Sweeping Up Dirt and Tears

I heard my phone buzzing in the midst of all of the other noises circling around me. I answered it and felt a wave of comfort as I heard the familiar voice of my husband on the other line.

Drew: "Hi, do you have a second to talk?'

Me: "Sure, just sweeping up dirt off the ground." (said with every bit of bitterness and self-pity you could imagine)

(Loud noises of four children still going on in the background)

Drew: "Well, let me affirm that you are not just sweeping up dirt, but you are doing a noble task that serves our family and I delight in you and your heart and the ways that you serve our family so faithfully and most importantly it brings glory to your Heavenly Father and is dignified kingdom work."

The tears began to stream down my face and mingle into the dirt that I continued to sweep up. He was speaking truth to my heart, but not truth that I believe. If you could peek inside my heart on an hourly basis you would see a whole lot of ugliness and restlessness. From one moment I'm delighting in the joy of cultivating a family of seven and the beauty of creating a home that is warm and safe where my children feel known. A home where they are daily reminded that it is Jesus who works in their hearts and a home where repentance, forgiveness and grace dominate. The next moment I am dreaming of how I can catch the next plane to the closest all inclusive beach resort. How I can finally use those two masters degrees that I worked so hard to get, and praying that a maid would just suddenly appear on my front porch carrying dinner. This is called self-pity and lately this is a sin that my heart loves to dance in.

Honestly, it's exhausting.

As parents, we hear so many messages that we try to stuff into our hearts to cure the restlessness that we feel in the midst of the mundane, but they never fill the hole.

"Enjoy them while they are little because they grow up so fast."

"Don't worry about the dishes, just spend time enjoying your children."

"Yes, the little years are hard, but wait until they grow up. It gets even harder."

"Just go drink some wine, that will help!"

These words don't offer hope or comfort, but instead feel like death. 

 I know I am not the only parent that feels this way. I know this is not the first blog post on how the mundane of each day is exhausting, but as I continue on this journey to cultivate this life that the Lord has given me, today I had to stop and confess. Why does my heart dance in the lake of self-pity and restlessness?  Because my heart is broken and needs Jesus.  I sat quietly this morning at Caribou Coffee and reflected on my heart and I was once again led to lament and repentance.

I don't need platitudes to cure my restlessness, I need Christ. I need to come yet again to the foot of the cross and confess how hard the mundane is. Confess how hard the calling of being a parent is. How I don't want to wipe another bottom or pick up another piece of clothing off the floor. What the Lord reminded me of this morning is that it's just ok to be in this ugly and messy place because his love is steadfast. So here I sit, restless and struggling yet again with the calling that the Lord has given me to stay at home and raise these four almost five little ones, but I know I am not without hope.  I am going to ask the Lord to help me to trust that Jesus loves me in this messy place and I am not going to drink from the empty well of platitudes.  I will continue each day to confess how hard it is and ask the Lord to help me believe that the work I am doing is dignified and beautiful and I will hold tightly to him on the days it's easy to believe and on the days that my heart is restless.

"Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."
Psalm 143:8
-photo credit: pexels.com


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