More on the Bar of Motherhood

For those times when it seems like God actually DOES give us MORE than we can handle...

So as you know it's been a bit hectic in our house the last month or so. Moving, sickness, death, plumbing problems. You name it. Last night after i dropped off my oldest two, I was driving home with a hysterically screaming baby full of hives, and a crying, coughing 5 year old... knowing I was going home to a hole in my kitchen ceiling, a husband working, and a bunch of my own office work still to do. The realization hit too that I was not even close to being ready for Christmas. And I reached that panic point. I recalled a similar panic moment when I was pregnant this last time. "Could I handle another child with working, homeschooling etc?" I wondered. I resolved then, that God was going to give me only what I could handle, that He would give me a calm, mild, compliant little girl who would peacefully allow me to tackle my daily to-do list. And I breathed easy. Those of you who know my youngest, know she is none of those things. In fact I will venture to say she is the most wild, curious, feisty child I've had, or have ever known. Last night, listening to her scream (likely because she has hives from eating a poinsettia and a Christmas tree scent stick... but refused her dinner) I began thinking of all that has happened this month. I began to question my original theory that God would only give me what I could handle. In fact, I questioned it to such a degree that I began to cry, right there at a red light on route 30. I felt duped. Weak. Confused. Clearly I cannot handle any more this month. And then I heard Him, like a whisper amid the tears: "my grace is sufficient for you." At that, I realized: I was right. It's NOT true, this theory that God would only give me what I can handle. No... sometimes He gives MORE than we can handle. But what is lacking in my strength is met by His. What is beyond me is not beyond Him. He did not give me a fire-cracker of a little girl to crush me. He gave me her in order to sculpt me into more of a mother than I was before. Those of you who workout know there comes a point in the regimen when you've gotta "up it" - if you want to get stronger, or faster... You've gotta put a little more on the bar, or go a little further. You've gotta push yourself passed comfortable, passed what you are "capable of". Otherwise you're just staying the same. Last night I realized our purpose is NOT to stay the same. His purpose for us is always to draw us upward to new heights, to Himself, to Heaven... through toil, strife and the practice of virtue. I realized last night that God has "put a little more on the bar" of my motherhood. God did not allow illnesses and chaos this past month to crush me. He is not punishing me. He has not forgotten me. He did not "dupe" me. He has allowed it all that I may climb new heights in faith and trust... That in my weakness I may cling ever closer to Him and receive a greater portion of His grace. In the trials, He is calling me to come to Him... Like a bright Eastern star, shining in a deep dark night. And so I wipe away the tears, with a new song in my heart and a new hope in my spirit. Today i am thanking God for pneumonia, viruses and hives... Because it's an opportunity to practice the corporal works of mercy around the clock (and at least it's not leukemia or SIDS). Today I'm thanking God for a leaky ceiling because it's an opportunity to trust in Divine providence, and it means I at least have a roof over my head. Today I'm thanking God my husband is working so much because that means he has a job. Today I'm thanking God for ALL the trials because that means He loves me enough to draw me to Himself, through the desert night, to His stable. Today I'm thanking God I'm not "ready" for Christmas, because it's making me evermore ready for His coming.... Today I am thanking God for my life. I'm even thanking Him for the absolutely TERRIBLE haircut I got the other day.... Because I can practice humility for the next couple months (and at least I have hair and am not undergoing chemo.) Today I am thankful. I am hopeful. I am singing: "This is the day The Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad." Thanks be to God. And thanks be to all of you. This has been a grace given to me on account of your prayers. Love to all. God bless.

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