I realized those words, when spoken enough, breathe discontentment in my already tired soul. I look at what we do not have: the learning opportunities, the ability to go out without worrying about missed naps or cranky kids, having older kids who know and behave better, easier times at home.
Then my heart starts to chafe, and I forget about what we do have:
:: The wonderment of babyhood. Those ready smiles, those squishy hugs, the wonderful times when they start babbling and saying "papa" and "mama". The cuddles and snuggles and sweet soft baby smooth skin.
:: The chance to grow men, and build character. Those times spent home, mediating fights, disciplining the older two, having repeated talks on why we do not hit others. We may not see fruit right now. But these times, these tiring times, are the times we build their character like a brick wall, stone upon stone, while reminding them that we are built upon Jesus, a rock that can never be shaken. These times of building are easier, when the child is younger and he is more malleable.
:: The opportunity to learn, no matter where we are. We read a story about London and the boys excitedly asked to play with their train tracks. Why? They wanted to use the bridge as Tower bridge, and they remembered they had a little clock tower that represented Big Ben. I was reminded that children make connections all the time, they absorb like a sponge, they learn ever so quickly. While we may not be able to give them so many co-op opportunities now, while the time I can spend reading with them is limited, while I am not able to prepare many structured activities, they will still learn.
This week, I am reminded that where we are is enough. There will always be "what ifs". But if we look behind them, we will find that there is enough joy to sustain each day, and each tomorrow. So choose joy.
What are you thankful for this week?