Monday, July 11, 2011

Gettin' Sappy

Sometimes when I'm tempted to complain about little things, the fact that we still rent, the work I have to do on a given day, the extremely inconvenient window replacement the landlord has scheduled on a tuesday, my toddler's tantrums, balancing work and motherhood...when I step back and get over myself I realize how extremely blessed I am. I have nothing, absolutely nothing, to truly complain about. 3/4 of the world's population would probably kill to be in my shoes. God has blessed me so much, and I don't say this to brag as though I deserve it, but to thank Him. Thanks to God's undeserved love, I have food on the table, clothes on my back, a rewarding job with a steady income, a comfortable home, emotional support, good neighbors, great friends, and most of all, I have them:


What did I do to deserve such an amazing family? Absolutely nothing. There is no reason God should have blessed me with them. But, incredibly, He did. And here I am soaking in the blessing, feeling the frightening impermanence of it, knowing that it could be taken from me at any moment. Horrific car crash, freak accident, whatever. The lives of my husband and my children and myself are no more guaranteed than the life of my microwave or television. At any moment, we could be gone. Not forever, I believe, as heaven is very real to me. But no longer living as blessings on this earth. And why do I entertain such morbid thoughts? Because when I became a mom, my middle name changedm to "Worry." ;-) I look around me, and I see the beauty and love that surround the gifts that are my husband and children, and I know that I don't deserve them, and I start to wonder when they will be taken from me. In my ideal world, not until I'm 96, and my children not until I'm long dead and gone. But in an imperfect world, so much can happen. Even in the smallest sense of separation, my children and I could grow apart emotionally, or rather, they could push me away and choose a path in life that doesn't have room for me, as I don't believe I could ever abandon them.
There is more than one way to "lose" a child, in that sense.

In the meantime, I cling to the here and now and consider it beautiful. My toddler's adorable insistence that Lions say "ARRRRR!" like pirates and the devotion and wonder in my newborn's eyes when she nurses. I look at them and I determine to make the most of each and every day, to suck the preciousness out of each and every moment,
to live my life with purpose. 

When I view life from this perspective of impermanence, I am able to cherish even the mundane, annoying details. The sticky scent of sweat mixed with breast milk that lingers on all of my t shirts due to a lack of air conditioning in our apartment is the scent that tells my newborn she is with mama, safe and loved. The stacks of unwashed laundry signify living, breathing family members who have done their living and their breathing in those clothes. The bills that must be payed remind me that we have lived and enjoyed, that we are educated, sheltered, travelled, healthy, entertained. Most of all, we are rich beyond measure, because the whole of this life is a precious gift from Him that words, cliche and inadequate, can never hope to describe.

Have you thanked God for your blessings lately?

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