E.A.S.Y. I dream of things being EASY. I can't be alone in this... If there's a woman out there reading this, I know that when you're tired, and the laundry is piled up, the baby's screaming and the kids are fighting... you dream of things being easy.
Sometimes I think I'm getting close to things being easy, only to be proven terribly, terribly wrong.
I think it's especially difficult when things are close to feeling easy and then they get hard again. That is a bitter pill to swallow.
What is this desire for easy? Human nature? Or is it just me? Am I lazy? Or just plain tired?
Right now, I'm in the weeds of young motherhood. My kids are each less than 2 years apart. I haven't been able to shake this misguided notion that each day will get easier. I have been proven wrong so many times it's ridiculous. Fool me once, shame on... well... me, I guess. Fool me twice... yea, that would be shame on me again. Fool me 852, 361 times... shame on me. AGAIN. You see my point. I have no one to blame but me. Whoever said this whole 'life thing' was supposed to be easy, anyway?
To date- things with kids that have not gotten easier (please note that this list is by no means exhaustive):
- Bath time. Already established and explained in this traumatic, yet amusing, post.
- Grocery store outings with 3 kids. Whoever thought that would be a clever idea is only plain coo-coo for cocoa puffs.
- Taking three kids to the chiropractor... Maybe wouldn't be so hard but they make us TAKE OFF OUR SHOES. 3 kids. All their shoes. Crowded waiting room. People staring. Baby pooping her diaper. Boys already fighting over who gets what toy. Good thing we like the chiropractor so much.
- Making dinner with a baby velcroed to the leg... screaming.
- Getting all the kids buckled into car seats on a sweltering day. Or a rainy day. Or a snowy day. Or a windy day. Any day. Just SWEAT. That's all I have to say.
- Going out for dinner as a family- No. Just NO.
- Getting up before 5 because they just want to watch tree house. Go back to bed. GO!
All the above things, I keep expecting to get easier. And they will in like 4 years, when everyone is out of a 5-point harness, out of diapers, able to be firmly planted for more than 10 seconds at a time, and the baby girl learns to control her rage.
Or maybe this is just dreaming again. Some of you reading this might think it's sad that we have not yet mastered these things. Oh well. Bonus points for you, and please teach me all your secrets.
Some things that I thought would get easier are a bit more serious than the list above.
- Balancing life (Work, husband, kids, family, friends and a desire to buy books and read all day and/or watch Netflix in bed).
- Not being afraid of exposing my faith on a regular basis to my many non-Christian friends.
- Dealing with my oldest son's recurrent health issues.
When things Just Don’t Get Easier
Point #3 from that list is what I want to talk about right now. Why isn't this roller coaster easier by now? Like I said earlier... Sometimes it feels like we're getting close to normalcy and something resembling the ever-elusive "easy." That is what makes it hurt even more when something happens that reminds me... "No. Not yet. This is still your battle to fight."
Believe me when I say that if and when my kids need my help fighting a battle, I will be in it until the end. But that willingness doesn't make it any less exhausting.
Our son's doctor has requested updates via email every 3 weeks. I was due to update him today. So, I emailed him a glowing report this morning. Things seemed to be in an upward swing again.
Fast forward to this evening... More like a downward swing. Nothing terrible. It could be so much worse. 90% better than where we were at 4 months ago. 300% better than where we were at a year ago. But the amount that things can change in less than one day... ugh. It seems that whenever things look or feel a little better, I think, "This is it. We're coming out of it." I should know better by now.
For some reason, I expect that one day "easy" is just going to show up at my door step.
No. It doesn't work that way. No one ever said life was meant to be easy. Especially not the Creator of life. Some days will definitely be easier than others, but I need to let go of my expectation that there's going to be just "one more hurdle" before we get the chance to enter easy-street for good.
There will always be something to challenge us and build our character and faith. There will always be something to push us to fight so hard and love so hard that it can actually hurt.
God has promised us many things. He never promised that things would make sense, or be easy. In some moments, I wonder why a little kid has to suffer. Not just my son. Yes, he struggles, but it could be so much worse.
Cancer, fatalities... Why kids? Well, God never promised justice on earth. That is to come later. His patience is incredible. Not just with sweet, innocent children, but with people like you and me.
Also, with people who have committed the ugliest of crimes. He gives everyone challenges and he also gives every single person a chance at life and eternity with Him.
"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord, one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years is a day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV
Easy implies an instant change. Easy implies justification. Easy implies that I don't have to question anything or look outside my perfect, easy bubble... because why would I do that and disturb the status-quo when everything is so easy?
It wouldn't make sense to a human like me. God knows this about me. He knows this about us. We all long for easy- as if that's the only place happiness and fulfillment can live. He knows us... and He knows better.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
There's so much more wisdom in God than we could ever comprehend. We may long for justice, and instant change, and a drive down easy street. But I serve a God that knows better. I may never understand, but I will have faith.
All our challenges and struggles look different. It doesn't make them any less real. It may be loving someone that in all my human-ness... I just really don't want to.
It may mean my own physical suffering... or having to watch someone suffer. It may mean sacrificing some time. It may mean sacrificing something financially. It might even mean losing someone I love.
God is Better
Hard stuff. Not easy. Jesus' life and death are the perfect example of not easy. Why should I expect anything more?
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."2 Timothy 4:7.
I have no answers. This is why I'm so thankful for the Word... So, I can study and learn and be constantly humbled.
I like to write down my studies, and that is what this is. A study for me. A reminder for me. Maybe my struggles and learning can be a help to you, too.
Because really... Our challenges and struggles may look different, but at the heart of it, we're all fighting the good fight. We're all running the race.
A Little About Cecily
Hey, my name is Cecily! I blog over at 'The Grace to Grow.' I'm passionate about fostering the growth of a generation of women that can release fear and live with intention. I'm a wife to a public-school teacher, a homeschooling mom to 3 sweet kids, a business owner, homesteader, introvert, Netflix binger and dark chocolate and sea salt lover. Oh- and give me all the tacos.
Life is never dull around here, and we're learning to thrive in the crazy. I mean... when you have 3 kids, pigs, buffalo, turkeys, chickens, dogs, cats, and businesses to run... you better learn to roll with the crazy, am I right? Join me as I dig into the challenges of life, and grow fearlessly, by the grace of God.
Check out some of her Amazing Work at Grace to Grow!