Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blessings or Burdens?

Tonight I drove all 7 kids to church.  I left 4 of them there for RAD.  Tirzah began to cry as we drove away.  Then we went to the National Guard Armory where I dropped off 1 more for an area-wide youth event.  Tirzah began to cry all over again and Malachi started whining as well.  So I reluctantly chose to calm the masses with a promise to visit "someplace fun".  We went to the library.  It is fun.  But it was so much work for me to chase those two around.  We burned up enough time that it was too late to drive back home, but not enough time that it was time to go back to church and pick up kids.  Bummer.  Up and down the elevator.  Up and down the stairs.  Finally we found a very secluded spot in the back near a bunch of empty shelves.  Malachi and Tirzah immediately busied themselves by running laps around a post while I stood guard, my eyes firmly on them.  They laughed and squealed with delight.  They were so full of JOY.  Then a library worker found us and told them that no running is allowed (never mind the kids who are throwing legos in the toy section when Mitch was there on a different day).  So we packed up and left, still a good 20 minutes early.  It was pouring the rain.  We got drenched as we walked to the back of the parking lot--the only place I feel safe parking the monster of a van that I drive.  I was cold and tired and starting to feel achy even though I'm only 17 weeks pg.  On the way to the church (about a 5 min drive), I flipped on the radio to hear the last bit of Adventures in Odyssey.  Mr. Whitaker was giving Donna some advice about turning her grief and frustration and anger over to Jesus, that he wants to take that for us.  I felt tears well up in my eyes as Donna read the opening lyrics to the song "What a friend we have in Jesus" at the close of the program.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
Thankfully the rain had stopped and the sky was beginning to clear so that I didn't have to drag the children across another parking lot in the rain.  I contemplated parking under the awning, but there were already a couple cars there and I felt guilty that my van would take up so much room.  No, I'm healthy and strong, I can take this.  Still I felt that each step was under a burden.  With a child on my hip, a tiny child cradled in my pelvis, and another child with his small hand clasped in mine, I was feeling "Oh woe is me, this is so hard, I'm so tired, you should feel sorry for me."  And God began to work on my heart.  Do I really believe what I say?  That children really are a blessing?  Do I welcome each new blessing gladly, then yet live as if they are constant burdens?  {yes, sometimes I do.  Today I did.}  My heart began to lighten as I gave that to God and confessed it to Him.  My joy multiplied, not by my own strength but by His power in me, and a smile spread across my face.  Yes I'm still tired, yes I still have frustrations (which only seemed to multiply as we tried to get ready for bed).  I hope and believe that God will continue to work on my heart so that I can live out my beliefs in faith.


  1. I know what you mean, Steph. My kids are really good kids, but today it seemed like every time I turned around someone was saying something unkind or discouraging to a younger sibling. I gave them all "the talk" in the car on the way to church tonight. What's really convicting is I know they get their discouraging talk from my husband and me. Now if we could only tame our tongues! We're all trying to only speak to or about another if what we say is kind and encouraging.


  2. Your writing is a blessing & your testimony to the Lords work in your life is a great joy.

    Thank you.


    Matthew J