I woke up about an hour before the sun Easter morning in order to have the time to really reflect and meditate before the busy craziness of the holiday began. It was time well-spent and I considered (yet again) rising earlier on a daily basis. 5:30 isn't actually THAT horrible, when you come to get to know it. But I decided (yet again) that I need my sleep. Exhaustion does things to my patience level very quickly, and if there is one thing I need to keep this family going, its patience. As precious and rare as real time to reflect and prepare for my day is, when you are breastfeeding all night long sleep is somehow still more so.
Lent this year has been a time of major growth for me. You always get out of an experience exactly what you put into it and yet again I have been reminded that if I was only as disciplined in my bible study and prayer all the time as I can be sometimes then perhaps I would be the kind of person that I've always wanted to be. And the realization that the best thing I can do as a mother is focus more on myself than on the virtues I need to instill in my children has been both astounding in its simplicity and annoying in its implications.
Many people do not know this, but before I decided to marry Josh I was planning on being a missionary. I was all signed up with YWAM to go off to first Vancouver, Canada and then to Vietnam to get a taste for both inner-city and international missions and decide which I was more interested in. I think a lot of people thought that marrying Josh instead was a cop-out, and being the least of the objections at the time, the assumption never actually bothered my much, but it really wasn't a cop-out. Missions was what I wanted to do, but not what God wanted me to do, I knew it from the beginning and when I finally let go of that dream I wasn't very happy about it. I've always kind of thought of Josh as my consolation prize for doing the right thing ;) And yes, 5 years later I still say it was the right thing.
I still also say, however, that for me at least, life traveling around as a missionary, poor as dirt, would have been worlds easier than submitting to someone day after day as a wife (even a someone as loving and patient as my husband) and the relative boredom and unimportance of motherhood. I am happy, deliriously happy, as only a person exactly where they should be can be. But this was the harder route, in many many ways. And one of the biggest ways is that a spiritual life is much easier to live when you are more "outside" of the world.
Well He has risen and now we have 40 or some odd days until Ascension. The gravity of Lent has always been easier for me than the joyfulness of ascension. But joyful I will be. Recommiting myself to the roles I have been given. Wife. Mother. Christian. Friend. Commiting myself to fostering in my own heart and habits the values and virtues I want to exemplify to my sons. Remembering, though it seems vain to even say it, that Mary herself was only a wife, only a mother.