Barren to Beautiful
This week my husband walks in the door after a long day at work to find: dishes piled in the sink, laundry all over the living room, the beef for dinner still in a frozen block, and me looking like Frump Queen. He is gracious. And tells me to take a nap. I instantly obey. (Inwardly rejoicing). And while I am sleeping for 45 minutes, he manages to clean the whole house while watching our daughter. (A feat I clearly was incapable of accomplishing today. Many days.)
One part of me feels grateful the house is clean. I can relax now, right? But the other (bigger) part of me feels guilty and defeated. He just worked the whole day at his job, and then came home and did mine, too. Isn’t this why I am staying home?
Every day I have this desire to accomplish something. But every day it feels I accomplish nothing. I try to clean something, but I don’t finish. I want to do a house project, make my space more beautiful, but all those gorgeous pictures on Pinterest look like something from another world. Not mine. I leave to buy something, but roam aimlessly around in the store. Nothing to bring home. I try to write, but this little person cries for all of my attention when I sit at the computer. I clip coupons and price match, and still go way over on our budget. Agh. At the end of the day, there’s nothing to show for the last 9 hours of exhausting effort. Of doing what?
When it feels I didn’t accomplish Super Tidy Housewife, or Spiritual Sage, or Fun Mommy, or Adoring Wife, or Betty Crocker, or the Likeable Friend when I’m none of those titles, and all the opposites I have to wonder: “Am I enough?“
I lay my head on the kitchen table, cheek against wood, and cry. I want my days to be of worth. But feel like they are all so: Unsuccessful.
As I lay, frozen, I hear a whisper, my daughter’s whisper:
Do you remember the nights you cried on the bathroom floor in the dark? When the pregnancy tests sat negative in the trash can? Remember when my nursery was just a storage room? A place for you and Daddy to throw your junk? Remember how you longed to brush my hair with your fingers, to sing me lullabies, to hold me close? And now I’m here.
Am I enough?
When there’s dishes in the sink, and your skinny jeans sag from all the bending, and dinner’s ingredients still sit on the shelves of the supermarket, because your days are full, full of me. Am I worth your attention? Am I an accomplishment?
Am I enough?
You kept me safe today Momma, you kept me alive. You kept me fed, and rested. You played with me, and made me laugh. Does that count Momma? Am I one of your goals Momma? Just to be together? Even if no one sees it? Or knows it?
Am I enough?
Tell me Momma, did you think I’d be different? Did you hope I’d be different? Do you see me? I’m right here Momma, the answer to your sobbing prayers. But now that I’m here, is there something else you want Momma, to feel good? Do I make your day count Momma?
Am I enough?
And suddenly, the voice changes. My heart wrenches. The spirit of God begins to whisper, making the table under my wet cheek feel more like the chest of God. And suddenly I know He’s near.
Do you remember when I said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me?” (Matt. 25:40) “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward?” (Matt. 10:42) Do you not see it here child?
All these days you live at home to serve this fragile girl, what you really are doing is serving me. For whatever you do unto her, you do unto me. So let me ask you:
Am I enough?
What is my worth to you? In the secret places, where no one sees? Look deeper Dear One.
Can you find me in this place? In her face?
Every diaper, every clean, dry pair of clothes, cups of water, Cheerios, all the laughter, every tear, each soothing whisper in her ear.
In doing so, you so clothe me, feed me, hear my cry, soothe me with your lullaby.
If all you do is spend your days, your self, on me ... Am I enough?
Rebekah Fox is the author of the blog Barren to Beautiful. This blog post was posted here with her permission.
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