Friday, July 23, 2010

Count it Joy!

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him....Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him...Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change...Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." James 1:2-5, 12, 17, 19-20

I came across this passage a few days ago on one of the mornings that I actually had a spare moment to crack my Bible open. I actually hadn't wanted to but had rather wanted to shut my eyes for a few precious minutes (like five) but something compelled me to push past my fatigue and open up my Bible once again. I don't do any sort of Bible Study but merely have three book marks: one in the Old Testament, one in the Psalms and one in the New Testament. I then read one chapter from each until I get all the way through that section and then start over. So, my New Testament chapter was James 1. So encouraging.

Monday was a very hard day for me. Now, in retrospect, I'm pretty sure Elliana was just in a growth spurt but she cried I was SO stressed out. The postpartum weeks are always riddled with crashing hormones, sleep-deprivation, pain and utter confusion on how to take care of this new life entrusted to your care. Really, it's a guessing game, a mere shot in the dark most of the time by someone who is not a sharpshooter. Add in a bunch of infant crying and a mom can feel pretty stressed out-quick! Elliana already isn't the easiest baby on the block (not the worst either) but I'd really been hoping for a cooperative one since she is number four you know. However, it doesn't seem to me that God had that for me this time.

I found my attitude quickly going down-hill. Inside I'm having a very frank conversation with God reminding Him that this is my fourth kid and couldn't He have given me a break and handed me an angel. He quickly reminded me that my third was that angel (during his first year) and look how that turned out-Josh is my craziest toddler now. Ha ha! But after reading these words on Tuesday, I was reminded, rather simply that this is a trial-a very, very, very small one. One that I will get through just fine and one that I must be thankful for. Recognizing it for what it is too also made me feel like I wasn't alone. God promised to be with me and produce perseverance in me at the same time. Okay...I think I can keep going.

The most painful part came from the reminder about anger. Just because I get hardly any sleep and rarely get a nap, doesn't mean I have any right to be angry with the kids. Of course it's much harder not to get heated about something small more quickly, but I MUST remember that the "anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." Sometimes it's just too easy for me to explain away my own sinfulness with excuses like fatigue or feelings of being overwhelmed. Why can't I just buck up and admit that it's sin whether I have reason to be tired or not?

God has put me in this place at this time. And He'll get whatever He wants to out of this little, tiny trial in my path right now. The most encouraging part is that in the midst of a bit of difficulty in figuring out this precious number four and how to manage everyone in this house without going batty, is remembering that she is from God and she is a gift.

For..."Every good gift and every perfect is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."

At least in the middle of it all, we can see the beauty of the gift. Currently, for me, it's Elliana. Precious, long-awaited, Elliana.



  2. You are in my thoughts and arrow-prayers up to the Lord!