A Story Worth Sharing


One morning last week, F woke everyone up this morning at 5:30. I was feeding G, when I heard him start shouting, "MAMA" as loud as he could. I didn't get to him in time to keep him from waking up R and J, who came stumbling out of their rooms complaining about being tired. I tried to convince them it was still the middle of the night and to go back to sleep, but no one believed me.

So it was that we started our morning routine aka the daily whirlwind a tad earlier than normal. Where's my green water bottle? I want another piece of toast. Can you cut up more strawberries? Yes, you do need to wear socks today.

It's been especially tiring the last few months. I started back at work full time November 1, and jumped back right in the middle of our biggest project of the year. G is still figuring out sleeping, and more nights than not I'm still only getting a few hours of sleep at a time. My Bible study group started up 2 weeks after G was born, and I've been to every meeting, but my preparation in prayer and study has been lackluster at best. We had high hopes for a nightly family advent discussion but did maybe 5 total, which mostly felt like wasted effort since no one actually sat or was quiet to listen.

Before getting in the car, in an effort to get J to stop wrestling everyone, I got them to sit on the couch so we could read a book. 

F chose a Christmas book, something my grandma had given the kids a few years ago. It was the story of a little angel who is chosen for the very important task of bringing a crown to Bethlehem for baby Jesus. The story takes the angel, Timmy, on a series of adventures, helping a lost rabbit, being kind to a grouchy squirrel, and finally meeting up with a baby wolf, who is trapped on a log bridge over a rushing waterfall. All this time he has been carrying the crown wrapped up in his favorite, tattered old blanket.

As Timmy tries to help the wolf, the crown falls in to the water, and he is left with the choice to swim after the crown or save the wolf. Timmy lets the crown fall down the waterfall and uses his blanket to pull the wolf to the shore.

The animal friends encourage Timmy to continue on to Jesus, even though his gift of a beautiful crown is now gone. Timmy reaches the stable where he sees Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. He feels sad that he doesn't have the special and important gift he was tasked with bringing, but then he hears Mary say that the baby is cold. Timmy realizes that he does have something to give the baby after all, and hands over his most loved possession, the blanket.

As I read about Timmy handing his blanket over to Jesus, my voice cracked and tears welled up in my eyes. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could barely finish reading the story. All three kids turned to look at me. "Are you crying, mama?" R asked me, bewildered. I started to laugh at the ridiculousness of my tears.

I subscribe to Ashlee Gadd's email list, and in her most recent newsletter she wrote about the writing ideas she has and how before she gets started on an essay, she always asks her small group of writing friends whether or not it's a good idea. "Every single time I ask, Is this worth writing about?—I am met with a resounding yes."

I have been thinking about that since I read it, wondering why it is that it struck me so profoundly. I realized that it's in part (or maybe totally) because I often feel like my stories aren't worth sharing. For one thing, I do ask myself this question about my writing ideas and talk myself out of a lot of blog posts (like I almost did for this one). But I also feel this way about my life sometimes, especially lately. Is anything I'm doing worth it? I definitely feel trapped in that newborn/little kid stage of cleaning up constantly only for it to instantly be cluttered and dirty again. I have run maybe three times since G was born, and I keep falling asleep while listening to the Bible on audio. Also F will not care about going poop on the potty, in case anyone wanted to know.

But let's get back to Timmy. 

You might say I'm making more out of a little kid's Christmas book than there needs to be, and that's probably true, but I truly was overwhelmed by the simple thought that my tattered, tired, messy self can come to Jesus, bringing whatever I have to offer, and he accepts it and finds a use for it. I can come with a blanket. I don't need to come with a crown.

That's not an excuse to not read my Bible and study properly. That's not an excuse to phone-in our attempt at an advent discussion with the kids. It's not a pass for poor discipline or being rude to Jordan. It doesn't really make me feel better that our house needs to be wrapped in caution tape for being a disaster area. But it is a much-needed reminder that my small efforts are not unnoticed, and they aren't wasted, and that my story matters. Thank you, Jesus.

My life--and yours--is a story worth sharing. Maybe not fancy, probably not famous, definitely messy, but always something to be thankful for.
Anonymous said...

You don’t know me, but for what it’s worth, I like hearing your stories.

Pam said...

Beautiful. Jesus sees and delights in you. Tattered, torn and precious. He sees your beautiful heart. I love this story.

Anonymous said...

Me too. I love your writing. It’s always worth reading. -Betsy

Anonymous said...

I'm from Germany and love reading your Blog which I found after R was born. My first daughter was Born one year after, now there are 3 kids ;-). I missed your writing in the last months!!! I truly understand if there's no time for it. But your blogarticles are always such a pleasure to read! And funny ;-)))

Amie said...

I love hearing your stories as well. I only have 2 little ones and am considering retiring simply because it is so hard to keep up and work full time!!! We are talking about ways we would save money/vs my income if I did that. It might just be worth the sanity! lol You are doing an amazing job!! Shoot I teared up reading about you telling the story!

Amanda said...

Thank you for reading!