I sat on the driveway behind our two cars with all 4 kids and a huge pile of small rocks. This is hardly where I would have pictured today’s math lesson to take place but I met them where they were, that’s what we are supposed to do right? I helped our big girls count out and divide rocks from the yard into groups of 10 while our 3 year old simultaneously messed up those piles with a huge stick. This of course produced frustration and screaming. Meanwhile I’m juggling a teething and sick baby that will not let me put him down or stop crying, but the opportunity to put small rocks in his mouth finally cheered him up. This of course was combatted by his watchful but very distracted and frustrated mom. Why can’t we just get through this lesson? Why does this have to be so hard? Why can’t our 3 year old just watch and listen or go somewhere else in the yard for 5 minutes? Why can’t the baby just nap right now, preferably somewhere else than in my arms?
These are the moments when I ask myself, what on earth am I doing? Who on earth decides to have 4 kids in 6 years other than someone who desires to run a small daycare and preschool in their home all day every day? This is not my field of expertise. For the record, I chose to live alone with no roommates for years before being married because I needed my alone time. These days, I consider myself lucky if I get to go to the bathroom on my own and don’t have the lock picked by someone who needs me to tie yet another doll onto a car so it doesn’t fall off and it needs to happen right this instant.
Why is it that God speaks to us most during our struggles? James 1:2 says “consider it pure joy, brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” I don’t know about you but I find it hard to be joyful during pain. Though I’m realizing this is a choice, choosing to be joyful results in joy, just like choosing to be angry produces anger. God gives us a choice in how to respond to life’s struggles but I’m finding that aligning myself with his will and being grateful in all circumstances can only produce joy, no matter what stage I’m in.
Later that evening I found myself sitting on the couch (with the sick, teething baby snuggling me close) thinking about how I’m going to get dinner started one handed while holding him with the other. It’s my 5th night in a row of no sleep and non stop days with the kids are wearing on me hard. Just then I chose to be joyful and grateful and I look up to see our big three kids running around in a circle in our playroom chasing eachother, squealing in joy. They love eachother, they ENJOY eachother and THAT is what I’m here for, to witness God’s goodness- the good times and the bad, and I’m so thankful that amidst all the struggles of the day, God allows me to see these glimmering moments, reminding me that He is SO good.