I have a friend that God has clearly brought into my life on purpose. She has no idea how much she challenges me, encourages me, inspires me. I should probably tell her that, huh?
Yesterday she told me, while holding a fussy, clingy child, that her kids are her happy pills. It suddenly became clear to me how she can take all 4 kids to every field trip, travel to new places, invite people over regularly, and somehow keep her sanity.
It also became clear to me how far I've strayed from that perspective. While I absolutely adore my kids, I realized I've been seeing them as a burden lately. A part of my job.
Oh, I enjoy them immensely sometimes.
I want to enjoy them all the time. Because they are a gift. They are a joy.
This doesn't mean I neglect my responsibilities. It doesn't mean I can't get frustrated or tired or need a break. It certainly doesn't mean they should be more of a joy to me than my husband or my Savior.
What it does mean is I have a fresh perspective: These babies are a way that God blesses me with temporary happiness AND deep, fulfilling joy.
I don't "have" to be a mommy, I "get" to be! How easy it is to forget that. I don't "have" to take out time for them, discipline them, enjoy them, love on them, show them grace, provide for them... I GET TO. And I am so grateful for this privilege.
Lord, thank You for the gifts of my children. Thank You for my friend and her reminder to view my babies as gifts. Thank You for equipping me for this incredible privilege of parenting!