Blessings don't always appear to be such until the veil of self-pity is lifted from one's eyes.
I cried big girl tears on 4th of July this year because I had my heart wrapped around a week long trip to meet my newest baby nephew that was canceled due to devastating fires in Colorado. Then, I was angry at myself for being so unhappy over my own discomfort when others were suffering so.
I finally met my newest baby nephew this past weekend. The trip was three days instead of 7. Four adults and 9 children stayed in my brother's two bedroom home in order to maximize time together and save on cost. While I would've thought this arrangement nuts a few weeks ago, I found that squeezing together in tight quarters was nothing short of bliss when you haven't seen your loved ones in 10 months. It was a joy to be surrounded by the people you love...and 3 days felt like 7, just because every moment was so treasured.
My niece indulged me with much hair braiding, crafting, and girlie time together, while the boys had a great time running around with their boy cousins. I remember a time (or 5) that I felt sorry for myself for not having a daughter. My aching desire was so bitter I sometimes could not see the blessing of boys...and yet, the blessing of all of them is beyond what I could have ever hoped for. And, to have a niece that adores you...again, a blessing beyond measure.
(By the way, it was 9 adorable half-Chinese kiddos everywhere we went...including a trip through IKEA! And yes, We made it out alive!!)
We also celebrated Number 2's 8th birthday while in Colorado.
There was a time when this boy kept us up at night--literally and emotionally. Some of our concerns left me feeling completely unfit for the task. Those days in parenting were some of the most sanctifying for Troy and me. Desperate prayers were prayed over our boy and many significant conversations about freedom in and through Christ were shared. I could've never anticipated the young man he is becoming.
Though he's known as the boy who loves to tell jokes, ate a scorpion once, and who loves to cook and create artwork...I will give praise for the blessings that have resulted from this child's days of self-pity and the days I pitied myself in the challenge of motherhood. When I now look to Christ, and not to myself, I see His work in my son: in his growing kindness, his sincerity, and in his true heart of repentance. I'm celebrating his 8 years of life. I'm celebrating my 10 years of being a mother only God can make me be. It is a happy birthday indeed!
There is surely no room for self-pity when God's blessings are always plentiful to measure.
Man's eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God.
...Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of his glory in his wonderful dealings with you.
-Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, July 19 Morning