To have and have not

As you walk into the flood of work that is mothering, you feel your self rusting from misuse. Depression has forced my hand, made me pick up some of those pieces of self I have sacrificed for years. One night a week, I am alone with friends, singing. I play piano more these days, and have reclaimed some of my artistic talent with charcoals and paints and canvases. But I still can't remember the last time I used the bathroom without getting interrupted with some petty complaint or question from my children. This rubs a spot raw on my soul, and I look at it and then suddenly remember.

I've used bathrooms like this, where you certainly don't care to linger. You'd be happy to have company so you wouldn't be the only one swatting off bugs, flies, spiders and geckos. Some people would be lucky to have even this luxury of a pit toilet and standing shower.

I feel like the rug on the floor some days - dirty, walked upon, and used up. But the truth is, I don't live in a dirt floor house in which I build a fire to cook meals of plantains and banana water for my starving children.

Yes, my body has gotten shabbier and shows the wear of years of childbearing and nursing. My paint is peeling around the edges and I sag where I shouldn't and I struggle to find comfortable blue jeans.

But rust isn't bubbling up on me like some kind of disease. I am not pink with bacteria or stubby with oxidization. There is beauty even in those parts I see as ugly since childbirth. My husband sees it. I am learning to have eyes that see it.

Traveling with kids is kind of like trying to go to the bathroom myself.  They are constantly pestering in our oldish minivan. Did I forget that air conditioning, a roof on a car, seatbelts are all luxuries that over 2/3 of the world can't even dream of possessing? Am I really complaining about being confined in this car with these kids when I've ridden in minibuses with the windows sealed shut to keep guerrilla warriors out should we meet them as we travel to the jungle where there are piles of rotting bodies from the latest mudslide?

Global perspective gained from the mission trips I traveled on prior to my marriage constantly reminds me of how good I live life. It staunches the complaining spirit and demands the sacrifice of praise.

Next time you are feeling like you can't do it anymore - browse the globe through Google and be astonished. I guarantee your complaint will quickly turn to counting your blessings.