Oh my word ladies!
Somedays I can just be such a big baby. Juggling work, ministry, family life, sports, it’s a lot and it is tiring. God gave me a huge smack of grace on the face recently. Do you know what I mean? Like when, you think you know something, or need something, or whatever and God just shows you how blessed you are, how your situation is so nothing compared to someone else’s, how you just have everything you truly need and it is just like a big smack of grace because it puts your perspective right where it needs to be. It’s kind of like taking the time to get to know a single working Mom. I mean- there is no way I can compare and feel in any way, shape or form, that my household needs and stresses and pressures are “too much”.
God knows our hearts, our situations and no matter what, our struggles are REAL to Him and He cares, but knowing what other’s are going through, the loads they are carrying and what their stories are, helps because:
1. It takes our focus off of ourselves.
2. It fills our self-pitying hearts with compassion and empathy.
3. It gives us an opportunity to minister to another.
I was sitting across from my little guy’s Kindergarten teacher. She works full-time and has four children. Her youngest is still nursing an waking up at night. She smiled and hugged my baby and just made him so comfortable. We start to casually chat as I sign papers and somehow, as all working Moms do, end up talking about laundry and making dinner and she tells me how she gets up at 4:15am and does 2 loads of laundry a day and how her husband is a night-time ER nurse so she barely sees him. And YET- here she is smiling, serving my kiddo, teaching him, loving on him. She enthusiastically talks about the upcoming year and I am still taken aback at how much more difficult her life is than mine. And I know it is not about comparison, but the power of compassion beats out the self-centered, self-pity EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.
And then this weekend, I get to spend with other women, who have gathered to glean encouragement about friendship and I pray and meet a mama about to be deployed and about to leave her babies for several months and my heart, once again, fills with compassion and my own struggle, which basically consisted of feeling stressed out leaving my kids for an entire day for the conference, just melts away. My focus gets off of myself, my hearts is filled with compassion and that third gift- the one about giving us opportunity to minister to another? That happened next. The volunteers, which I was a part of, were given necklaces to give away to a friend. I was planning on giving one to someone I knew from home, but I knew that this necklace belonged to my new friend. The word on the necklace was “brave” and it fit her perfectly. And even though it felt somewhat awkward, I looked her in the eyes and told her that I thought she was brave and an amazing mother for sacrificing to provide for her children.