Four year olds are exhausting. Twins are exhausting. Day in and day out, life is exhausting. The mornings are exhausting; the afternoons are exhausting; the evenings are exhausting and the nights are exhausting. There are some days that I am so tired that I wonder what I did all day to become so tired, only to become discouraged when the answer seems to be “nothing.” Days where it seems nothing of purpose is accomplished. Days where I’m exhausted from the sheer monotony of having three kids at home. You know the days…the ones that make you feel like this:
Thankfully, I believe we are out of the “trying to survive” stage. We entered this stage after the girls were born and we began adjusting to life with two newborns. One baby can be tough. Two babies can test your limits. During this stage I would wake up and just try to make it through the day, only to wake up the next day and do it all again. I remember a phone conversation Patrick had with his mom and she asked what we were going to do that weekend. Our answer? Just try to make it through it.
Currently we are in the “being alive” stage. There are good days and there are bad days, but days are no longer survived; they are lived. I can do more than just bathe both girls. I can bathe the girls, make lunches, straighten up the house, play with Brooks, cook dinner and maybe even run an errand. Again, sometimes the daily grind can be discouraging, but at least I am able to make a to-do list that no longer has to have “shower,” “brush teeth,” or "get dressed" on it. Luckily, showering, brushing my teeth and getting dressed are pretty much guaranteed in this stage of life. And with the passing of each day I know I am one step closer to once again being in the “able to thrive” stage.
Our church back in Australia has a blog entitled Selah Moments and it’s a place where women share perspectives based on the word of the month. The word for July is “honour” and I wrote the following piece:
As I contemplated this word, honour, I found myself asking, “What am I doing to honour God?” Initially my response was a superficial one: I’m trying my best to live a life that is pleasing to Him. But what does that really mean? I pressed myself and began to dive into a deeper understanding.
While considering the question of what I’m doing to honour God, the parable of the talents was brought to mind. Matthew 25:14-30 tells the story of a master who entrusts talents (NIV says bags of gold) to his servants. Three servants receive five talents, two talents and one talent, respectively. The servants who received five and two talents both doubled their portions while the servant who received only one talent dug a hole and buried his master’s money. To the two who doubled their portion, the ones who went out and DID something with what their master gave them, the master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” To the one who buried his talent, the one who chose the safe path, the path where nothing was lost nor nothing was gained, the master said, “You wicked, lazy servant…throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness…”
“Talents” in this parable can parallel many things. As I began to think about what the Lord has entrusted to me, the first thing that came to mind is my family. How am I honouring my husband? How am I honouring my children? Am I an encouragement to them, doubling my portion? In what areas are my strengths and what areas need strengthening? Do I choose to honour them on a daily basis because honouring them truly is a choice and making this choice is easier on some days than others? What am I doing to honour God? By honouring them I’m honouring Him.
“Talents” can also take the form of money, as was the case in the parable. Am I being a good steward with the finances God has provided? Is tithing a priority? Am I honouring Him with how we choose to spend our funds? Because, again, this is a choice and, again, it’s an easier choice on some days than it is on others.
Finally, “talents” can reflect what God has blessed us each with – particular gifts and talents. How are we using these gifts? Are our abilities being put to use or are they simply buried, not accomplishing anything. In some cases, these talents might have been buried so long that we’ve completely forgotten about them. God didn’t bless us in areas only to have us choose to do nothing with it. He wants us to use our talents so that we might bless others, in turn, honouring Him.
This word, honour, didn’t encourage me. It didn’t inspire me. It convicted me. I want to choose to live a life that gains the response, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” I want to honour God by honouring what He has blessed and entrusted me with – my family, my finances, my talents.
I wanted to share it here as an encouragement for those stuck in the daily grind. I started viewing ordinary, everyday tasks as ways to honor God and it has benefited me greatly. It has given purpose to the days that seem uneventful. It has allowed me to see those days for what they truly are: the opportunity to pour into the lives of my children. Viewing these moments as a chance to honor God by honoring my family has made me a better wife and a better mother. There is a renewing in my spirit that was absent before I changed my outlook. The monotony of the previous days has been replaced with a joy and a love that can only be granted by the Lord and for that I am grateful.