Just in case you didn’t feel exceedingly sorry for me after last week, allow me to give you another chance.
Josh was gone again this weekend. Not out of town gone, just busy with meetings that consumed all of Saturday and most of Sunday gone.
Fortunately for us, the weather was gorgeous both days. (Serves him right. Bwahahaha!) I spent most of it on a picnic blanket in the backyard where I could watch the kiddos play and ponder the great mysteries of life, like why children don’t argue as much outside. It’s miraculous, really.
Then I got really brilliant and decided we should all go for a walk. Me, the kids, the dog. Saturday morning. A quiet neighborhood. How is this a bad plan? (Movie quote alert! A high five to whoever knows it.)
Here’s how it went down:
A basketball game at the gym down the street that morning meant that high school boys in unnecessarily large trucks with no sense of what it means to slow down when children are present made no effort to slow down when children were present and nearly forced me to say unpleasant things in front of my highly impressionable offspring.
It could have been worse, but in yet another blessed example of how God knows what we need before we ask it, a wonderful neighbor and friend had decided to join us a block or so into our stroll. She became invaluable in helping me herd the cats without cursing the trucks. Thank you, Jesus.
However, as vehicle after vehicle passed our little parade, I couldn’t help but let my mind go there, to that place where I could feel their stares.
I knew what they were thinking.
What is she thinking?
This kid running into the road:
These two running too far ahead:
Dog tangled around her legs.
And a belly like that:
She’s got her hands full.
And you know what? They’re right.
I got all sobby admitting it to my small group a few nights ago. I am 1.) overwhelmed, 2.) over-tired and 3.) (Surprise!) overly-emotional.
No wonder Josh has so many “meetings” lately.
But if I remember right (and I think I do), it was not so very long ago that I asked God to make me more dependent upon him. Where my joy and satisfaction and contentment would rest entirely in him and his plans for me. I didn’t want to be able to lean on myself or my accomplishments or my abilities. I didn’t want to be able to take any credit for what he had done.
I prayed it, and he answered.
Yes, my hands are full and about to be overflowing. I am under-prepared and ill-equiped. And this is a good place to be.
People seem astonished when we tell them that we don’t find out our babies’ genders before they’re born. If I got a nickel for every time I heard this comment, “Oh, I couldn’t do that. I’m too much of a planner,” I could afford one of those absurdly sized high-school trucks myself.
It’s not that I don’t like to plan. (Moleskine Weekly Planners in black speak my love language.)
But, honestly, it’s because I like the practice.
Learning to be dependent upon God means learning to wait. Learning to wait means learning to trust that God’s plans are better than mine. Learning to trust means I can relax and enjoy God even when I don’t know what he has in store for me or how I’m going to make it in the meantime.
So I wait nine months to see if he’s given us a boy or a girl, and it feels like a pleasure. Only God knows what I carry, and his decision for me is trustworthy.
I can wait. It’s good practice, and it’s a really good surprise.
That’s why we don’t find out what we’re having.
(And because it really seems to irritate people. That part is kind of fun too.)
I’m going to look tired the next time you see me…and for ten to fifteen years after that.
I’m going to have more kids than I can hold onto, fewer dates with my husband and less “Me” time. I’m going to cry some and feel crazy and lose my temper occasionally (but I already did that. Way back when I only had one kid. Then two. Then three.)
I am a wreck. But I already was that too.
That’s why I prayed to be more dependent upon God, after all.
I am incapable of doing this job without him, no matter how few or how many kids I have.
Three children scattered in the street reminded me that I can’t do this on my own, just as four will inevitably do the same.
I need Jesus every moment, and he is faithful to remind me of it. When my hands are full or when I’m feeling completely empty, nothing but God will sustain me.
I am overwhelmed, but it reminds me that I need him.
And that, friends, is a good place to be.
Wouldn’t you agree?
And to the giveaway:
Congrats to Patsy Q! And thanks to all who played along!