It's 10 pm here.
The house is silent. Finally. I sit with my cup of tea and stare at the computer screen.
"It's Mother's Day weekend. You should probably write something," I tell myself.
I want to. But I am exhausted.
"I am so tired..." I think...."Having a baby is so hard. Having two that are two and under is so hard! Having eight kids is hard!"
And my mind races.
Twenty years ago, I chose my "hard". I chose to get married and start having kids. And, it's been....hard at times. Don't get me wrong. I love my life- my beautiful, chaotic, crazy life- but it's hard. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Getting married is hard. You have your honeymoon days, but then you have the days where both of you are grouchy and tired and you just don't like each other very much. On days like that, it's hard. But so is being single. Being single is lonely and sad at times. Being single is always waiting and wondering- is there a soul mate out there for me? Being single feels like there is a part of you missing. So, for some, single is their "hard".
Having kids young is hard. I was so young when I got married and had our first, and I was literally growing up while raising my younger kids. But you know what? Having kids when you are older is hard, too. I chose my hard when I had kids when I was younger, and now as a seasoned mom. For some, they don't get married until later in life, so they are faced with having children in their older years. There are pros and cons to both. Having kids period is hard. But not having them is hard, too. Some haven't chosen infertility, but it's been chosen for them. They long to hold a baby in their arms, and every month when they don't get a positive, it is hard, and heartbreaking. Which hard would you rather have?
Raising kids the right way is hard. It's exhausting- physically, mentally, and emotionally. It takes a lot of work to be a good mom. You die to yourself daily. You put your wants and your needs and your desires on the back burner. You have a whole household of people depending on you, and they come first. But being selfish is hard, too. If you decide to put your whims and your needs ahead of your God-ordained responsibilities, and let someone else raise your kids, or don't raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, then your kids are going to suffer for it. You might see them grow up to make horrible decisions for their life. Choose your hard.
Being involved in church is hard. Sometimes you want to sleep in on Sunday morning. Sometimes you don't want to even show up, not to mention be involved in the music at church, or go out of your way to be friendly. But being out of church is hard, too. You become backslidden, and in turn, your kids become backslidden. You become cold to the things of the Lord, and your home and marriage and friendships all begin to suffer. You choose your hard.
Having a good marriage is hard. You put the needs of your spouse ahead of your own. You decide to accept the other with all their faults and annoyances. You invest all of your energy and love into one person, and one person only. But divorce is hard, too. Divorce tears apart families and leaves huge wounds. It causes heartache and bitterness in kids. Choose your hard.
Being a good friend is hard. You invest energy and time and emotions into a friendship, sometimes only to be hurt in return. But not having friends is hard, too. It can be a lonely place. You don't have anyone to laugh with at inside jokes, or to cry with if something awful in life happens. No one to sympathize with, or no one to vent to. So, you choose your hard.
Eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and working out is hard, but so is obesity. Being obese is very hard on your entire body, and can also be hard emotionally. Choose your hard.
Paying off debt and living within your means can be very hard. You have to say no to things that you don't necessarily "need", but things that you "want". You might need to live in a smaller home, or do without fancy cars or name brand clothes. But being in debt is very hard, too. You are always in bondage- never ahead, always trying to dig yourself out of a financial hole. It can be very stressful. Choose your hard.
In life, we are given choices. Some things are hard at first. But usually, they turn up being the biggest blessings in our lives.
My "hard" has been investing my life into my husband and my kids. But at 40, I am beginning to reap the blessings of my hard choices. My baby that I had at 20 is now a grown man. I am so pleased with who he is turning out to be. He isn't hard to raise anymore, instead, he heaps blessings onto me every single day- whether that's running errands, buying me coffee, or bringing me flowers. I dealt with him passing out every day (from throwing fits) from the time he was two months old until he was four or five- now, that was hard! But I kept disciplining him, and loving him, and training him until he finally stopped doing it. It was hard then, but it paid off. The same with all of my other kids. The older they get, the bigger the blessing they become. Being pregnant eight times over (plus two miscarriages) has been hard, but the end result made it all worthwhile. Nursing eight babies has been hard. Potty training was hard. Teaching the kids to clean up after themselves, teaching the girls to cook, and teaching the boys good work ethic was hard, but now I am reaping the benefits of that. I chose my hard back then, and I am so glad I did.
I have always said that anything good in life is hard. And that's true. But sometimes, by not doing the hard things simply because they seem hard, we ARE choosing something that might be harder in the long run.
So Mamas, keep doing the hard things. Keep investing in your marriage. Keep loving your husband. Keep putting him and the kids first. Keep loving on those babies, and keep doing the hard things- often times the things that no one sees or notices- day in and day out. Keep serving the Lord. Keep going to church, with the kids right alongside of you. Keep training them, and loving them. When it's hard rocking sick babies and staying up night after night after night, just remember- you are raising the future. We need Mamas to go through the hardships of raising good families so that future generations will be raised right. We need good, godly Christian ladies to teach younger generations how to love the Lord with all their soul, strength, and mind.
You choose your hard.
Which will it be?