We're still hanging on for dear life over here. Even if church hadn't been snowed out on Sunday, we still couldn't have gone. All the older kiddos are under the weather with a cough, fever and general malaise. I am praying that Ana and I don't get sick. I've even resorted to taking Emergen-C every now and then. I can't drink the stuff without flashing back to the day when I guzzled down dish soap. But the thought of an ill newborn compels me to greater heights of self sacrifice.
Or at least to the plains of self preservation.
It has been quite distressing of late to see how whiny and ungrateful I can be. I know that postpartum hormones are wreaking havoc with my emotional equilibrium. But, that is no excuse for the down right martyred attitude I've been copping for the past several months. (If not, gulp, longer)
I was reading Psalm 100 this Sunday, and it really spoke to me. I've always loved The Old One Hundreth. It has always been grand, majestic, lyrical and sentimental to me. I remember my dad telling me that the 100th Psalm was a favorite of his personal hero, Stonewall Jackson. But on Sunday, it became very practical.
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. (Joyful noise, not a pitiful whine)
Serve the LORD with gladness: come into His prescence with singing. (If you serve the least of Christ's brethren, you are serving Him! That means serve your husband and children with gladness. When you sing, you bring His presence right down into the filthy kitchen with you. Or maybe it's you leaving the filthy kitchen. . . )
Know ye that the LORD he is God; it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. (He made us for His glory. We are bought with a price, for a special purpose. Let's live it out today!)
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." (This is my opportunity to prove to the next generation just what is so great about our God. Why He is worth worshiping every day. Why saying Grace at dinner is more than familiar words. Why going to church at every opportunity is more than a social activity. Why treating others with respect is important. And it all begins with me being thankful each moment for exactly where I am, what I am and in whatever it is I am called to do at the moment.)
I also have been pondering a solution to my compulsive nagging habit. Yesterday I happened across this quote: "Do not think of your faults, still less of other's faults; in every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; rejoice in it and as you can, try to imitate it; and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes." John Ruskin (never heard of him, but he sounds wise) I am now praying about how to implement this in my dealings with my young ruffians. Dinner time manners are atrocious around here. I hate to even look at the kids sometimes, because I'm so critical. And I hate even more to see the oldest two avoid my gaze, because they know I'm about to say something about the jelly all over their face or the crust hanging out of their mouth. And that's just one issue! I want to inspire, not nag or smother the life out of my darlings.
So, I pray for fresh grace, for fresh eyes. To see the lovely and the inspiring. To rejoice aloud over the miracles that surround me every day. To make sure my children know that they are miracles and gifts from above. To say "These are the best years of my life!" instead of "THESE are the BEST years?"
To miss out on the beauty of this once-in-a-life-time extraordinary journey because of jelly and bread crusts would be tragic indeed.