No Regrets…

No regrets…those two little words stir up all kinds of anxiety in me.

DSC_0388I want so desperately to live a life that leaves me without regrets at the end of it.  To be able to look back and know that I gave my all for these little hands who love and depend on me.  And as simple as it sounds, it’s one of those things that’s a lot easier said than done.

Whatever your work is, do it gladly. Do it as you would do it unto the Lord and not for people.       ~Colossians 3:23

Please tell me what that looks like when your day consists of teaching children that would rather bicker than learn.  When little ones take turns pushing each other from chairs and falling off stools trying to reach things they don’t need to be reaching in the first place.  When a little one washing their hands “by myself” turns into a floor full of water and you can’t walk without tripping over a mess you know you are going to have to pick up before falling exhausted into bed.  How many meals can you make with ground beef until payday and how many loads is it going to take to get all this laundry done.  And in the midst of all this, I am supposed to serve these less-than-grateful people as if I am serving the Lord?  I grow weary.

 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.     ~Galatians 6:9

colorful_socks_in_a_laundry_basket

Growing weary can suck the life right out of a person, you know it?  Growing weary can make you impatient and restless, make you snap at a loved one when you should have taken a deep breath and spoken in love.  Growing weary will make you feel like you are the only one who cares and the only one who is working.  Like you are in this all by yourself.  And in my life, growing weary always makes me resentful of the endless list of have to’s and the never enough time for want to’s.

That’s where I’ve gotten stuck today.  Stuck feeling trapped, smothered even, by endless responsibility.  Don’t get me wrong…I {LOVE} these little people that God has for some unknown reason seen fit to bless me with.  They bring me so much joy…most of the time.  And my husband, he is a man of God, a hard worker, a loving partner, and my best friend.  He works hard to provide so that I can be home with my little ones.  He sacrifices so I can live my dream.  Our children are healthy and beautiful.  We have a nice~albeit “cozy”~house, and plenty to eat (even if it is ground beef more than steak).  And this is where I come undone…

JOY~~~~~Why is that little three letter word so hard to maintain on a daily basis?  My life is honestly just about as perfect as I could ever hope for.   Where is the sustained joy?

I’m learning from Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts that the answer to that question is thanksgiving.  On the days I dig in and vow to be thankful above all else, I am so full of joy and feel so blessed by my Heavenly Father that I really think I could walk on air!  But these days, these days when it seems like it’s me against the little people in my life, joy is harder to come by.  Joy seems to slip through my fingers at every turn and with every sibling argument and every toddler whine, I surrender to the overwhelming burden of it all.

A gentle response turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.     ~Proverbs 15:1

So I breathe and I try to give a gentle response.  I try to give my all to these little people and count my gifts.  I live moment by moment, grasping onto gratitude for these blessings of mine.  For me, that is the only way to fight the weariness.  And if I can hold the weariness at bay…joy will come!  And if I can live a life of JOY, there will be no regrets!

image by Three Little Monkeys

image by Three Little Monkeys

Get your own printable of the Piles of Laundry image here!  I love it!  I am so going to print it and hang it in my laundry room as a reminder to count even laundry as a gift!

What are you counting as a gift today?

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2 thoughts on “No Regrets…

  1. Joy is the spiritual gift I have most sought for most of my life. It is definitely harder to sustain with children in the picture! Just know that from someone else’s perspective, you seem joyful and much, much more patient than this Mama!

    • Awww. Thanks, Leslie! It is much harder with children in the picture! But I know that God uses them and the chaos that they bring to sharpen us and make us who He wants us to be. And I am thankful that He wrapped my challenges up in such cute little huggable packages! 🙂

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