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is it worth it?

I woke up this morning to wee.  A whole lot of wee from my kids.  Okay, so one accident was entirely my fault…I forgot to put a clean diaper on a certain little angel before bed last night (getting back into the baby stage takes a bit of time, don’t you know).  The other accident was due to another treasure having a drink just a little too late last night. 

A fabulous way to start the day.

I cleaned up the pee, washed little bodies, and so my day began.  Bedrooms looked like a tornado had made it’s way through them, so I cleaned.  The kitchen also needed a good scrubbing, so I scrubbed.  A little girl desperately needed a hair trim, so I put on my hairdresser hat and snipped away.  I kissed a few boo-boos and lovingly applied more than one band aid to more than one bleeding body part.  I reminded the kids one thousand and twenty times to clean up after themselves, and wiped the wee that missed the toilet bowl off the toilet seat many times.  I fed seven children breakfast and made a dozen sandwiches for lunch.  Three of the seven children decided that it was not a good day to have a sandwich for lunch and that something else would so much more delicious–to which I responded, “you don’t live in a restaurant, so please eat what you’re given,” in my most loving mommy voice, of course. Five piles of laundry got sorted, folded and put away today. Eighteen cloth diapers got washed twice and hung out to dry in the sun.  I tidied up the family room, picked up the toys for the thirtieth time, and straightened the cushions on the couch (I lost count how many times I did that).  I told each kid I loved them over and over again and gave plenty of cuddles.  I played on the floor, watched my big kids show me their new tricks and braided my two little girls hair. I provided healthy snacks too many times to remember and reminded the children over and over again that water was a far better choice than juice.  I made a quick run to the grocery store, and responded to two e-mails as quickly as possible. Mopped the floors and vacuumed the carpets. When evening came I made another healthy meal. Played with the kids before bedtime and answered about two hundred “why” questions throughout the day.

And then I fell into bed–asleep before my head even hit the pillow.  A new day begins way too soon. Before I know it, all the above begins all over again.  Just like yesterday.  And the day before that.

Sometimes I have days like today.  Days when I ask myself, “is this even worth it?”  Days when I wonder if I should consider going back to school so that I can go out into the world and get a real job.  Days when finances feel so tight, and I feel such an urgency to just do something–anything more than I am doing now.  Days when I look at my life and wonder if I should be doing more, being more.  Days when I feel so darn inadequate. Days when I long to pack up my family and go back out onto the mission field–to somewhere I think I can truly make a difference in this life. 

Ah, yes, I have days like this.  When mothering feels so mundane and homemaking feels like such a chore.  Days when I feel like I will scream if I have to clean one more dang toilet. Days when I wonder—is this all worth it?

Is having a larger than normal family worth it? I could have stopped at one child.

Is staying home to homeschool my children worth it? I could go out and get a job doing something.

Is adopting children who have special needs worth it? I could have turned my back and said, “no way!”

Is the busyness of the life I lead worth it? I could have had a much easier life.

Are the financial sacrifices worth it? We could have had so much more money with a smaller family.

Is it all worth everything I do on a daily basis?

Then God reminds me of something that I often forget.  This IS my mission field.  I’m living it, right here in my home. I don’t need to go anywhere, or do anything, other than this–the thing that He has placed in my hands to do. Living on the mission field is not easy–no matter where in the world it happens to be, even right here in my own home.

If anyone had told me ten years ago that this is what my life would look like now, I would have totally laughed.  I never saw this life that God chose for us coming our way.  Never dreamed we would be raising seven children. But I also never knew the blessing that all these things would be in my life. I never knew the joy of hearing a child who is unable to speak learn to make new sounds.  I never knew the joy of seeing my 16 pound daughter gain over three pounds super quickly just from being home where she belongs.  I never knew the blessing of teaching them new things.  I never knew the satisfaction of seeing my daughter learning to eat solid foods at five years of age.  I never knew how my heart would overflow every time I heard giggles and laughter from children who were locked away and forgotten about.

I never knew the absolute joy.

Is this journey easy?  No way!  Every parent will agree that it is NOT easy!  There are days when I count the minutes for everyone to just be in bed so that I can have an hour of quiet time.  I have times when I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of my daughter’s special needs.  And then there are the moments when I have to cling to my Father God with all my might, trusting Him to work out situations as they arise.  It is not easy.

But as difficult as it may be on some days, I would not change a single thing.

Going back to school…it can wait.

Earning a salary again…it can wait.

Having more me time…it can wait.

On days like today I need God to bring me back to my reality, which is not the same as everyone elses.  God calls us all differently.  Some of us work, others stay home.  We follow the leading of the Lord in our own lives. We’re all unique. We all have our own mission to accomplish in life. How desperately God needs us all to function in our giftings and abilities. I cannot look at someone’s elses life and long for what they have, or what they do. I’m not them and they’re not me.

And so I’m content to just be mommy. This is my mission.  This is what the Lord has called me to do.  Nothing could ever give me greater satisfaction than raising the next generation of mighty warriors for the Lord. May every toilet I scrub tomorrow, every boo boo I bandage up, every pee-stained sheet I wash, every “why” question I answer for the hundredth time, every room I tidy and every toy I pack away…may I learn to do it all as unto the Lord, without grumbling and complaining AND with a cheerful heart.

Goodness, I have such a long way to go in becoming more like Jesus.  I don’t think we ever get it right this side of heaven. But I’m loving my mission field, right here in my little home in the inner city.  Right here where the Lord has planted me to bloom.

It is all so very worth it! 

Praying you’re all loving the mission God has called YOU to.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  Col 3:23