Monday, April 19, 2010

Sowing and Reaping

Yesterday was hard. [This has taken me four days to pretend this was yesterday.] It would be easy to look at the pictures I just put up the other day and assume that everything here is all sunshine, all the time. Although I am content - even delighted - in my calling, there are still days that are incredibly challenging, humbling, and exposing of the rampant sin in my heart.

My attitude was foul from the beginning. The night before had been unusually difficult with Ruthie, especially since she had been going longer stretches more consistently. I was sleepily washing bottles, disappointed that we were still out of coffee creamer, trying to get geared up for a full day. I especially dreaded the trip to the grocery store, which would include all three of the girls. Although I was whining in my own heart, I was particularly intolerant of the whining that emerged from the big girls' room. Phoebe seemed particularly sensitive, and Nora just wanted to be held. Ruthie, who goes back to sleep about the time the big girls are getting up, was unusually fussy and unsettled. I grumbled and stewed over breakfast.

While I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I was ready to throw in the towel. And it wasn't even 8:30. Michael kidnapped Nora and brought her to the girls' room for a little one-on-one time before he left for work. And as I scrubbed the counters, I tried to scrub out my nasty attitude. (I failed, by the way.)

By 9:00, Michael had to get out the door...and I had to get those girls dressed if we were going to ever make it out of the house. Ruthie was already crying to be fed. Michael set up the big girls on blankets for blanket time and I hurried to get a bottle ready. Feeding time was uneventful, but it wasn't long before Nora figured out how to take the top off my water bottle...and then pour it all over herself and the couch. The slipcover came off, and Nora got a wardrobe change. I also needed a wardrobe change, since Ruthie had spit up all over my back. And then, it was off to Publix.

We made it all the way to the dairy section before Nora had a complete come-apart. I am certain she could be heard in the deli, crying "hold you" over and over. (Holding was, by the way, almost impossible; with Ruthie in the Moby, I just didn't feel like I could haul an additional 23 pounds through the store.) We arrived back home intact, although I managed to forget the milk. (Remember? Complete melt down in dairy.) Phoebe accidentally dips her dress in the potty, resulting in another wardrobe change. The big girls got a little angsty over personal space with their coloring books, but the rest of the morning was relatively uneventful.

Mercifully, naptime had arrived. Except Phoebe didn't nap. Emotions were on high for the rest of the afternoon. It was more of the same all the way until bedtime, but I'm thankful that the details are now hazy. It was an all-day exercise in doing the next thing.

When the girls were all in bed, I got in the shower. When I came out, Nora was rowdy. I dressed and had the privilege of being the bedtime disciplinarian.

I was tired. No, I was exhausted. My muscles ached. My head throbbed. I was so ready to throw in the towel. And the tears came. It was as if I was too exhausted to hold them in any longer. I wasn't sad, just really, really tired. I'm thankful that Michael and I were able to decompress and process the day together.

All day long I meditated on Galatians 6:9, which says, "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." And that is so a truth I need to hear these days. In the midst of the non-stop do-gooding that goes on all day long, I need that precious reminder that we will reap a harvest in its season. Now is the season for sowing - and right now, I'm sowing in heaps of laundry, heart training, bubbles and tickles, eight bottles a day, and sleepless nights. But what an abundant harvest, in God's graciousness, this will produce!


Lauren Limón said...

you are a saint

Kendall and Luke said...

Praying for you. Your honesty is refreshing and reality is difficult. Calling on the Lord for help throughout the day is excellent and repeating His precious word in your heart will benefit you! continue to fight for strength and joy and be ready to rejoice when you see the Lord gracefully working in you! I love you dear sister and i want nothing more than to drive down and spend a weekend with your sweet family, helping, serving and loving in whatever way i can! (if you would like to take me up on this offer, my finials are next week and then it is summer time for me!! please feel free to call 502-554-8864)

ann said...

Ahhh,...transparency!...refreshing for those who are blessed to read your blog!

I'm struck by Nora's cry in the dairy section..."Hold you!" Hence, you not forget...that is what HE is doing for you now...for allofus... He "hold's you"...His Hand is certainly big enough for the task...speck so. Oh, how you have encouraged us see that He holds and hems us in by the power of His living word!

Though it took you 4 days to complete the task of writing the post... you made it through the day! I think it is because "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." II Timothy 1:7. Oh, we praise Him!

I'm struck by the fact that your petite precious 23lb. daughter is equal in weight to my adorable just 6 month old grandson Stone! And the burning question...did you get coffee creamer?!?! Forget the milk! A day without beginning without coffee creamer...well, it just is not right! Speck so! You remain in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for this honest and your precious ones so refresh me! God Bless and hugs and loves to all!

Lisa said...

I don't know you but do enjoy your blog...God bless you--I've felt similarly on days with my ONE (very boy) little boy. Your scripture is encouraging, and I pray that God will give you the rest and restoration to keep it up--

Family Snodgrass said...

I love that verse! You were right to meditate on it. You are doing so much good.

Allison said...

Your blog is so encouraging, Sarah! We all have days where we just want to throw in the towel, yet we often don't want to admit that we struggle (i.e. "Super Mom" mentality). However, the only "good" that we have comes from God, not of ourselves, in the first place. I have recently discovered that I often need a spiritual attitude adjustment in order to cope with the demands of training up our children. God is faithful, though, and as Ezra was teaching our kids this weekend, "Nothing is impossible with God!" Luke 1:37

Keep up the good work and enjoy the harvest!

~Seth and Nancy~ said...

thank you for posting this and being so open and honest about your motherhood experience!
i clicked on a link to your blog a while back from carolynn's (we were roommates our freshmen year at geneva). your Godly perspective is encouraging and helps me keep my focus. thanks again!