Living a life of GRATITUDE.
Most days, I’m not very good at continually living out my thanks for the beautiful, albeit hectic, life that the good Lord has freely given me. In fact, most days I start out tiresome and weary from little to no sleep thanks to my sweet little guy and it just becomes a tumultuous whirlwind of frustration as the day moves forward!
Yesterday, I was home all day with my little man because he was working on cutting a second tooth so he had a fever all day. Repeat: all. day. long. He wasn’t very pleasant – and for good reason. Can you imagine what THAT must feel like, to have your teeth push up through your gums? Yikes. Let me practice living a life of thank you right here that we don’t recall such painful memories once we are older and wiser!
Once I finally got him to take a nap yesterday afternoon, I decided it was time to get some housework done. Because I’ve failed at being a “good” housewife in addition to being a working momma lately and our house has seemingly exploded in a volcano of STUFF. Mail everywhere, dishes everywhere, just a big old mess. I decided to start in the kitchen since it’s quite small and becomes the most cluttered quickly and as I was unearthing the dish rack, I realized I needed to pack up some of my breastfeeding supplies since I have begun weaning. And thus the floodgate of emotions was cracked open and I was very close to having a momma meltdown.
Instead of being thankful that I was able to nurse my guy amidst all of the struggles we’ve faced since day one, I instantly became resentful as I packed up bottles, flanges, freezer storage bags, and lanolin… I because hateful that my journey wasn’t easy and didn’t bring about the beautiful “lovey-dovey” that they say breastfeeding will bring every mom. My journey has been hard, full of tears, stressful, and painful – both physically and emotionally.
Once I got this bag packed with the exception of a few items left for me to pump once a day as needed until I wean completely, I realized the gravity of my attitude and just how much that was affecting my ability to be grateful for the times I did get to nurse my son. SO! I slapped a smile on my face and went about cleaning the kitchen.
Then, I pulled out the remaining breastmilk I had frozen in the freezer. Commence: new meltdown.
I tell you, this has been one meltdown after the other throughout the last two weeks while I’ve been starting this process of weaning. Most of it has been self-inflicted shame… why am I “not good enough” … why can’t I nurse my son like everyone else … why don’t I respond to the pump … must be something wrong with me …
Whew! What a ride. And what selfish ungratefulness. I was blessed to be able to work so hard pumping while I was off on maternity leave to stock pile 200+ oz in my freezer that saw us through when I went back to work and couldn’t pump more than 5-6oz a day!
Yeah, so it didn’t go my way and just maybe that’s OK. Even when things aren’t going the way we expect them to go, do we just throw in the towel and grumble our way through miserably?
I think perhaps that is the ultimate lesson of this battle to breastfeed my first baby… that ESPECIALLY when things aren’t going as we have planned, perhaps that is when we are to be the most thankful for our present circumstances… to pause and see what we can learn and where we can see Jesus the most in our posture of thanksgiving.
After all, not my will but His be done…
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” – Luke 22:42
So. I may not always get my way, and that’s OK. But when things aren’t going exactly as I had planned, I’m learning to trade in my anxiety over every minute detail for gratitude – even in the every day and mundane.
What about you? How are you learning this week to live a life of thank you?