Sunday, February 6, 2011

Empty Spaces and Full Living

So...there is a lot of conflicting thought each trying to take hold. I'm having a hard time knowing which train of thought to follow, where to set my feet. I need to write and process and come out on the other side of this post knowing, understanding, purposed. That's a lofty goal, I know. We'll see.

I'm afraid to write this because it puts it out there--my complaint, my quarrel with God, my argument that I know what I should have (and that's it's better than what he has given). It is also raw and fearful. It is the one regret I fear I will have in life. And it's something I have no control over changing ....but I'll say it anyway. I'm back in that place of wanting more children. I am finding myself sick with sadness that I feel like I'm missing children. I all of sudden well up with tears when I think of my youngest moving on to college (or where ever he chooses for his steps into independence) in 13 years or so. I am stuck. I want something that my husband doesn't and not just a little. It's with all that makes me me that I want our family to be bigger, to have more of the little souls I am blessed to spend my days with, to do all this longer, for more time, more years. More of being a teaching mommy, a drying tears mommy, a picking up and hugging, wrestling, tickling, cuddling mommy. At this point it doesn't look like it's going to happen. That's hard for me to say. It hurts to think. But I need to not live in what if's and if only's.

On that note I keep thinking of a line I once read, I don't know where. It was something like: While you're asking for more, think hard on what you're doing with what you have. (Ah-hem). This is why I don't want to waste my time on what if's. This is why I can't. I have my children in my home all day everyday. As I type that it makes me giddy. Giddy that we spend our time growing and learning and loving and forgiving together. Wanting MORE of THIS can't ever be at the expense of THIS. So although the wanting and aching and feeling like I have empty space in my heart and arms that just need to be filled can overwhelm me at times, I will think hard on what I'm doing with these blessings I already live with.

Wow. That brings me to my next thought rather nicely (maybe all of this is a whole lot less conflicting than I thought): Living in gratefulness. This simple (yet really life-changing) philosophy of being thankful for all things, no matter what; right now, right where you are, no matter where that may be has been creeping up on me from lots of different directions. I mentioned One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp in an earlier post.
My boys and I began gratitude journals a few months ago. Also simple. Also life-changing. This book, this author, has reminded me of the grave importance of living in His grace, in the midst of His gifts. They are everywhere, meaning all places. ALL places-- His gifts are in the beauty of a sunrise over the mountains as well as in the moments of chaos, pain and heartache. The premise is familiar but all too often it's forgotten. When we are grateful in all things the despair of this world loses all power.

Hmmm....I think I just made it full circle. My fear and pain can't exist in grateful, humble, open, upward turned (although empty) arms. Not enough doesn't exists if I am His. He is enough. He IS enough. So I choose to be grateful. The sadness and heartache slip away. My face turns towards His. I trust His plan for me. I can live THIS life fully. He knows the whole story. He covers it all. He gives me His gifts. I will accept them....gratefully.


  1. I read the first chapter of One Thousand Gifts today. Same as for you, her words are such an important reminder that God is sovereign and is present every second of every day...even in the moments when we may feel He isn't near. Already this book is such a blessing.

  2. As I read your post, my heart just went out to you. Your honesty and openness is so refreshing and I thank you for that. Here I am, in such a different place than you; yet, I strangely feel I can say, "I understand." I'm 63, single, never had children, never had the moments with children as you describe so lovingly. Take it from an old lady, God nestles deeply in the heart of every woman the desire to nurture and raise children. It's the job He has given you and you have joyfully taken it as your sacred duty. And I promise you, if it is true that you will not give birth to another child, the Lord will give you ways to fulfill your gifts of nurturing. . . perhaps in a spiritual way, or a teaching way, or mentoring way. The one thing so wonderful about the Christian walk is that God DOES give us the desires of our hearts. Sometimes that comes in the strangest of ways, but always the best.


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