I had a brief conversation with a stranger last week. A sweet and kind middle age woman who was beyond the years of bearing children. She was just amazed to learn we had six children at home and that we have one on the way. Her eyes lit up as she pondered the busyness we see everyday. Then when she spoke of how exciting Christmas morning must be in our home she was so excited. And she repeatedly told me just how lucky my husband and I were to have a large family.
Then the light in her eyes died as she spoke of never being lucky enough to have any children of her own and I could see the pain and heart break in her eyes. My heart broke for her. The deep hurt and longing and emptiness she felt deep inside could be seen in those few brief moments of our conversation. I wanted to be able to say something, to say anything to offer her comfort or healing. The words didn’t come, I sidestepped the conversation into a different direction.
But her pain has not left me or my heart.
How humbling and startling at the same time. In all the chaos of this Christmas season to see our family through the eyes of another. I do know our children and large family are an amazing blessing but the day to day takes over and you in a way become desensitized to truly appreciate these blessings.
On a typical day when I am tired or sick, the kids are not getting along, not listening, complaining and bickering, full blown two year old tantrums, preteen attitudes in full swing, messes to be cleaned, never-ending to do lists are growing its hard to look at all that in the moment and think ‘wow I am blessed!’.
So in this moment, this conversation I was given the gift of seeing our super size family through the eyes of someone who longed for a family that never came. To be reminded that all the mess and chaos and busyness is a blessing even during the hard days and moments.
Not to be taken for granted but loved, valued and appreciated.
I am thankful but not as thankful as I should be.
‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.’ Colossians 4:2
I am joyful but not as joyful as I should be.
‘But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God, may they be happy and joyful.’ Psalm 68:3
I am imperfect, a work in progress. I will continue making progress and I will continue to grow.
‘Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ 1Thessalonians 5:18
During this last week of December I will reflect on this past year and pray for the upcoming year. This sweet reminder will continue to sit with my heart as I prepare myself to enter 2018. I will study scripture and lean to the Lord to mold me and guide me to be a more thankful and more joyful momma-bear and wife during this next year and season in our life.
Bring God glory in all circumstances! Bring on 2018! I am (almost) ready.