Today was one of those mornings. Every mother has them. I had a feeling when I woke up groggy, and Marcus angrily threw his Cheerios during breakfast, that it was going to be sticky day, and I was right. Here is a snapshot of my morning:
– Long, frustrating call with Verizon
– While breaking up multiple fights between the older kids
– Resulting in Marcus screaming so Russia could hear him
– Then sequestering him in the bathroom for the umpteenth time while asking the Verizon lady, “Sorry, could you repeat that?”
– Teething baby waking up
– Baby crying bloody murder because brother pushed him
– Dreading getting ready for Auj’s swim lesson because I really didn’t feel like hauling the swim gear and redirecting Marcus in his walker out of the rose bushes every few steps along the 45 mile trek to the car while pushing Baby in the stroller, which is especially embarrassing saying “Hello” to my neighbors because they’ve just heard me yell at my kids all morning
– I knew it got bad when Audrey saw me in a not-so-good state and offered to do all my chores for me, then I saw her crying on the couch because I didn’t say “good job” to her
(By the way, why is it that when things like this happen, all of a sudden I get really upset that my house is so messy and that I didn’t get a chance to exercise? Because I was perfectly okay with the dust level of my house last night, and I haven’t exercised in 5 years!)
In any case, I found the ugliness of my heart spewing out all morning, complaining about this and that and declaring “only if” this or that. I wanted to take myself into my office (if I had one) and tell myself, “Didn’t you know this was a part of your job? Didn’t you want so desperately to be a mother? Well, these kinds of mornings come with your job description, lady, so stop complaining and just do your job.” Then I realized how utterly normal my morning was and how I’ve longed for normal when I was afraid it wouldn’t be.
Lately, there’s been a new dimension to my trouble with Marcus’ disabilities. When usually it’s sadness or grief in regards to Marcus’ happiness and well-being, lately it’s also been a “woe is me” mentality and “wouldn’t my life be so much easier if…” thoughts, as if all this revolved around ME! I remember earnestly praying after Marcus’ diagnosis, “Be gentle with us, Lord. Please be gentle with us!” Sure enough, He heard those pleas and answered those exact prayers. Marcus’ symptoms fall under the milder hemisphere of Joubert Syndrome, and yet I still complain so much.
Then I think about all those parents who are suffering so much with hospitalizations, seizures, severe sensory processing issues, organ failure, undiagnosed GI issues, and I am so humbled. So rebuked. Through this, the Lord has gradually softened my selfish and thankless heart and started to peel my eyes off myself. I’m compelled to pray for Kara in the UK who has life-threatening apnea, Elijah in Minnesota who is about to undergo a bone marrow transplant, Jada who is being treated for cancer, our friend Corben who is awaiting a kidney transplant, and a few mothers I’ve come to know who’d give anything to see their child again, even if it meant having a rough morning. Most of these souls are friends whom we’ve never met, but whose stories I’ve followed and have become so dear to my heart.
Yes, I had a not-so-smooth morning, but the Lord has graciously allowed me to see it in perspective. He cares about my anxious heart and all the reasons why I complained, but He also has His hand in so many others’ lives, who bear a weight so much heavier than mine.
By the way, the crying children of the morning turned into smiling children in the afternoon. The day didn’t turn out so bad after all.