Wednesday 28 May 2014

Why I'm Thankful My Life is Hard

My life is good.  Really, really good.  My husband is a loving, kind, understanding, self-sacrificing leader in our home.  My children bless me with smiles, laughter, hugs daily.  Some would even call ours the perfect, million dollar family.  I live in a country with many freedoms; I can choose to go to church, homeschool my children, and speak my mind without fear of imprisonment or worse.  We have a roof over our heads, our bellies are full, and we're surrounded by supportive extended family.  So yes, my life is very, very good...but it's not always easy.

I don't need to tell you much about this part - because you probably experience it daily:  Tired before you even wake up, you drag yourself out of bed to nurse your little one.  Immediately the toddler wants your attention, and your husband is eager to start working.  All you can think is "my life is so HARD.".  Fast-forward to dinner-time, when you're doing your best to put a tasty meal on the table, but since your two-year old is helping there's sure to be flour on the floor and drool in the casserole (ignore that if you've actually ever been to our house for dinner!).  Your phone rings and you know its going to be a conversation you don't want to have.  Ignoring it, you go gripe to your husband about how you don't want to be humbled, and he just smiles at you and says "let's pray".  You sigh and say "Okay...I just wish life wasn't so HARD!"

Writers nowadays weren't
the first to tell us that we need to be thankful in the midst of trials.  That in fact, we should be thankful FOR the trials.  It's biblical.  We are to "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thes 5:18) and to "consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds" (James 1:2), "always giving thanks to God the father for everything" (Ephesians 5:20).  And I knew that.  I know that. But maybe, like me, you think this verse has to apply to some really big trial - not the little ones you face everyday.  And maybe you think this verse needs to mean we pretend they aren't trials.  That we must only think of them as blessings.

Well let me tell you - life is hard and it always will be.  Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, life was destined to be difficult.  And actually, even BEFORE they sinned, there was work to do!  And so we need to stop thinking that easy is the best.  I think this is a lesson God has really been trying to teach me recently because it is coming at me from all different angels, and daily I see how it applies to life.  Often the hard times, are the good times.   We all know the mother who looks back fondly on the years when their children were young.  Or the senior who tells stories of the Great Depression with a twinkle in their eye.  Or the couple who shares how those years when they were dirt poor were the best ones.    There is something about hard times that draw us closer to those around us, challenge us to grow in ways we don't expect, and make for the most memorable times.  

This truth has been a such and encouragement to me recently, and it really has started to change the way I think.  So these days, though you'll probably still hear me say "Why does life have to be so HARD!", I'll likely have a smile on my lips and a twinkle in my eye when I do. 

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(A huge part of this epiphany has been thanks to Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches, which I finally read after hearing about it from just about every other young mom I knew!  Read it yet?)


  1. How perfectly you expressed the things we have to be thankful for in this great nation of ours! And your last paragraph reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures: Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Isn't it funny how just changing the way we look at things makes everything different? Thanks so much, this was really uplifting! :)

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