She rolled her eyes and muttered, “Of course the family with the most kids is late. Again.” I ignored her even though I wanted to sharply retort, “We aren’t late, we are right on time and what does that have to do with how many kids we have?”
Instead, I pressed my lips together and stalked out of the room, but not before I overheard another one whisper about us having too many kids and we couldn’t control them.
Pride held my shoulders back and chin up. I wouldn’t let them see me cry or act even remotely hurt by their words.
The past month has been full of change and adjustment and it’s been difficult on our family. Tempers flare and tongues are sharper. Waves of exhaustion roll in and it becomes my undoing.
I felt like a failure. Criticism from family cuts deep, even if they’re distant family. Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling like a proud mom but rather a shameful mother. Ashamed of my family because I didn’t measure up to someone else’s standard of perfect parenting.
Ugly taunts from Satan’s pawns whispered in my ear. You’re worthless. Anyone would be a better mom than you. Your kids have too much energy. They’re always in the way. It would be better for you to leave. Your husband doesn’t think you’re great either.
Unthinkably, I let the lies infiltrate my thoughts and penetrate my heart. I began to see my family as a burden. Of course they would be better off without me. If I’m doing such a horrible job, surely there’s someone else more suited to mother my children.
Instead of crying at the cross, I let the hurtful words and lies block out Jesus’ truths. I let my anger simmer and stew over the ugly words whispered about our big family. My attitude steadily worsened. Impatience was King as I grew irritated with my family over every little thing.
For so long, we wanted a baby. Our prayers were answered for a baby–SIX of them but right now our blessings felt like burdens.
Like that time when our youngest needed an x-Ray and we were refused service because I was the only adult with six kids and no friends were available to help. Or that time when Hubs and I desperately needed a date night to reconnect and several sitters were unable to babysit that evening. Maybe it wasn’t a personal refusal, but I took it personally.
And coupled with the recent thoughtless words muttered near us, it was only a matter of time before something had to give.
So in this season of hurting when I wanted to lay my burdens down, the Holy Spirit reminded me of wise words uttered by another daughter of the King, Whitney Capps, earlier this summer.
She retold the story in Exodus of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. A slave nation that was rescued and escaped with the Egyptians own plunder. They came to a place where the might’ve had to choose between their toddlers or their treasures but God gave Moses the power to part the Red sea and the Israelites walked through it with their toddlers and their treasure. Treasure they thought was theirs but God had other plans for it. God used what the Israelites thought was theirs–money, gold, and more treasures from an idolatrous nation–to build an altar for Himself. God had bigger plans for that treasure than the Israelites could’ve ever dreamed.
Their treasure must’ve gotten heavy as they wandered through the wilderness but they didn’t let go.
I leaned forward in my seat to catch her next words. “Don’t dump your treasure, ladies. Let God define your treasure.”
Is there something in your life you have prayed for? You’ve praised God for? But the treasure He has given you weighs more than you thought. Maybe it’s ministry. Maybe it’s taking care of a parent whose health is declining. Maybe it’s your dream job. Or maybe it’s your family.
Don’t dump your treasure, friends. Carry that burden for as long as He allows and know He has bigger plans for your treasure than you could ever dream.
Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of this truth today. My family is such a blessing regardless of what anyone else says or thinks. I messed up when I stopped listening to You and started listening to them. Forgive me. Thank you for showing me how precious they are and letting You define my treasure. When my blessings feel like burdens, carry them for me, Lord. Let me lean on You. Never let me forget my job isn’t to focus on our faults, but to point these precious babies to You. Thank you for your love and grace, Amen.