Just when I think I’m starting to get ahead of this feeling, it comes back again. I’m an angry mom. I don’t even always know why except that, if I’m being honest, I’ve let selfishness take over. There’s a screaming toddler at my feet, another in time-out, sticky floors and endless piles of laundry, a team of therapists on their way which means I have to push back the tears I’m on the verge of and…I feel like I can’t do this anymore! I have nothing left to give and that makes me want to run. I want to quit, and what I want to quit is the very life I’ve always dreamed of. All because it’s not like I’d dreamed it would be. The suffering that this life requires is much more costly than I was prepared for. I don’t even remember who I was before I became the mess of a mother I am now. I’m at the end of myself. I haven’t slept in days and I just want to drink my coffee in peace and take a nap. I’m yelling at my children over spilled cereal all because I feel entitled to a nap. What is wrong with me?! I’m whining and constantly complaining about things others are wishing for. This is where the ugly truth comes in…
What it comes down to, is that I wanted the blessings of a family without the intense sacrifice.
Even typing that out made my insides burn. Yes, I’m piled under and overwhelmed…but I asked for this! I prayed for these children, this marriage, this home. So, why does it all feel so negative? Well, now that I’m sitting here in my car, hiding and crying in the dark, God’s doing what He always does best…Gently, yet sternly, correcting my sinful heart. Reminding me of the profound, and right now painful, truth:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life…” (John 15:13)
True, deep love requires sacrifice.
Love isn’t easy. It was never meant to be. Without sacrifice, love can’t deepen; can’t grow. It’s through the sacrifices I make for my family that they recognize my love for them. One of those sacrifices being my own comfort; my own plans.
Yet, when life gets overwhelming and I get exhausted, sin creeps in and tempts me to look at my blessings as burdens. Yes, I need to recharge or I’ll burn out. Yet, “me time” or not, the attitude of my heart needs to realign with that of my Father’s. I need His moment-by-moment grace to keep my focus on the reality that my daily sacrifices need to be a heartfelt reflection of His ultimate sacrifice. He gave His life so that I could be here now, standing on these sticky floors, cradling the next generation.
Daily, my heart will fail. Daily, I will fall. I’ll forget that the relationships I have with my husband and children wouldn’t be nearly as intimate had they not cost me anything. His grace offers the hope, the choice, to get back up and try again; to refocus and be reborn. His is a patient, unending, sacrificial love. A love that reminds me that this calling, the calling of family, is worth the sacrifice.