Friday, April 19, 2013

motherhood, a lesson in thanksgiving

More than anything else I've experienced in my life, motherhood has shown me the need to start the day (and night!) with an attitude of humility, knowing that I don't deserve anything good, and that all good things I do receive (and there are many!) are a gracious gift from my Heavenly Father.

I think the reason motherhood highlights this for me is the frequency and intensity with which my desires are thwarted.  Babies are just so needy and, at times, unpredictable.

Baby has finally started sleeping through the night again, but there was a period over the last few months where we were travelling on and off, he was teething, and then we were sick, so he was definitely not consistently sleeping through the night.  When I was needed, I'd get out of bed, assess his needs, attempt to meet his needs, comfort him back to sleep, and then crawl back to bed myself.  This got old rather quickly, and my heart would start to grumble, telling me that I deserved sleep, or wondering why it was always my "turn" to take care of Baby.

One morning after my heart had been particularly grumbly, I took the time to sit down and study and remind myself of what God had to say in the Bible about grumbly hearts.  It struck me that this attitude really all comes back to the idea of what I deserve.

The reality is, as much as I'd like to think otherwise, I don't deserve anything good, since I am by nature a child of wrath (Ephesians 2).  (This attitude sure fosters humility, doesn't it?!) Yet, God gives me many good things (life! a son! rest!) (James 1:17).  God is always good, even when life interferes with my personal desires, and my attitude ought to reflect this magnificent goodness.

When we cultivate this attitude of humility--because the good things we receive are gifts, and not something we deserve,  it becomes oh so much easier to be thankful in all things and to replace our grumbly hearts with happy hearts!

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