Posted by: littlebitofparadise | August 28, 2014

Better Than a Hallelujah Sometimes

romans826Via

I much prefer writing fun, happy, light-hearted blog posts. This is not one of those.

But it’s honest and it’s from my heart.

Yesterday was a pretty awful day around here. It was a crazy downhill roller coaster ride before the clock struck 7:00 a.m., and it just kept getting worse from there. Screaming, tantrums, fighting, whining, complaining. And I haven’t even told you how the kids were behaving yet (Ha).

The kids were awfully naughty, but I was no shining example of virtuous motherhood, either. I was fed up, short tempered, moody, and exasperated with all of them. I yelled, I disciplined in anger, I lost my patience. I was huffy and annoyed as I wore my constantly whining, often crying 31-pound baby around the house all day. I was often more concerned with my aching back than his sore, swollen, nasty looking gums as he cut all of his molars at the same time. (Poor sweet miserable Buddy!)

It’s been a long time since I called my husband at work in the middle of the morning, desperately asking “How the heck should I handle this?! Especially all at the same time?“”

It’s been a long time since I’ve frantically texted my husband in the afternoon: “I need you home at 5:00 exactly or before 5:00 tonight. Sorry to say it but I absolutely need you home STAT.”

It’s been a long time (more like never) since my sister texted “How are you Steph?” and her phone lit up with the reply “It’s been a shit-awful day. It’s not always like this but today motherhood sucks.”

My sister says she actually laughed out loud reading my text because she know’s I rarely say or type such crass words, but yesterday it was my truth.

Last night I sat on the couch with my cocktail the Hubs had mixed for me and shared my guilt-ridden sob story of how hard – HARD – the day had been. I shared how awful I felt for my lack of patience with the constant whining, the constant fighting, the misery we had all endured and I had contributed to. “How can I sanctify this when I am such a mess? When I am so SELFISH? When I am so inadequate to deal with all of them at once? I feel like I’m drowning and they are miserable and I am even more miserable?!” I went on and on…my heart searching for the redemptive truth in my mess.

And on top of my mess, I felt the pangs of guilt for how easy my life had been yesterday compared to so much suffering, so much pain and hurt going on all around me. Syria. Iraq. A mom sitting next to a hospital bed fighting for her daughter’s life with passionate perseverance. A dear friend grieving the loss of a child, finding out just yesterday that she had miscarried. Again. A beloved brother-in-law grappling with the death of his Mama, who has recently lost her battle with cancer.

Y’all, we are all a mess. All of us, each in our own way. How do we grapple with the hard things, live with virtue and courage even amidst the messy and the pain? How does God see us and what does He want from us when everything is feeling really low?

These were the questions on my heart this morning as I drove home from Costco with the boys. And then Amy Grant’s voice came on the radio, singing her single Better Than a Hallelujah. <Click to Listen<

And my pent up tears finally fell, and at least for me, in the aftermath of a messy day of motherhood, I feel like God gave me an answer in my state guilt and brokenness.

When the joy of the Lord feels somehow just out of grasp, and the best we’ve got to give is just a teeth-gritting assent of our will to Him, to what is right, to our families…He hears that. He accepts that. He sanctifies even that pittance we have to give.

St. Paul tells us that even when we are too weak to know how to pray, what to ask for, how to praise…the Holy Spirit meets us right there – RIGHT THERE IN THAT WEAKNESS OR HARDSHIP – and intercedes for us. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).

Friends, I don’t know what y’all are going through this week, but I know we all have our hard things that weigh us down. I’ll keep your intentions in my heart this weekend, and please pray for me, too. And my hope is that you can rest in the knowledge that even if the best you’ve got to give is a groan from deep within your soul or the honest cry of a heart that’s breaking…God hears that as a perfect melody, an act of worship and praise, when we offer that mess to Him, and include Him in the struggle.

*****

“Better Than A Hallelujah” by Amy Grant

God loves a lullaby
In a mother’s tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes
God loves the drunkard’s cry
The soldier’s plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes
 .
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah
.
The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what’s been done
The silence when the words won’t come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

.

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out

.

We pour out out miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

 

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Responses

  1. Beautiful, Stephanie. Beautiful and so very encouraging! Thank you from this mama who cried yesterday too!

  2. Thank you Stephanie…your sentiments about selfishness especially struck a chord with me, as this as been on my heart concerning myself lately…also about feeling inadequate to “deal with all of them at once”—oh, everyday I wish I could have a nanny just to watch over them when I’m out of the room so they don’t kill each other while I nurse the baby!! (I have to rely on their Guardian Angels instead.) It is so comforting for this “mess” to read about another mama’s identical struggles. I loved the reflections too about how “easy” we truly have it compared with others’ pain… I will certainly pray for you and your family, please pray for me too!

  3. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of
    msn. That is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and
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  4. Thank you, even though I feel bad that you had a rough time, I really enjoy seeing this side of you. One thing that you wrote here really struck me particularly, and in part probably because I’m also having some of those shit awful days here myself. I think it’s interesting how in your rant to your husband, you mentioned the question “how do I sanctify this?” In
    the end you’re talking about Christ sanctifying us. It was a good reminder to me that that’s the fundamental difference in thinking that needs to take place when we are in those difficult times: it’s not about me sanctifying myself with my own actions, but it’s about Christ sanctifying whatever I have to offer.

  5. […] recently wrote about a different hard day for our family, and a reader wrote this in the comments just this […]


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