Hey! My name is Ashley and I am a 30 year old mom with 6 kids born in 6 consecutive years. I love Jesus and have been married to my amazing husband for 10 years. I am also trying to navigate life with a chronic illness- I may not be able to control what it does to my body, but I can control what it does to my spirit. I'm in the middle when it comes to parenting and life..too crunchy for some, too mushy for others- but just right for me. My life is blessed and I want to share my journey with you.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
A Purpose Deep
Last night was the worst night I have ever had as a parent. I have been a parent for almost 7 years. I have 6 kids. This should give you an idea of just how bad it was.
Ironically enough it had nothing to do with behavior...we had a dreaded stomach bug pass through our house. Picture if you can having 6 children all throwing up through the whole night. Grossed out? Yea, I was too.
All the kids got sick, even the baby. The good news is that it really was a 24-hour bug and while fierce, it was short-lived. The bad news is that when you have a lot of kids, odds are they will be sick at the same time. I spent the whole night comforting upset kids, changing sheets, washing sheets, and bathing messy kids (and myself, since I got caught in the puking crossfire a couple times). It was awful and I was very tired. Thank God Jeff had today off, or I don't know what I would have done. Jeff and I have this understanding- I do the night shift, and then if he is home, I get to sleep in the next morning. We both like it this way- I get my best sleep in the dawn hours. So at 6am, after cleaning the last of the kids' messes, I flopped into bed and tagged my teammate to begin his shift and I slept until 10am.
Today we are puke-free so far...the kids have been laying around on couches sleeping on and off and just generally feeling yucky. But no puke. I may be seeing the light.
Of course this got me thinking which translates into a blog topic. I was thinking about selflessness and how I thought I was a pretty selfless person before I had kids. And then I actually had kids and realized what being selfless truly means.
I love my kids so much and they come first. It didn't matter how tired I was, how sick I myself felt, or how grossed out I was- all that mattered to me and Jeff was taking care of them. Making sure they were comforted. Making sure they were clean. Making sure they were tucked back into bed. Making sure they felt loved. The moment I became a mom my life changed and will forever be lived putting someone else's needs above my own. It really is an amazing feeling to grasp the reality of sacrifice.
I realized the obvious correlation to my thoughts was being able to understand just how much God really loves us. But that doesn't quite work for me, because even with the love I have for my kids I still can only really grasp a small amount of understanding to just how much God loves us. No- what I was thinking has more to do with our purpose in life.
Everyone, everywhere has an innate need to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Our spirits cry out for our Creator from the moment we breath our first breath until the moment we breath our last. But even once we are reconciled to the Lord we still have to come to an understanding of what our purpose is. It is not enough to come to Christ and then live your life for yourself.
I feel meaning and purpose every day. It is because I am sacrificing my life for something bigger than me. I am not living for myself, but rather living for others. We see all the time what happens when people live their lives for themselves- it is never enough. Take Hollywood for example. How many celebrities "have it all" and yet they still need to find something to do with themselves? They create fragrance lines, clothes lines, become spokespeople, rally for a political party or a charity. These people who have everything they will ever need materialistically are bored, and they then create things to try and ease the void that is within.
Do you really understand what this means? You do not have to have kids to understand sacrifice- but sometimes you need to take a hard look at your life and ask yourself if you are pouring it out as Christ poured His out for you. Try and watch that you do not fall into the trap of waking up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, and watching TV until bed...and that is your whole life.
Don't just go to church- serve at church. Don't just pray for others- extend your hand to them. Don't just read your Bible- live it. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. We are only here for a short time- let's pour it out and make the most of it.
"Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep; Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last." -C.T. Studd