Thursday, September 04, 2014

DESERT MARATHON: MY WHINY HEART

When I was about 9 weeks pregnant with Lily, John and I took a trip to the Middle East to visit some dear friends who were living there at the time.  One vivid experience that stands out is when we were on a bus from Jordan headed back to Israel to meet up with our friends near the Dead Sea.  Our bus driver mistakenly dropped us off about 3 miles from our intended destination, and we did not speak enough Hebrew to be able to understand what was happening.

And there we were - stranded in the desert.

Scan 3

I took this picture (with self-timer.  I have mad self-timer skills.) right after we figured out that we were nowhere near where we should have been.  At first, it seemed like a funny travel story.  But it quickly morphed into something much more frustrating.  We were wandering in the mostly unpopulated desert, trying to find someplace with a phone to be able to make contact with our friends so they could come pick us up.

I wish I could say that I bore up well under this strain, but that would be a bold faced lie.  I was hot.  I was carrying all of my stuff for the trip, and I was growing a baby.  It was not ideal, and I fell to whining very quickly.  I remember actually commenting in the heat of the drama, "This is what the Israelites must have felt like.  I would have been every bit as whiny as the Bible described them as being."

Here's the deal, ya'll.  Having 16 month old twins is tough.  Are they the cutest ever?  Yes.  Do I love them with all my heart?  Yes.  Am I so incredibly proud of all of the progress they are making everyday?  Yes.

Do I like being covered with drool all of the time?  Do I relish having two babies throwing food at me and the floor during most meals?  Do I enjoy the teething induced screams coming from two little mouths?  No, No, and NO.

My heart has been a bit of a battleground this week.  There are always lots of things going on.  Our lives brush up with a lot of people, which I am so thankful for.  However, that brings with it added stress and emotion.  Good and bad things are always happening for which we are called on and privileged to rejoice or mourn.

And when all of the things that go on around us are coupled with a rather stressful home environment, it can feel a little bit like we are drowning in sand.  On a personal front, some things haven't gone our way, which is totally how life goes and okay.  I've had to come to grips with the fact that God may indeed know better than I do how things should go.  For me, this is usually the crux of my issues - Do I really trust that God's plan is better?  That he honestly and truly knows best and has my ultimate good at heart?

When I allow myself to fall into self-pity, it's easy to believe that I deserve a reprieve, or more understanding or a pedicure or piece of pie or another piece of pie.  I focus on ME and how hard things are and how much I just want to get to the twins' third birthday - or whatever magical timeframe where I have convinced myself that things will be easier in the future.  My tears well up just thinking about it, because I know these things are wrong.

My heart is bent towards whininess and self-indulgence.  I feel entitled to an ease that is not God's best for my life, and some days I am good at seeing it all clearly.  Other days I fail quite miserably.

Daily life is a bit of a desert marathon right now.  It is slow going, and some of the days drag on at an infinitesimal pace.  BUT - it is worth it.  It really is, and I am so thankful for where we are.  Sometimes I have to dig down deep to find that thankfulness or beg for God to restore it, but most of the time, it can be revived from the dregs of the chaos.

And just like I was not stuck in the desert by the Dead Sea for forever, or even for 40 years like the Israelites, I will not be stuck here forever.  The good and the bad of the right now will fall away before I know it.  I'm praying for more and more of God's grace to infuse the ways that I see it in my daily life.  I certainly need it.

2 comments:

Lindsey @ A Dollop of My Life said...

well, amen and amen. And I only have one whiny 16 month old. I actually was driving (with a whiny 16 month old) and thought to myself "And Carol does this with two of them".... You're a rockstar. Even if you whine. ;)

Carol Spenst said...

Thanks, Lindsey. You are also a rockstar. These are hard, crazy days that we're living!