Learning to Fail

It’s day 2 & i’ve almost failed myself and my friend Sarah and my 4 loyal readers.  Anyone who knows me knows i don’t like failing at anything.  ever.  so how is it that it’s almost 10pm & i have given about a half of a second of my day to deep thoughts & blog posts?  well, i’ll tell you how in 1 word: Vomit.  In less than 24 hours vomit has overtaken my household & my life.

It started off as what i THOUGHT was food poisoning in my 8 year old.  By 2am i was ready to go to the ER with him for fluids, while making a pit stop at a local restaurant to karate chop someone in the adam’s apple for doing this to my son.  Good thing i’m a woman of restraint.  because fast forward 7 hours and he’s just starting to hold down liquids while i’m holding the hair of my sweet 5 year old daughter & listening to a voice in my head whispering how i had wasted the whole night laying on the couch staring at my 8 year old curled up on the loveseat, waiting to spring into action with his puke bucket, & cursing another human being for something they OBVIOUSLY had nothing to do with.  Nothing beats a little exhaustion mixed with a lot of helplessness & mom guilt, right?

Fast forward another 12 hours and they’re all sound asleep in their beds & once again i am cool, calm, & collecting my thoughts.  2 of them have had a horrible 12 hours & i’m sitting in this chair typing & praying that the other 2 don’t need buckets of their own between sunset & sunrise.

Being a parent is hard work.  And i’m beginning to suspect that it doesn’t get any easier as they get older.  bigger kids will surely bring bigger worries.  today it was vomit, tomorrow it might be friends who are unkind.  Months from now it could be the sadness of saying goodbye to one neighborhood or the uneasiness of trying to “fit in” to another.  And years from now it could be standing in an airport as that same 8 year old that i sat with last night boards a plane as a full-grown man to go be a missionary in Syria & bring hope to the hopeless (lucky me he’s announced that this is what he’s GOING to do with his life, so i’ve got plenty of time to “prepare” myself for that moment).

there’s only one thing i can think of that can possibly make raising children a completely bearable & worthwhile pursuit.  And that is knowing that these “babies” aren’t really mine, anyway.  They’ve been given to me, entrusted to me for a very short time, by a Father who loves them in infinitely more profound ways than i ever could.  My role is to guide them and lead them toward the specific destiny that He alone has created each of them to fulfill.  I guess i could be a little irritated that i have to do all the “dirty” work in this arrangement of His….quite literally, “dirty”, as it were last night! Or i could look at it as a privilege to love these little humans so deeply that i would gladly sacrifice a night of sleep to  rub their backs, sing them songs, or hold their hands and hair just to give them a glimpse of the depth of the love that He & I certainly have for them.

So i guess if i have to choose whether to be grateful or to be irritable, i choose gratitude. Because i can’t think of a better thing to be grateful for than the gift of loving these little people and then letting them go & turning them over to Him so He can faithfully finish the work He’s already begun in each of their lives.  And i guess if i fail at blogging but succeed at being grateful for the gift that this time with them truly is,  i’m gonna have to learn to be ok with a little failure every once in a while.

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