We were drowning in twins plus Doug. It sounded like the name of a new family reality TV show, but I laughed when my friend described one of her first vacations when she and her husband had to juggle the toddler boys and her older stepson without any help on a city bus. The mental picture made me laugh, but really only out of recognition. My version lately is that I'm drowning in late summer bedtimes (of my three-year old) and teething troubles (the baby, of course). I'm gasping for air and desperate for someone to throw me an arm floatee or something these days.
I guess we're all drowning in our own pools of sleep deprivation, or anxiety, or hopelessness, or ....whatever.... at times.
I touch base briefly when another friend, a mother of a three-year old friend of my little girl's this afternoon. We are living in different places now, with different challenges, but instantly we are able to connect at the heart of the matter for us both: life has become a sacrifice. Words are coming out that I didn't plan, but I do recognize the truth that they hold. I'm telling her that I have to be thankful for my beautiful family, my healthy kids, the joy that they all bring. When I lose hold of that I fall into a hole of self-pity and forget the amazing blessings that I have. Life is a sacrifice, so many times. I recognize it and then demand my own way again in the next breath. It's like that verse of looking in a mirror, and then instantly forgetting what you've seen.
I forget. I forget. I dive into my pool of self-pity and then I'm gasping again and again for air.
I just had a birthday last week. I am now the age that it is believed that Jesus was when he died, 33. I've heard other people say this before, but now it's my own reality and I am shocked. Sacrifice. My savior paid the ultimate sacrifice in willingly ending his life to ensure a spot for me in heaven. A thought comes into my mind that this sacrifice that I make each day for these precious children is how he is teaching me to be like him. I marvel, because the thought does not come from me. I know he is placing it on my heart, and I am humbled. My sacrifice--lost sleep, frustration that I cannot always do what I want or even need exactly when I want to--well, it sounds like a child throwing a selfish tantrum as I think about the sacrifice of life offered to me in the form of loss of life, and so much suffering, by him.
Thank you, Jesus, for showing me again that it's not all about my drowning. And for gently reminding me of what the sacrifice is all about, which is in learning to be a little more like you. In comparison my suffering is so miniscule that I glimpse again into the nature how deep and how wide is your love.