*The post below is from a couple weeks ago. Not sure why it was never posted.
I re-read it and had to laugh out loud. Its so interesting to me how different my days/weeks can look. This happened to be a peaceful, good day. This past week hasn't had many of those.
I have two kids who aren't sleeping well at night. When Miles isn't up eating, Kara is up screaming about a dream she had and doesn't want to go back to sleep.
And I don't know about you, but when sleep is non-existant... I don't do well at all.
So when you read this post, or as you read my blog in general, please don't think its all roses and sunshine. Its SO not. I am blessed, for sure. I often feel 'beyond blessed', which is a good feeling. God is always good and is always teaching me new things.
Last night I got to bed late, due to needing to take a couple phone calls that were important {trust me, they were}. When I finally went to sleep it was 2am and at 3:15 Kara came to my bedside - "Mommy, can I lay with you? I don't like my room."
I told her to go back to bed and she began throwing a HUGE fit. Huge. It woke up Miles and then Jason. We put her back to bed and then I got Miles back to sleep. My problem though? I wanted to go to sleep, but now I was awake and upset that I was awake. I went out to the couch to pray because the amount of 'upset' I was getting was bothering me. Instead, I sat on the couch and sobbed like a baby- crying about how unfair my life is. I guess I was complaining to God, but honestly, it wasn't a prayer of any sort. I realized I was enjoying listing off my many complaints to myself, I guess.

I'm telling you this because I think this happens to all of us. I don't think I'm rare and I also don't think you are. This is a twice-a-year-type of thing for me, but still... it happens.
As I sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself {and rest assured, some of my complaints are probably legitimate} I realized how much of it was actually MY fault. Maybe going to bed before midnight {or later} would be a good idea. Maybe getting up earlier, like I've been saying I want to do for many years now, would be helpful. Maybe communicating to my husband that I'd like to get away by myself for a few hours to hear myself think and be able to just be ME, would be helpful for him to know. Did you know husbands can't read minds?! Yeah. Newsflash.
So I had to laugh-out-loud when I woke up this morning and saw the post below sitting in the drafts sections of my website. I believe God has a sense of humor {thankfully} and I'm happy to say He used it on me today ;-)

back to the original post.

I don't want to take the every day blessings for granted.
I'm sitting at my kitchen table, reading other blogs, replying to emails and organizing recipes while singing to my sweet 4 month old son. He's smiling and kicking and playing with his own hands like they're a brand new discovery to him. He's very excited to have 10 fingers right now.

My older kids have a little friend over and they're teaching him how to play Candyland.
I can hear the laughter coming from the playroom and every so often I hear Kara shout out, "I'm getting more and more awesome at this game!" I look out and see kids high five'ing one other and then the occasional spat breaks out. I hear "Moooooooommmmy!" and I quickly reply with, "please try to work out with each other before you get excited to get each other in trouble!" And then a conversation ensues that sounds more like a court room drama case ;-)
This is where Ethan's incessant bossiness and control issues come in handy. He tends to organize the peace making and make sure things are worked out well, before moving on. Thankfully at this point, his sisters comply.

I have my favorite blog music playing in the background - here 
The house is clean and calm and I'm enjoying my coffee that Jason brought me before heading to work.
Then I stop and smile. I'm very blessed to be able to do this. To stay home and be with our kids and run this house while my husband works hard for us every day. Sometimes I feel like this isn't a very noble job. Like anyone can do it. Those sneaky "am I really making a difference or adding anything beneficial to my family's lives?" gets into my mind too often and I'm tempted to think a wife and mom's job is pretty pointless. Then I remember the verse in Proverbs 31 where it says "her worth is far above rubies." That's how Jesus views my work. The labor of my hands is far above rubies. Whatever I'm doing for the Lord is noticed and rewarded and praised as, "worth far above rubies." Do you know what rubies are worth? A lot. 
Yes, I just asked the Interent.

This is a reminder I need often. I so easily think I don't do enough. Or don't do what do well enough. Someone could do it much better. And that might be true! But God didn't create me to be someone else. He's made me, ME.

Being a Mommy isn't an easy job. By any means. Its difficult work. Its 24/7 and its often thankless- as far as being thanked sincerely by the ones you're caring for ;-)
I laugh when single people tell me they can't wait to have kids so someone will love on them all the time. Ha! Its not quite that way. I have a feeling for the majority of 18+ years I will wonder if I'm doing more damage than good and by God's grace, I will get to see the reward and think "who knew?!"
Today I was reminded of the verse in Philippians... "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature this this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained."

We do what we do for God's glory. Our prize comes from Him. Press on with great joy and remember we're molding a future generation!
I used to think "press on" meant we could never complain or never voice when we need a break. It meant to just keep drudging away at the everyday mundane and to never admit you're tired or feeling worn out. SO NOT TRUE! Even the Lord Jesus took time away. Time to pray. Time to meditate. Time to be in quiet and peace. If He did it, I should do it!
For me the important reminder lies in this: I don't care for my family and love them in many different ways because it makes me feel good. I do it for the glory of God and because I love Him and He gives me the grace and joy to do my duties well.
That's what I need to remember on those sleepless nights and days filled with children arguing and a husband working late and a house full of unfolded laundry and a Mommy who's not showered in too long.
I'm so glad God looks at and judges our heart and not the way we present ourselves. I'm so glad he sees the hard working Mama and the faithful Daddy out providing for his family and not the un-showered, yoga pants wearing, unintentional beard growing {Daddy}, messy house'd family.
That would be like serving a harsh task master and we serve a very loving, understanding, gracious Lord.

I wrote this on the inside of my journal about 2 years ago and thought it fit well in this post:
"God doesn't care if my kids have designer clothes/shoes on, He cares that they're loved, that Jesus' love is spoken about often and lived out always." And then I wrote this verse...

Deuteronomy 6:6-8 "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bin them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes."

5 {comments}:

Gina said...

Good post--probably because I can relate. I should count my blessings more often--like several times a day. I ran away Monday--really. Walked out of the house and spent the whole day away. Overwhelmed by my life as a mom and a wife and all of the stressors that come with those titles. I didn't do anything much--just was. It helped--some. "Consider it all joy" is so much easier in theory and refreshing one's self so we don't run on empty so we can see our many blessings is easier in theory as well--but uber important. Raw posts are great--thank you for sharing. :-)

Kiara Buechler said...

Lovely post, very uplifting!

Anonymous said...

So encouraging Stef! I had to read it b/c Heidi was saying how much it meant to her too! Thanks!

Trish Thomas said...

I love this post wholly. And I love our tender Savior. and I love you.

Stef said...

Thanks Ladies. Nothing better than opening up and being received with love.


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