(text message translation: it takes me forever to text.)
In phone years, my cell phone is ancient. Like two and a half years old. A few months ago I caught myself saying, “I have GOT to get a new phone! I need one with a keyboard so I can text!” It seemed like a simple enough complaint at the time, but I realized that I sounded like a spoiled little child. I have been blessed with a cell phone. This is not a necessity for daily living. I can exist on this earth without one. Instead, I chose to let my luxurious cell phone become a burden.
‘Don’t turn your blessings into burdens.’ This is a saying from a very wise and handsome man- my husband Scott. I hear that phrase in my mind almost daily, and find myself repeating it to my children. Sometimes I want to junk punch him when he says that, thinking he doesn’t know how hard my life is. But, he does know how hard life is- he’s living it too! It’s a matter of perspective, and I’m glad to have this little phrase to think about when the going gets tough. Here are some examples:
Burden: My children whine and complain about being cold when I get them out of the bath. They don’t want to wear those pajamas, they want to wear these. They don’t like the way the lotion feels when I put it on. I pull too hard when I comb their wet hair. They don’t want to eat what I made for supper.
Blessing: my children get to take a nice warm bath and put on fresh pjs a few times a week. Many, many children all over the world do not have clean water to drink, much less bathe in. Many children have one piece of clothing that they wear all the time, and sleep in dirt and filth every night- going to bed hungry day after day.
Burden: My house looks like a pigsty most of the time. There is clutter everywhere, it always needs a good deep cleaning, and there isn’t enough space to put everything. Don’t even get me started on the dishes!
Blessing: We have 1860 of the cutest square feet in town, in a home that God perfectly orchestrated for us to purchase. It is filled with precious family furniture. There are toys, art supplies and fingerprint smudges from three adorable children. I have food in my kitchen to cook for my family. In some places, more people live together in much less space.
Burden: It’s just too stressful raising our children. I’m fearful I’m going to mess them up for life! There is too much to think about in regards to our future, too many decisions to make, and too much fear in not knowing where we’ll be years from now.
Blessing: The Lord has given us three children, after a year of wondering if we could even have children. Many people long for a baby that will never come. We believe God has called us to full time ministry and we can trust in His perfect plan for our lives, even if we cannot see it. We are blessed that Scott is going to seminary for free.
This is not to say that our struggles and anxieties are not legitimate. They often are. But sometimes we have to step back and look at the situation from another angle. Yes, it may feel like a burden. But am I missing the blessing?
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner
self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18