07 January, 2016

IT'S HARD



Today's a day where I shot a bit high for my to-do list after a successful, and if I'm honest, a bit inspiring, day yesterday.

Nine pretty big tasks out out of eleven. Incomplete.

I ran into the Cooperative yesterday to grab a loaf of bread. A bag of library books on my shoulder, three scooter-mounted children about me, and I couldn't shake the feeling of a woman's gaze. I made eye contact. "It's hard. It's hard for YOU." 

She repeated this over and over, head slowly shaking, her eyebrows raised to emphasise that it was me she was sympathising with. Such a sad and pitiful thought that a woman should suffer and be challenged through her work. Nonetheless, the work of rearing the next generation!



I'm not sure why. Because if you ask any person working in the corporate world who has climbed the ladder of success, they'll tell you it was hard work. I do know a few trust-fund babies for whom life and success have fallen into their laps, but that is not what I'm talking about.

For the greater part of us humans, we do have to work. Life takes work. 

There's effort and exhaustion, long hours; sweat and blood. But endurance.

Peter and I watched a couple episodes of Horatio Hornblower last night and I commented how being a sailor really required climbing a ladder to get to Horatio's place. He started as a young, pretty ignorant-- albeit able-- shipman. Even less, he was a mere sailor. 

Upgraded after various battles and lengthy experiences, he's currently Commander of the Hotspur. His cabin is less spacious but far superiorly adorned than my own home. Prior to this honour, he faced beatings and starvation and imprisonment and thievery. His shipmates hated him and rumoured about him and he fought, hard, for his name, for success, for honour. 



He worked for the prize.

And I'm pretty certain Cooperative Woman would have said well done, Horatio Hornblower!  She might praise her daughter who endured a decade of schooling to be the surgeon she is. She's most likely thankful for the hard work men like Hornblower face every day to ensure she can live safe and sound in her foggy London Town. 

Is that kind of hard ok? Why is it, and this-- this nitty gritty Kingdom building hard-- is not? Forget if you believe there's a Kingdom to build or not. Since when do we, should we, shy away from what is hard?



During The War, one of my best friend's relatives swam the Danube-- cold, dark, middle of the night.  He swam for freedom, to build a family, and a life for that family. He did this not once, but twice. The first time he was caught, returned to his home for running away as a minor, the second time he used what he had learned from the first time and made it to safety, worked to build himself a new life, and succeeded. 

I can think of a myriad of examples-- training at the gym, tearing muscle over muscle to strengthen and build new muscle, by way of hard training. My own husband-- beating odds and obtaining a job in the financial sector with a degree in metaphysical philosophy. History itself is replete with examples.




Sure there are hard days-- we all have them. Days of retaking a failed exam. Days of corralling three scooters in the grocery store. Days of plunging into the Danube for the second time. 

So I guess here's what I'm saying: Cooperative Lady's comment isn't from left field. My job does requires hard work. But it's rewarding work. On a daily basis I get to see the fruit of repentance in my children's hearts. 

Yesterday my three-year-old came to me, tears rolling down her cheeks, and said, "Mama, I am so so sorry I yelled like that." I get to see their physical and mental growth, their social skills developing, their hearts changing.

And I would so regret my life, focusing on the hard of my tasks, rather than the reward. 

So let's press on, shall we? Let us not grow weary in doing good. Let's pursue a challenge and face it. Let's be inspired by the hardPress on, endure it, conquer it-- the day, the war, the test, the river.

12 comments:

  1. Wow! I love this post. I've been a silent reader of your blog for awhile now but just had to comment on this post. As a fellow Mum of 3 littles I can so relate to the hard part. But, I can also really relate to the rewards part of it as well. These precious little ones we've been entrusted with are so, so worth it! :-)
    Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Hannah

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  3. Beautifully written, Angela, and so so so true. Peter L.

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  5. Beautiful post, Angela. Btw, the hard gets even harder as the children make the passage to adulthood... nonetheless, Christ is Sovereign, sitting on His throne, and not wasting any of our hard, harder, hardest-but using it to bring us to a closer faith-walk with Him, refining us and sanctifying us through it all! "...knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.…" James 1:3
    Thankful for your encouragement today,
    Lauren

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  6. It's more than hard. It's grueling, tedious and unending. It drives you to tears and despair. You get to the end of yourself and cling to the only One who can help and understand. You cry out "why, and when will this get easier, and how can I do this?!" No other job can plunge you to the depths of despair and darkness, yet lift you to pinnacles of delight and wonder and breath-taking pride. (pride in your children, that is). No other occupation is so worth it. It's hard, but indescribable in its beauty and reward and blessing. A mother's heart can never be filled up completely; there is always room for a little more...

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  7. This <3 Thank-you for this truth today.

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  8. Yes! Our joy is so often overshadowed by santan's desire and urging for us to believe that it is hard, and, that that is a bad thing. Exhausting, yes. Rewarding, yes. God honoring, yes. Investing into His kingdom for His glory, most definitly! We must shift our focus from the uncomfortableness of our daily toil of mothering and focus on the pleasure that comes from the pain of mothering that we may see His purpose. You mother so honestly and beautifully and I am proud of the woman and mother that you have become! Love you all!

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  9. Yes! Our joy is so often overshadowed by santan's desire and urging for us to believe that it is hard, and, that that is a bad thing. Exhausting, yes. Rewarding, yes. God honoring, yes. Investing into His kingdom for His glory, most definitly! We must shift our focus from the uncomfortableness of our daily toil of mothering and focus on the pleasure that comes from the pain of mothering that we may see His purpose. You mother so honestly and beautifully and I am proud of the woman and mother that you have become! Love you all!

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  10. This is too cute! The pictures are so beautiful and post really touching :)

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