The littlest one fell asleep in his highchair during the noon meal. I delicately slide him out, resting my hand on his wispy see-through blondes, pressed his cheek up against mine. His perfectly smooth skin was hot and with a simple press of my lips against his forehead I knew that we were in for an afternoon of fevers.
He woke often with a whimper so I decided to put him on my chest and together we could rest on the couch.
AS he lay there I could feel the slightest bit of bitterness creeping in. Everyone else was outside building the treehouse and when I'm not careful I start to hear the lie that being stuck in the house on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon with a treasure as a burden.
I laid long under the ceiling fan and felt his chest effortlessly rising and falling into mine. Breath, life, resting on me... gift.
As I lay there I began to think about the big house on the hill. Think about the ways He really started to work out contentment with joy in this often discontent heart of mine. The way he brought 1 Thessalonians 5:16 to a battle field. It was Him and I, and a daily struggle to learn contentment in ALL things. I was determined that there was no such thing. Determined that He was asking something of me that could not and would not ever come to pass.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
Here I am on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon and I'm stuck inside with a fussy baby, and laundry piling up and dishes spilling out on all sides, and why am I always the one who has to sacrifice?
I could feel the fluster rising. I started to slid my fingers across the little boy's back and felt his whole body melt into mine, relax. Is this what sacrifice looks like? Am I really so self-centered to see the gift of answered prayer lying on my chest as sacrifice? I thought upon the words that my Papa has whispered to me almost daily for two years now... the words that come straight out that verse that He gave me back in that big house on the hill... find thanks.
Sometimes in the thick of it, this Mama thing feels heavy. But that heaviness has always been, and always will be the result of a choice that I make.
What a blessing that my son finds peace on his Mama's chest.
What a pure gift, that my Joey works hard so that I have the ability to stay home and give my whole heart to four precious souls.
What an undeserved gift that I'm not wondering how I'm going to feed these treasures, clothe them, or put them in a nice warm bed at night.
A little boy, full of breath and life.
I don't have to be home, I get to be home.
My life is well. But even if the trials were pressing in, there is always something to be grateful for. There is always HIM, steady, steadfast, and overflowing with extravagant love for His treasures! :)
I began to speak out loud the ways that He's carrying me through each of my moments. The way that even the simple knowing that gratitude dissipates bitterness before it has any chance to rise up and devour my whole day.
And on that couch, on a sunny Saturday afternoon , with a beautiful, perfectly made little boy on my chest, my heart went from grouchy to grateful.
Contentment with joy...
A choice of gratitude and grace.
A choice that makes a Saturday afternoon on the couch, a holy experience.