Recently I’ve been wrestling with this internal battle about feeling ready to have more children. Or, more accurately, not feeling ready despite the fact that I desperately want to be.
As much as I love my littles I just can’t imagine that our family is done growing, and I also can’t imagine never having the experience of being pregnant and giving birth again. (Sorry, but I’m one of those ladies that just loves the whole deal.)
But despite all the wanting I am exhausted and stretched thin and grappling with what it means to have two spirited and super-active (and exceedingly loud) little boys constantly climbing all over me and vying for my attention. To imagine adding another little one to that mix makes me verge on having a panic attack. (Not really, but ya know what I’m saying?) The practicality of it all seems very distant.
As I prayed about all of these big feelings at the turn of the year, I had this revelation (actually, I had this revelation again):
I don’t have the grace for three littles because I don’t have three littles.
Um, duh. (I remember feeling the exact same way when thinking about having number two, and then even after I was pregnant and preparing for baby number two.)
You see, God’s grace is cut to measure. It fits our lives and circumstances perfectly. It’s never too much, never not enough. That’s what Paul was talking about when he said “His grace is sufficient” in his letter to the Corinthians. (Go ahead, look up the Greek if you want to.)
“Cut to measure”, he described it – an exact fit. Sufficient.
And so perhaps I’ll never feel like I’m ready to handle three kids until I actually have three kids.
I know this stuff, friends. And I whole-heartedly believe it. So why is it sometimes so hard to remember the simplest of truths?
As we turn the page on a new year, I’m not beating myself up about lacking the level of discipline that I wished I had built into my life over the last year.
Nope, instead I’m using the flip of the calendar to remind me that His mercy is new every morning (and every year) and today is another opportunity to start fresh and be intentional and live well.
And this whole grace-being-sufficient thing? I neeeeeed that. I need to remember that it’s not about my readiness. It’s about my willingness.
This doesn’t just apply to the thoughts about expanding our family. It translates and trickles into every single goal and faith project and challenge and opportunity that this year will hold – both the expected and the unknown.
I don’t have to be ready, I have to be willing:
Willing to do less “stuff” that gobbles up my precious time, and listen more to the most important voices in my life.
Willing to say no to good-but-not-great offers, and yes to simplicity and true priorities.
Willing to slow down and take care of myself from the inside out.
Willing to sacrifice instant gratification for lasting results.
Willing to invest in areas where I’m longing to see “returns”.
Willing to change wrong mindsets, grow friendships, enjoy parenting more, and just plain old live more wholeheartedly and have a bit more fun!
And actually, maybe my being “willing” in 2013 is not all that different to my “discipline” in 2012. Maybe it’s actually just an extension of last year…
But that’s really what life is all about isn’t it? Growing and building on what was in order to make what could be.
And the best part of the news? His grace is sufficient—cut exactly to measure—for every need and circumstance, challenge and opportunity that you and I have.
Here’s to a wonderful year ahead, my friends!!
Dear friends, what about your 2013 – what are you going to be intentional about this year? Are you waiting to be “ready” for something when perhaps you should just be “willing”?
p.s. And for the love, don’t go all crazy on me and pester me about having a baby now that I’ve shared that example. I’m just using that as a tangible illustration of what it means to access grace for the moment and not worry about grace for the future. Mmm-kay??? Just wanting to (preemptively) set the record straight!