One of the hardest things for me as a mother is the fact that I sometimes struggle to not allow my children’s attitudes to rob me of my own joy of living.
Their times of moodiness, their fighting, their lack of showing any appreciation for what they have can sometimes rob me of my joy in living. I find myself coming home at the end of a day, driving into the driveway, switching the car off and not having the courage or the energy to get out the car and enter the house.
All I want to do, with every fibre of my being, is to drive straight out the driveway again and just keep on going.
The thought of the sheer monotony of having to cook supper, which will be eaten within minutes with no real appreciation, then having to wash the dishes and pack away, nagging the children to help, coupled with all the other responsibilities of having children, just overwhelms me and I want to push my foot down on the accelerator and just get out of there!
It is at times like this that I find myself repeating the words of a song by Don Francisco “Love is not a feeling, it is an act of the will”. It is a song about the love between a husband and a wife but the words are just so appropriate to what I am feeling in that moment!
“You could never imagine it could turn out so rough
You give and give and give, still it’s never enough”
And then there are the times when they are unhappy and hurting because they are struggling with friendship issues or personal challenges and their hurt overwhelms me and I long to take their pain away and would willingly carry it for them if I could and I have to struggle not to let their pain rob me of my own joy of living.
I carry on singing the same song as I remember the One who did take the world’s pain and suffering upon Himself:
“Jesus didn’t die for you because it was fun
He hung there for love because it had to be done
And despite of the anguish, His word was fulfilled”
I then think of His words “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28) and “The Lord is my helper” (Hebrews 13:7) and “The Lord is my strength and my song” (Isaiah 12:2) and these beautiful words in Isaiah 61 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, and He bestows on me the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”.
And as I sit and reflect on all these things, my foot slowly lifts off the accelerator, and I remember again that my joy does not depend on any external circumstances, or on my feelings and emotions – “God, alone, is my joy and my delight” (Psalm 43:4).
“Love is not a feeling” can be heard on http://www.elyrics.net/read/d/don-francisco-lyrics/love-is-not-a-feeling-lyrics.html