Friday, December 6, 2013

Laboring Unseen

My foot rests on the brake more than the gas, my wipers struggle to find the right speed for dealing with incessant drizzle, and brake lights shine red for miles.

Please, for the love, stop kicking my seat. I say it through clenched teeth, trying to keep from joining my two year old in his wailing, foot-kicking tantrum. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Quiet strains of peace on earth goodwill toward men come from the slightly-warbled back speaker.

Waxing poetic about loving the least of these is all well-and-good, but what about the other kind of days? When you sit in traffic, and your five year old stomps her foot and sasses, while the two year old screams and kicks the back of your seat the entire way? When peace of earth feels like a distant dream, and the only kind of hopeful expectation you have is for bedtime?

As life barrels towards Christmas at astonishing speed, I kick myself for already falling three days behind on my advent reading on the fifth day of December. I congratulate myself on buying a pre-made Christmas countdown calendar, only to unwrap it and realize you’re supposed to sew-the-dang-thing-together yourself. Now, it lays in pieces strewn across our dining table, alongside two boys working on their chemistry projects, while Caden runs back and forth from the cupboard and refrigerator requesting snacks.

Sometimes life is just life, and pouring yourself out happens just as quickly in tiny drops as a big torrent. Sometimes loving the least of these looks a lot like motherhood. Like driving kids to school, and wiping snotty noses, and making macaroni and cheese for dinner one more time (I told you, I’m hopeless without Adam).
The temptation to feel insignificant pulls strong. I hear it in her words when she whispers (or emails) to tell me how inspiring I am, how she wishes she could change lives too. I hear it in their voices, and I’ve lived it in the days when I simply cannot handle one more request and can scarcely muster the energy to send Jayci to her room for one more time-out.

I fold more laundry, bending to pick up cards and blocks strewn across the living room floor. I find more matchless socks, pairing Ariel with Cinderella because at some point, what does it even matter? Hope feels far flung and joy distant, lost perhaps in the monotony of motherhood and life. And I begin thinking that maybe I’m missing something besides just my Christmas tree and stockings, and perhaps it can be found at Target right next to the tins of Christmas cookies.

But joy culminates in a season of longing and loss and hard laboring. And I remember the way a teenager labored unseen to birth a Savior King. And we too labor unseen, waiting for Christmas and His coming and the new beginning we all need.

10 comments:

  1. First of all, I think I'm going to turn "Sometimes loving the least of these looks a lot like motherhood" into my personal mantra. Secondly, when I make mac n cheese for dinner, I use Annies instead of Kraft, mix in a couple handfuls of frozen vegetables, add some kind of fruit as a side dish and tell myself I rock at motherhood :) And last, I know Caden is the exact same age as my Anna and we just had to turn her around in the car because she outgrew her rear-facing carseat. Thankfully she can't reach my seat to kick it but now that she can see me, I can't indulge in my mood-altering drug of choice (Chick-fil-A milkshakes) without her throwing a tantrum because she wants one too. Why can't they just face backwards forever?

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    1. haha last time I tried to mix vegetables into their macaroni and cheese, Jayci cried really hard because "there are carrots in my macaroni"! Also, I hate that Caden always notices when I try to sneak goodies haha -- he always says "what you got mommy?"

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  2. This is so beautiful.
    You are so beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  3. I'm not a mom, but this hit home. And that last paragraph? Such a good word.

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    1. Thanks Abby! Hope you had a good weekend!

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  4. trying to preach this truth to myself more these days... we are laboring... but not in vain.

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  5. I understand this right now more than you'll EVER know... I love you friend...

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  6. Love this post. Love your blog. Beautiful! Sometimes it's so helpful to read words from others that feel like they know just what you're going through :)

    www.georgiapeachmommy.blogspot.com

    Xo!

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