“It’s so sweet to see a little child giving up their way, isn’t it? And being happy about it.” ~my son Joseph, observing a younger brother
I have come closer to quitting during the past month than I had since Verity’s birth. Quitting pumping, that is.
We wouldn’t have guessed when Verity was born that I would still be pumping after a whole year. That one-year milestone was a big one! But it leaves me feeling a bit…lost. What goal should I have next? Another year seems a long way off.
I have struggled with a feeling of resentment lately over how much time pumping takes, and how much I’d like to do something else with that time. But Verity needs this most perfect of all foods for a while longer, and we have the hope that Katerina will also benefit.
It’s just that…there is a cost.
Every Sunday, I choose between missing an hour of the morning meeting, including the sermon [which I know will be excellent, and like a true Welshman I do love a good sermon], or missing an hour of fellowship time. We leave the picnic early because the Port-a-John doesn’t have electricity, and if we leave now it will still be almost six hours since mom pumped. I remember halfway through an evening with company that in my busy-ness I forgot to pump right before they came, and if I don’t disappear for an hour, I will pay for it later with lowered milk supply. Now that I am making travel plans, the pumping is adding a layer of complication at almost every turn. There are other choices and other sacrifices involved. If I listed them in detail, you might mistake me for an ungrateful, whining ancient Israelite. If I didn’t mention them at all, you wouldn’t understand this post.
At times recently, a groaning feeling of impatience has risen up within me. I am so tired of this. Oh, when can I just leave it behind and move on?
But there’s something more going on here. I teach my children that work is a blessing. I teach them that a free man does his work out of inner joy and a slave does his work out of outward compulsion. If I work with a heavy spirit, doing my duty only because I have to, and complaining at the hardness, I am no better off than a slave. I am choosing to live life like a slave.
If I do not work with love, my work is worthless; I have become a clanging gong; I am nothing; it profits me nothing. My work is without eternal value.
I can choose once again to take joy in the work God gives me to do, and embrace it with all the love He can put into my heart.
Note to those of you who prayed for me this weekend, after a week that held two or three activities every day, with each tiny crack of time filled up with travel plans and preparations: I was organized and ready by midnight last night. There were a few extra moments to decorate my big binder with leftover Samaritan cards and that little reminder from a dear friend of mine. We had a serenely lovely start to our new school year today! Thank you so much for praying for me!