We are moving overseas, and we are coming to the end of our last month in our home. And, recently, I have felt surrounded by chaos- from without and within. My head is almost constantly spinning with a list of to-do's: back up my computer, pay bills, cook dinner, clean up lunch, sort through the girls' clothes, list more items to sell online, vacuum the floor, pick out the multi-colored play dough stuck in the playroom carpet, change the laundry from the washer to the dryer (after running it a second time because I had forgotten to switch it yesterday), text a friend back about a playdate, change the baby's diaper, sit and play pretend "Chick-Fil-A" with my three-year-old, finish packing the totes we are bringing with us on our move - the list seems endless sometimes.
And this past month has been especially wearisome. We had intended for this to be our "rest month" before our move, but deciding last-minute to sell our house instead of renting it created quite a hectic turn of events! And then, when the chaos of the selling process finally waned a bit, sickness decided to join all of us for a bit. So, this past week seems to have been a whirlwind of trying to survive the time stuck at home until the sickness has passed. There is always another dish to wash, always another diaper to change or little hands to help wash, always a meal that needs to be cooked or clean up after, and it seems to have all been enveloped in extra tears and tantrums this week because of the sickness and not being able to get out of the house.
I thought to my self the other day that motherhood (at this stage, at least) seems to consist of wrapping and re-wrapping baby dolls in their swaddles or trying to cook a meal while a little person screams at my feet and vigorously attempts to pull on my clothing. And yesterday, when I finally came down with the cold and desperately wanted to lie down snuggle up in a blanket, and watch a relaxing movie but was instead staring at the kitchen sink about to wash dishes, I thought to myself, "I feel like a servant!" Almost all I do is do things for other people! I wash their clothes, cook for them, clean up after them, wipe their bottoms, scrub the mud off their little feet, wipe their noses, tuck them in, and wake up at 6AM when they cry. In that moment at the sink, I was exasperated and bitter and desperately aching for a break. But then conviction gently pricked my heart and I realized, isn't that what I'm supposed to be? Here I am, my sinful flesh bitter and complaining and fighting against serving others when that is exactly what Jesus has called me to! And truth began to come to my mind...
"Do not grow weary, Kali. Do 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)
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Motherhood is a strange thing because it is one of the best things I have ever experienced but also one of the hardest things! Being a mommy has moments that are sweet and precious to my heart, but it also has moments that are tough and very trying. I was just trying to explain to Matt how as a mom, my life is no longer free but is instead dictated by the little ones I am caring for, not just sometimes but all the time. There is no "sick day" or sleeping in or not being "on-call" during the night; it's a 24/7 thing. And I feel like my heart- my sin and my Spirit- are constantly at war with if I will live for myself or serve the littles God has given me to care for. Serving them can come so easily sometimes- I love watching their smiles and hearing their giggles as I push them high in the swings at the park, I love teaching Annie how to flatten play dough into a "cookie," and I love cuddling Clara when she just woke up and is all warm snuggly. But lots of times I have to pray to serve them patiently and lovingly. It's not always natural and easy and enjoyable to serve. But I have been freshly reminded the last few days that this season of my life is the perfect opportunity for me to die to myself. And if I remind myself of Scripture, I can quickly see how rewarding dying to myself will be! Jesus promises that whoever clings to his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Jesus' sake will find it. I feel like I've been trying to hold onto living for myself which leads to much complaining and bitterness and a severe lack of joy. But the solution is to look to the eternal things- look to Jesus, look to what He did for me as the ultimate Servant and what He is preparing for me when I get to be with Him, look at how He is changing me and helping me fight sin, and to not give up. Do not grow weary in doing good. And oh, how much more joyful Jesus' way is!