Yet I'm knocked in the face with the realization that life isn't really all that difficult. Circumstances could be so much worse, and I hear my mom's voice say, "Alicia, put on your big girl panties and get on with it." And I know she's right. (And I loathe the word 'panties'. Just sayin'.)
But that leaves me considering the enduring... the persevering. Is merely surviving the challenges of this life enough? At the end, when I cross the finish, whether the finish of the current battle, or at the finish of this life, will I be content to say, "I didn't die getting through it?" Or do I want something more than that.
And I want something more.
In just eight weeks I've gone from one job outside the home to two. Our oldest started baseball. Our youngest started swim lessons. In just the last ten days we've attended two dental appointments, a physical exam well check, an eye doctor appointment, and tomorrow, on day 11, is the veterinarian. Two planned, two unplanned. Our church schedules are busy, our house is filthy, and our work days are full.
And it wasn't until yesterday that I realized, I may not be able to 'help' the busy right now, but I can channel the busy-ness much better than I have been. Rather than focusing on the tiredness and exhaustion, I can choose not only to realize that God has answered a prayer to give us more opportunities to share the Gospel, but I can actively make an effort to do just that.
To reiterate - in eight weeks, God has given me not one area of influence outside of church, but two, AND I get paid for it. Our son has had the opportunity to be a light on his baseball team, and dad has got to meet new parents. I have a whole new set of parents to talk to at swim practice, while A gets to enjoy a new, fun adventure that is just for her. We've talked to doctors, nurses, hygienists, and receptionists in many different medical fields. And not one of these people have seen my home. (Amen to that.)
My perspective has shifted. My prayer has changed from "God, help me endure it," to "God, help me finish well, and with a purpose."
Yesterday, Aaron led out in a song new to the church that he and I have enjoyed for awhile - Jesus Be the Center, and my prayer is just that, that Jesus would be the center of it all. Of all the busy-ness, of all the work schedules, of all the ball practices. May they not be just other things to do, but may they be Kingdom work centered around Him, and may the perk be a little girl learning to swim, a little boy's excitement on a game well played, and a few more pennies contributed to our savings account. It's on that account that I thank God that He answers many prayers, all in one, and sometimes, we fail to even notice.