Living in the Is Not the What If

Living in the Is Not the What If

Of course all my domestic goddess aspirations yesterday were only possible because my sister was here. Without her my only accomplishments would probably have been going to Target and the playground and nursing sick children when I came home.

A friend left a commiserating comment on my Facebook page, saying that she’d been cuddling with sick children all day and I felt a twinge of guilt. Perhaps I should have been doing the same. Instead, I was doing a dozen other things while my sister cuddled with my sick children. What kind of mother am I to let someone else do that primal comforting?

I’m a mother with four children who is grateful to have help. That’s what kind of mother I am. Because I had an extra set of arms I was feeding and clothing all of my children while they didn’t lack for cuddling and cossetting. Not to mention, I was cuddling Anthony a good deal of the day. Nursing him as no one else could.

All too often I work myself into a frenzy dwelling in the what ifs. What if my sister wasn’t here? How on earth would I manage? I think of all the ways things could go wrong. I feel like I’m in over my head.

But the fact is that God sends us exactly what we can handle and no more. My sister is an integral part of that equation. She is part of my what is. And so perhaps I couldn’t manage without her. So what? She’s here and a part of our lives and I’m sure that is a factor in the equation of how many children we have and how closely they are spaced. Without her here our family might look a little different. I could spend all day second guessing myself, second guessing God. The fact is that his will is in the here and now and that’s where I need to dwell. Grateful for the help, grateful for the arms of my best friend, my dear sister, that reach out when mine are already full. And grateful too for her sake that she is here in the heart of my family with children who adore her and who depend on her. If I need her so desperately, perhaps it is a two-way street. Maybe my children are exactly what she needs as well. In fact, I’m almost positive that just as much as we need her, she needs us. We are as much a part of her is as she is of ours.

God’s plan. Here, now. What is. A baby sleeping on her shoulder while I pound away at my keyboard, while I slip off to take my shower. A little boy who if he wakes in the night will find a loving auntie to cuddle him all night on the couch. This is my family and I am so very, very grateful.

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  • Oh my goodness I love this! You’ve inspired me to try finger-painting with my kids sometime soon. Sienna, the little artiste that she is, will love it.

    I can’t believe how big Ben is getting! It seems like he’s suddenly gotten so much older since Anthony was born.

  • Calah, Oh you should! And take lots of pictures when you do.

    We got Crayola brand paints at Target, specifically designed for finger painting. Totally worth it. Very washable and lovely bright colors.

    I know what you mean about Ben. He’s so huge. And starting to really talk. Today he strung together subject, verb, object: “Ah droppit oa-eal” (I dropped the oatmeal.) He’s like a little boy suddenly.