and I am working to restore those muscles. Though the thought of that pain makes me wince even now, the lessons that the Lord has taught me through this have been very humbling and eye-opening. I am thankful that Jesus loves me enough to remind me to walk in thankfulness and to not take on my daily tasks begrudgingly. He says in the book of Hebrews that His disciplines His children for their good (and ultimately for His glory). He is a good Father that wants what is best for us. It is best for me to walk thankfully and joyfully and thus He took me through this past weekend to kindly remind me of His calling for me.

For anyone out there who might not be walking in thankfulness, I just want to encourage you to look at the kindness of Jesus in your life. A Savior has come to take away your sins by dying on the cross in your place. If you can think of no other way that He has been kind to you, this truth is MORE than enough reason for you to live thankfully and joyfully. He is our peace. He has taken away our shame. We are called to declare His glory with our lives (1 Peter 2). How are we doing at declaring His glory through our lives on a daily basis? Do our neighbors see the joy of Jesus in us? Do our kids and husbands and coworkers see the joy of Jesus in us? Do we love others selflessly and humbly? It is my hope that we can all live out the book of 1 Peter well, longing for the return of Jesus but ready to joyfully serve Him as we wait for His return. Let us not let the mundane be taken for granted today.

1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."