Dimness falls on my weekend-workday. After kissing 3 baby faces, praying sweet dreams over each, I gather strewn socks and cups. Order occurs only after dark in this season of our family’s life. I’m tired, and have to pray for grace and strength to do each of the next tasks. The temptation of discouragement flickers through me. I sigh, grabbing broom, sweeping flour, raisins, cinnamon. But there in that growing pile of kitchen mess, I see memories represented. Chubby hands spreading raisins over dough and stuffing many more into chatty little-boy mouth. His blue eyes are bright with joy and jokes and mischief. My right hand girl is beside me; fine-and-bright haired, perched on her chair. She thoughtfully paints butter across dough, asking “Can I help roll it up?” Suggesting we make cinnamon rolls every day (!).
The mess is contained in the dust pan, in the trash. The dishes, overflowing the sink, need containing also and I turn to them next. Again, I sigh and am tempted to settle into the heaviness of discouragement – but there, in the window above the sink, I admire the dogwood branch snipped for me by dearest friend, the one my soul loves. I study the white petals, the pink-brown corners, the staggered blossoms exclaiming ‘Spring!’ up and down fresh branch. My beloved chose me, as he chose this branch for our vase. Though there are waves of new and shifting and changing circumstances threatening to upset my life – my love, imitating our sweet Savior, is a constant presence, a consistent friend. ‘Til death do us part’ – sometimes sounds like a somber life sentence, but today it’s a promise I treasure as I ought.
I’ve been praying for God to help me “get it under control.” Maybe if I could sleep a little more? If we could go a month or so with no flu bug? Maybe if the Lord would magically give me an extra 48 hours to just “get ahead”…I’ve been asking for God to let me sleep and get caught up so I can accomplish my stuff and feel good about it. But repeatedly, it seems he says to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” And here is my turning point: to make friends with my weakness, my inability to conquer my to-do list on my own, being truly content in my weakness as an instrument and gift from the Lord – or – to continue in miserable angst and dissatisfaction with myself, my life, and all the things (people) “in the way” of me feeling awesome about myself.
“Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12)
Christ is sufficient.
“The gospel stands above and beyond all the most practical, family-friendly, or cost-effective philosophies of mothering. The good news of Jesus Christ is superior to our to-do lists and metaphorical mother-of-the-year trophies. This is because the greatest problem a mother has is not a lack of creativity, accomplishment, or skill, but her inability to love God and others as Jesus loves her (John 13:34)…..God’s irresistible grace binds our wandering heart to himself and frees us to love him back and overflow in love to our neighbors…because of Christ’s work on the cross, we can live God’s way of love in our homes and in the world even as our hands are full (Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 4:17-6:18).” – Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full