Can you guess their commonality?
Aww, it may be a trick question since their connecting point is simply that they have all been found in my purse.
Yep, you got it. A rock, an R, and a wrapper lived in my purse for a time.
Sometimes when I notice such things, I get a ‘burst of love’ and I delight in the children that put them there. But, unfortunately, there are the many other times that I just get frustrated. Often, I sigh, “Why is this in here? Who put a rock in my purse? Why do they think my purse is a garbage can?”
On those days, all I can see is work, inconvenience, and thoughtlessness. Rocks need to go outside. Toys need to be put away. Wrappers need to go in the garbage can. Why am I the only one who cares about such things?
When I first became a mom, it was easier for me to be thankful because there was a time when I thought that I couldn’t have children. Sadly as the years sail on by, I easily forget these words that I penned long ago:
“There are so many hopes and dreams tied up into having a baby that I never fully realized were there. Until now. When we are really trying. And it’s not happening. I can’t believe how much it is a daily ache within me. Yet, I am still hopeful and know that it’s the Lord who opens and closes the womb. And He can choose to do that for us.”
Eventually, God granted our hope and dream of children.
About nine months after my firstborn son arrived, I said, “The hardest of days with my child are better than the best of days when the longing was so great.”
I wish I could hang onto those feelings of overwhelming gratitude.
But, to be honest the day-to-day grind takes its toll. I often do not stop to ponder and delight in my children. Nor am I thankful for all things at all times.
However, I recently discovered how to change my frustrated thinking into thankfulness. Angela Thomas, in her book Tender Mercy for the Mother’s Soul, says:
The blessings of motherhood have been honored through the ages. Somewhere inside of us, God has told us that this assignment and these relationships surpass any calling on earth. Somewhere in your soul, you know that to hold your own baby and kiss the back of his neck is a holy privilege. The blessings of motherhood are the kinds of things that take our breath away—the moments you hold in your heart forever.
One day someone asked me, “What are the three hardest things about having four small children?”
I quickly responded, “No sleep, the never-all-folded laundry and talking to little people all day.”
Then he asked, “What are three of the best things?”
I immediately realized that the blessings came attached to the frustrations. “The best things are having my three-year-old crawl into the middle of our bed around 2 a.m. and hold my hand the rest of the night … clean-footed pajamas on freshly bathed toddlers, scooting around the house until bedtime…and the tender words that come from the pure heart of a child.”
‘Blessings come attached to the frustrations.’ To learn how to see the blessing that is tied to the frustrations of life is the key to learn how to give thanks for all things at all times.
So, here, I’ll go first.
What can I be thankful for with this rock? Well, when I ask my children who made the rocks, they gladly shout, “God did.” I am thankful for their tender hearts that so easily claim the truths of Jesus.
What about the letter “R”? When I think of this letter R, I can see my two-year-old handing it to me and saying, “Here go, Mommy.” It is a gift from the hand of a two-year-old just because she loves me.
What about the fruit snack wrapper? I can remember the delighted whoops in the grocery store when I finally said “yes” to one of their repeated demands of ‘Mommy can I have this?” Truly, it takes so little to please them.
I am deeply thankful to have children. Therefore, I am glad that I have a rock, a letter R, and a fruit snack wrapper in my purse. They are reminders that God has fulfilled a deep longing in my heart.
And so you just might find a rock in my purse and wonder why it’s there.
Well, I left it there to remind me to be thankful for the frustrations in life because they are really just reminders of how God has fulfilled a deep longing of my heart.
How about you?
Can you think of the blessing that is tied to a frustration in your life?
Please share in the comments.