A few nights ago, I had a dream that I was single and childless and living in my parents’ basement. My mother kept bugging me to close down my laptop and get out and meet people. So I decided to try e-Harmony.
Then I woke up.
I could actually feel a rush of relief wash over my body as I came to my senses and remembered I was married to the guy snoozing next to me. That we have two beautiful daughters snuggled safe in their beds. And I am living the family life that the gloomy girl in my dreams was missing.
Ironically—because God has a sense of humor—the very evening before that unsettling dream, I’d just about had it with my family. My husband had been gone hunting all weekend, and the girls were at each other’s throats every other minute. I was tired of playing referee, harping on my kiddos to get dressed, slicing apples for their lunch and resenting my husband’s peaceful getaway to the woods. I wanted a break, too. Like a week-long vacation to anywhere with palm trees.
But then God knocked some sense into me with a silly little dream, showing me what my life might have looked like had He not blessed me with a husband and children—the very things I was complaining about.
Have you ever stopped to think of how far you’ve come?
Yes, I know, we’re frazzled women. We’re worn out and stressed. We gripe and get distracted by the bickering, the laundry piles, the gnawing expectation night after night that we’re supposed to make dinner again. Didn’t these people just eat yesterday? And yet compared to the days of my early 20s when I longed for a husband and my own washing machine and some greater purpose in life beyond an 8 to 5 job or prowling with my girlfriends, well, I’ve got it pretty good now.
Better than good.
I am blessed.
Sometimes I lose sight of that.
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me” (Psalm 103:2, NLT).
Take a look around your home. Imagine removing everything God has granted you since your solo days. Erase your husband, your children, your minivan and your mortgage. No more swing set, no more backpacks tossed on the floor, no more high chairs or car seats or Go-Gurt in the fridge.
No more hugs. No more soft kisses.
No more family road trips or ice cream runs or Bananagrams.
No more giggly voices joining you in bedtime prayers.
No one to text “I’m on my way” or “Where should we go for dinner?”
No one whispering “I love you” as you both drift off to sleep.
No one to share your dreams, to hold your hand, to laugh at your inside jokes.
Just you. Still wishing for all those things, as if they’re some magnificent treasure worth searching for.
They still are.
This year, I want to open my eyes and unwrap each day like a gift from God himself. I want to hold it in my heart and feel crazy gratitude run through my veins. Yes, I’m sure I’ll still get crabby sometimes. I’ll still wish I had a maid to wash all my dishes and a nanny to break up fights. But even those annoying facets of family life are undeniable proof that I am living my greatest wish.
And so are you.
Let’s move bravely into this year with new vision for the joy that’s set before us—not just in the next life, but in this one. Right here, right now. Amidst the squabbles and the clutter, the whining and the tantrums, the worries and impatience and the countless momma mess-ups.
We are surrounded by blessings.
And it’s time to live like we can see them.
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