Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thankful Tuesday: Where we are is enough

These days, I've been catching myself doing some wishful thinking. The phrase "if only" keeps coming to mind. If only baby J was older and didn't need so many naps. If only he could sleep well when he was out. If only we could make it for all the interesting co-ops that have been springing up in the homeschool community, without having to sacrifice the baby's naps. If only the older two would grow up and not monkey around when outside, which makes it so hard to bring them out. If only they would listen and learn. If only they were older and didn't need mama's help for so many things. If only mealtimes were peaceful times when I didn't have to feed, chase and nag each kid. If only sprouting teeth didn't cause so much discomfort.

If only.

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. 

:: The blessing to be able to journey as a family. Where we are, this phase, where travelling with three littles is challenging, where outings can be exhausting, where each day can be difficult with its non-stop call for vigilance with crawling babies and constant fights... this is our reality, and this is our journey, and it is not without its joys. The joys of having little ones who still want to hold your hand, who still lean in for a kiss and a hug. The times of wonder when drains and excavators excite, where nothing beats going to the park and picking leaves. The unreserved laughter of children because they are young, and they are carefree.

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?
Mum in the Making


  1. Today I found myself saying "hands are for loving, not for throwing things at your sister/hitting your sister" a lot. It was so tiring. But you are so right - stone upon stone, brick upon brick, day by day, and it is our job to do it, tiring as it might be. Jiayou, Mama! With you in spirit and the sisterhood of motherhood!!

  2. Yes, there is the blessing of having all our physical limbs, and having our family intact, as opposed to others who have missing parents, etc. I try to remind myself of that when I feel like going Arrrrrrgggggghhhhhh! :)

  3. I always look forward to reading your "Thankful Tuesday", Jus! I'm always encouraged to count my blessings :) I was just mentioning to my husband that I wish for the day when I can eat in peace together with my daughter without nagging. This week, we're learning about "contentment" for mama-school, and this reminder comes timely for mama too!

    Btw, love the retro weighing scale! Where did you get that?

  4. I am also learning how to be content despite the umpteenth time of angry kids being sparked off by the minutest issues... Reminding myself to be patient and let them grow up with each addressing of the lil hearts. Thanks for reminder of not What ifs, or why can't they... but to see how blessed we are to have and hold these precious gifts! Gal 6: 9, Let's press ON in the Lord! : )



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