“What a minute cross I bear on any given day”
I saw this quote today in the new bible study we started, “Daniel” by Beth Moore. She was quoting her daughter in an email she had sent. This hits home hard for me. I feel like most days I complain about the things I am most grateful for. My husband, or my kids, or my responsibilities.

I am so blessed beyond measure, yet I take my life for granted. I know so many people who would love to have more children, but can’t. I know countless singles that dream of finding the “one” and getting married, but it hasn’t happened for them yet. I know of many people who would love to stay home with their children, but don’t have the financial means to. I know others who would give anything just to be healthy and whole.

One of my good friends has diabetes. The other night at church, her blood sugar dropped extremely low and she went into a diabetic coma. Thankfully, myself and a few other close friends realized it and were able to call 911 in time. We tried to raise her blood sugar by giving her syrup (the only form of liquid sugar we could find). When the paramedics arrived, it was only a matter of giving her the right medicine to raise her blood sugar and then getting her to eat. Still, it was very jarring to see her in that state. I have witnessed this a couple of times before with her, but its always shocking to see a seemingly normal person in an unresponsive state. She was fine a couple of hours later, but she still has to deal with this issue on a daily basis. She has to check her blood sugar, make sure to eat right and administer insulin correctly – all while working outside the home, and raising 4 boys! She amazes me.

My sister is 15 years older than me. She was my second mother, more like an adult best friend to me. She would take me places and spoil me from a young age. When she was 18 mos old, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She was told she would never walk. She grew up in pain daily, but overcame her diagnosis. She lived as close to a normal life as possible with her disease. She had to go through surgery to fuse some of her joints together because the cartilage had deteriorated so greatly. Never once have I heard her complain about the trails she faced. Two years ago, she had an accident that injured the vertebrae in her back. Today, she is numb from her chest down. She has the use of her hands, but not 100% because of her arthritis. She has two children still at home. Her husband amazes me by his ability to take care of her. Her children amaze me by their resolve to keep pushing forward. To live her life is beyond what I can imagine, yet every time I talk to her, she is upbeat and reassures me she is ok. She has not forsaken her faith, nor hope. She is a strong, incredible woman of God. She amazes me. 

My best friend has a daughter the same age as my oldest boy. Her husband enlisted in the military this time last year. He was gone for 8 weeks for basic and then in training for the past 6 months. During basic, she lived over 800 miles away from him and did not get to see him at all. She raised her daughter (then 7 mos) alone for those 2 long months. She then packed up her life and moved to be with him during the training. Most of the time, “with him” was only for minutes, rarely hours a day. Eventually he will be deployed and she will face being the only “on the job’ parent. She and her husband have sacrificed so much for our country. I can’t imagine giving up my husband for that amount of time. Her resolve and strength throughout that time was inspiring. She amazes me.

There are countless people all over this world that face real challenges on a daily basis. Things I don’t even think about being a privilege (like walking) would mean the world to so many. I am humbled by my blessings in life. I have very little to complain about. Yet, in this day and age, we are programmed to desire more, to want better. Society tells us we must earn more money, drive better automobiles, experience convenience at every turn. Sometimes I wish we were more primitive in our society. People in third world countries aren’t concerned with what name brand clothes they are wearing, or what new purse is coming out, or getting a 3D television.

Sometimes I worry about what message I am sending to my daughter. We have iPhones and she knows how to use them . My husband got an iPad for christmas, and that little girl spends more time on that thing than I do. It has apps for books and educational games, as well as movies and music that she enjoys. I think its great that she is learning technology at a young age, it will be indispensable soon enough. However, with convenience at every turn, how will our children learn patience. I find myself getting frustrated when things don’t go my way… right away!

Christ came over 2000 years ago and bore the hardest cross of all. He was perfect and sinless, yet despised and rejected. His life had no convenience, he enjoyed no wealth. He was persecuted and hated. He was mocked and beaten. He was undeserving of any punishment, yet he took it all. He suffered so that I could live free. He took the nails, so that I could live more abundantly.

The cross that I bear daily, is not worthy of being unveiled. It is minute and insignificant. My worst days don’t even come close to my sisters best days, much less the pain Christ bore. I would be a better person if I kept that thought at the forefront of my mind. After all, isn’t that what we are called to do as children of God? To be reminders of his presence? to bring others to his throne?

I enjoy blogging about my challenges as a mother of young children. I pray that I will always keep the perspective of this post. I may have trouble, yes. But it’s not worthy of being compared to others. I pray I always point to his presence. I pray my life draws people to his throne. I pray my children see Him in and through me on a daily basis like I see Him in the women I mentioned.

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”