March came and went in what seemed like a day and here we are on the brink of Easter. I really just sat down at my computer to plan my menu for the week before I break out of here to go to the glorious grocery store (you know you are a mother of 4 when a trip to the grocery store alone feels like the land of milk and honey in more ways than one). I had no intention of blogging, as I clearly have had no intention of blogging for the last 6 weeks :). But I felt the nudge to come over here and put down words, so here I am. I typed "not sure what I'm doing here" as the title because I wasn't sure what I would write about once my fingers met the keyboard. But as soon as the title left my fingers and filled the title box, I realized why I haven't been over here in the last 6 weeks. It's because I'M NOT SURE WHAT I'M DOING HERE!!!!!!
I've been quiet here because the rest of my life has been so. very. LOUD. I also haven't felt like I had anything to offer anyone who might actually still read this blog. Anybody who lives near me can bear witness to the sad fact that being a mommy of 4 is kicking.my.butt. I'm sure my mommy of 6 and mommy of 10 friends would chuckle at this, but to say that I am barely keeping my head above water would be speaking way too highly of me. Picture me completely underwater and breathing through a drinking straw that is sticking one inch out of the water. That's closer to reality.
You see, in addition to the logistical time constraints and busyness of being mommy to 4, my emotions are also all over the place. They range between, "Look at these beautiful, funny, highly intelligent children God has blessed me with" to "Who are these fussy ingrates constantly screaming 'mommy' and 'you're stupid' and why can't I just walk out that door and do whatever I want to whenever I want to?"! I guess they aren't the only fussy ingrates :/. Sometimes I think, "I'm so glad that I get to be the one to teach these children. I wouldn't trade this for anything!" Other times I think, "Why do I always choose the absolute hardest way of doing EVERYTHING. What is wrong with me?". Somedays I love being a part of the inner city community we have intentionally joined and other days I want to run, or drive (I'm really out of shape), about 30 minutes out of town and buy a farm and raise chickens and ride horses and only see other people when I WANT to see other people. Sometimes I am in awe and totally humbled that I have an abundance of food to prepare and place before my family each day and still other days I begrudgingly prepare our abundance of food and bitterly serve it to my family because I feel like this whole cook and clean and cook and clean and cook and clean routine is just flat getting OLD. Somedays I cherish every moment I spend sitting in a chair reading to my kids and other days I skip entire paragraphs of the book so we can be done with reading and I can move on to a "more important task". Sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and other days I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Remember when Mike Myers played Simon on Saturday Night Live? The kid who did "droorings" of all the places he visited with his dad, but from the window of his hotel room because he never got to leave the room? That's how I feel sometimes. And like Simon, taking a long bath can be one of the few things that makes me smile. For real. Isn't that silly?! (If you're under 30 you might have to google Simon)
So, you see, I'm really not sure what I'm doing here. And quite honestly, the only thing that keeps me from going completely under - drinking straw and all - is a Faithful God who has this way of whispering in my ear on those days when I am just plain ugly. And lately, let's just be honest, that's most days. When I'm fighting selfishness and bitterness and feelings of entrapment.... He speaks truth into my ugly. He reminds me that he never promised me easy. He reminds me that THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. He reminds me that I have 4 kids, not because I necessarily set out to have 4 kids, but because he placed each one of them in my care because I'm just the very one to lead them to His feet. He reminds me that I live where I live because I said yes to a path that He was leading me down. He pierces me with memories of starving mothers and their babies begging at our van windows in Ethiopia when I start to feel smug about preparing food for my family over and over again in a new, well equipped, fully stocked kitchen. And when I fail to see my children as He sees them - He gives me new lenses, if only for a moment. He gives me a window where I can look at them and see them exactly as I should see them - as his wonderful creation, imperfect and ugly like me sometimes, but so beautiful and full of hope and possibility. As a gift. As a soul. As a part of me. As a part of Him.
I guess this isn't your typical "day before Easter" blog post. But for me, it's actually a quite perfect reminder. It reminds me why I need Jesus so desperately. It reminds me his death and his resurrection are everything to me. I desperately need the blood of his death to cover over my ugly, but I also desperately need the glory and beauty of his resurrection to give me new life and hope.
Last Sunday, our friend Scott helped us all to see the cross and Christ more clearly. He showed us two paintings of Christ. In one of the paintings Christ was portrayed as very peaceful and heavenly. It was beautiful. In the other, Christ was shown on the cross, nude, and in absolute agony. This particular portrayal was exceptionally hard to look at. Some would even say it was ugly. Some might even say it was too much.
This Easter I'm humbly aware and grateful that my ugly isn't too much for Him. He knows ugly. He had ugly driven right through His hands and His feet. He had ugly pierce his head. He knows me. And He loves me anyway. He died for me anyway. While I was still a sinner. While I was ungodly. While I was powerless. While I was his enemy. He loved me. Romans 5 speaks this truth over me.
And now I know why I was "nudged" over here. Now I feel a little more sure of what I'm doing here. Or at least what I need to be doing here. Here and everywhere. Boasting. Boasting in God through my Lord Jesus Christ through whom I have received reconciliation! (Romans 5:11) Praising him even for my ugly. Because it's my ugliness that leads to my boasting in Him. It's my ugliness that creates the desperation for His beauty. For his death. For his resurrection. For my own death and for my own resurrection.
I'm praying that this week His grace and His faithful voice in my ear will help me turn the "droorings" I create from inside the walls of mommyland into beautiful works of art that display His glory and portray my boasting in Jesus for His reconciliation. If you think of it, please pray that over me friends. I'll be praying it for you.