Exhausted but happy right after the birth of Deborah Grace.
Blog readers that get a glimpse into my life might get the impression that I had the perfect life growing up. I was blessed to be homeschooled all of my life. I had a fantastic relationship with my mother. She was far from perfect, but she sought the Lord in her life, and tried to raise her children to hunger and thirst after righteousness. I was raised to embrace and love the biblical role of being a wife, mother, and homemaker. Part of my high school experience was spent pouring over books teaching me how to homeschool, raise a family, and be a good wife. Having saved myself solely for my husband, I was given the great blessing of meeting my future husband at 17, start a courtship with him at 18, and be married at 19. Our first child came into our lives at 20. The perfect life, right?
I think everyone should realize there is no such thing as a “perfect” life. It can be easy to look at another person’s life and be jealous, thinking they have everything they want. But most times, that person has experienced heartache somehow. We live in a fallen, sinful world. We cannot experience a perfect life , as we do not live in a perfect world. No matter how much we long to live in a little sheltered bubble, free from pain, conflict, and trials, we can’t shelter ourselves all the time.
There have been difficult moments in my life. Trials when I have stopped and asked God “why me?” I have been forced to my knees, crying in utter despair over situations. Feeling as if the clouds would always be present, and wondering if the sun would shine again in my life.
We are told over and over again that we are to praise God during the trials, and praise Him in the blessings. It’s true, though it’s one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Praising God doesn’t mean you have to rejoice in your trials. I don’t rejoice in the fact that my mother was chronically sick from the time I was 11 on up until her death when I was 27. I do have to still keep trusting God though, and thanking Him for the blessings He has given me. The day she died, and months afterwards I had to keep checking myself that I would not turn bitter against God. When the bitterness would creep in, I would try to start praising the Lord for the beautiful, wonderful moments I had with my mom. There are days I still have to do that. Trying to find joy instead of sorrow. Contentment instead of bitterness.
I’ve had many dreams in my life that have never come to pass. A close relationship with my father. An older brother that walked near to God’s path. As I got older I dreamed of marrying into a close knit homeschooling family, thinking that would help heal the pain of my own family woes. That was not to happen either, and my in-laws marriage ended in a tragic divorce a few years ago.
Trust God. Really? Yes Lord. I will trust.
I had glorious dreams when we started having children. Snuggles at bedtime, tea parties in the afternoon, peaceful school time hours where children loved to learn. Working together happily at chores, reading all afternoon out of books that we couldn’t stay out of.
Then I had my first child. He screamed for months after being born. He was strong willed, and could throw such intense fits at the age of 2 that it scared my husband and I. We turned to all the parenting books, only to finally discover that there is not a perfect child training method that works for all children. We had lots of trial and error in raising him, and we still don’t have it all figured out.
In a few months I will turn 30. I’ve been reflective during the past few months. The last 10 years of my life have been the highlight of my life that I dreamed about from a very young age. The babies being born, the fun toddler years, the start of homeschooling for my second time around!
It’s been wonderful and terrible. I’ve known joy and agony. Days of bliss, and days of tears. Times when I want to gather my children close and play in the park all day long, and days when I long to send them all to bed for the day and drink hot chocolate and disapear in a good book.
Trust God? Yes, I will keep trusting.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Psalms 46:1-2
(My Mother loved this song and sang it at church one time. The pictures someone set to this on youtube is not what I would have chosen for this post, but it’s the only version I could find and I wanted to share this song. I love this version of Psalms 46.)