I am in the odd spot in which I think many mothers of large families eventually find themselves. It is a place that includes loving and caring for grown and “adultish” children, while also caring for teens, a child not yet in double digits, and an aging parent. In some ways, I am finding it to be a wonderful place. My older children are becoming my friends, my younger children are benefitting from our experience and confidence, and our parents are providing us with the privilege of caring for them as they once cared for us.
In other ways, however, I am tired and discontent. Not the same tired and discontent I was when I had three children under four years old in my 30’s or added two babies to that mix in my 40’s. That was a physical tired that no amount of sleep seemed to be able to fix. Now, I am mentally tired. Tired of the lists and the schedules and the responsibilities that come from caregiving of all kinds. I find myself longing for what the world tells me I should have at this time in my life – the lovely home and garden I see on Pinterest, the career success that allows for thoughts of soon-to-be retirement and travel, and the time for “self-care” that includes mani-pedis, luxurious baths, and nights out with “the girls.”
If I stay in that place – that place of the world – surely my exhaustion and overwhelm will only grow because the service required of me is not ending anytime soon, as far as I can tell. Thankfully, the Lord seeks me out and shares with me a different view. He reminds me through His word that I am not meant to be like the Pharisees who broadened their phylacteries and enlarged their fringe so that the world would exalt and praise them. He likewise reminds me that He is not like the Pharisees who burdened others with unmanageable responsibilities while offering them no help to accomplish them.
No, the Lord tells me that He has called me to this place of humility and service so that He may exalt me as only He can. He reminds me that if I do all that He has set before me for His glory, He will bring me peace, and my reward will be great in Heaven. And that is a promise far better than anything this fleeting world has to offer!