As I cling to my faith in Jesus, I find myself constantly praying and pondering throughout the day. “Who have I in heaven but you, Lord? Why does my heart feel sad? Restore to me the joy of your salvation – the joy that, despite any circumstance, fills my weary heart with your peace. Amen.”RENEE EMERSON
“Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” Psalm 51 8-12
I wake up. It’s 6:00 am, and I’m already tired. I roll over; my back is aching, and my stomach’s sore from pregnancy growing pains. I woke overnight to settle a crying baby, and I want to put the blanket over my face and hide. The thought of another day in total lockdown isolation, parenting four tiny humans alone while my husband is out of the house for 12 hours of the day is too much. I say to myself, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s breaking me”.
I hear my oldest daughter open the bedroom door and say, “Mumma, it’s 6:01 am”, she runs and jumps in the bed getting in my personal space when I’d finally gotten comfortable, and puts her cold feet on mine to warm up.
I drag myself out of bed and head to the kitchen table. The baby has thrown chewed up food on the floor, and I look around at all of the mess I’ll have to clean up (for the millionth time) once we’re finished. I begrudgingly say goodbye to my husband, who is allowed to leave the house for work, and who I won’t see until at least 8 pm when all the hard work for the day is done.
I don’t sit down with my Bible as usual. Instead, I mindlessly scroll through social media, looking at other people enjoying their lives while I struggle – utterly overwhelmed with my blessings and dissatisfied at being locked away in my home.
It’s 9 am, and I call the girls to the table for school work. I try and correct Posy’s pronunciation of “R” and “W” unsuccessfully again, grumble at Winslow for spilling water on our work, and tell Evie to concentrate on her work because it’s taking ten times longer than it should.
During the day, the girls want to play. They are carefree, dancing in the sunlight in the backyard. I catch a glimpse of something beautiful and hear that small, still voice of the Spirit whisper, “dance with them”. But I don’t, I’m too tired.
It’s 5 pm, and everyone’s screaming for dinner. I can barely stand. I’m so tired. I serve up dinner, and two out of four kids refuse to eat it. I yell and complain that they are ungrateful, and after tears and tantrums, they give in and eat.
It’s bedtime. I’m over it. I need alone time. I rush through Bible, songs and prayers to just get it done. I close the door and sigh. This moment I’ve longed for all day feels empty and just as miserable as all the other moments.
I wake up at 6:00. I hear a voice in my head saying, “I can’t do this again…” But the Holy Spirit answers that wicked thought with, “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness.” “You’re right”, I think to that voice, “Alone I cannot, but with Christ, I can do all things”. I choose life. My bed is toasty warm, and my pillows help relieve some of the back pain I’m experiencing. I hear my daughter announce that it’s 6:01 am, and I reach for her as she climbs into my bed. She hates socks overnight, so I snuggle my feet into hers to warm them up, and she giggles.
I make my bed and walk through the kitchen. I see five happy faces smiling at me. My breakfast and coffee have been lovingly made for me. After I eat, I’m so full and satisfied that I clean up the mess without a thought of the burden. I kiss my beloved husband goodbye, pass him his lunch, and he looks at me in that loving way, which shows me I’m adored and appreciated. I know I’ll miss him today, but I know I’m not alone, even though it feels like it.
Although I’m tired and sore, I make a hot cup of tea and open my Bible. It’s my source of life and strength—a well of water for a thirsty woman who needs Jesus.
I’ve prepared a fun school morning. I excitedly call the girls to the table at 9 am. Posy and I cuddle as I attempt to correct her “R” and “W” sounds, and I reassure her that learning letters can be tricky for everyone. Winnie spills water, and as I look kindly at her, she offers to clean it up with a cloth. Evie and I play the attention game to get her back on track, and we finish our work joyfully.
The midwife has told me that my vitamin D is incredibly low. I see the girls, like little fairies, dancing carefree in the glorious winter sun. I’m sore and tired and would love to dance with them – but settle for a nice seat in the sun, soaking up vitamin D and clapping along with them.
It’s 5 pm, and I’ve been organised enough to provide a yummy dinner. I encourage two girls to eat, reminding them they’ve had this meal before and enjoyed it. After full bellies, we begin our bed bath time routine. We read the Bible and chat about Jesus. Evie sings beautifully and shows us how many verses she can remember of her hymn. Posy asks big questions about life, and Winnie prays her long drawn out prayers thanking God for herself, who mummy loves. After infinite kisses, cuddles and prayers, I close the door and thank God for another wonderful and blessed day.
Life is hard right now. I’ve heard it said, “perspective is everything”. I disagree. Perspective is important, but FAITH is everything. We can’t change our perspective by simply willing ourselves to be happy or just trying to look on the brighter side of life, especially while life is so hard. BUT, we can have a changed perspective through our faith.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
As I cling to my faith in Jesus, I find myself constantly praying and pondering throughout the day. “Who have I in heaven but you, Lord? Why does my heart feel sad? Restore to me the joy of your salvation – the joy that, despite any circumstance, fills my weary heart with your peace. Amen.”
Photo by Louise Buma