Smile while you suffer. 

It’s 4:05 am. I went to bed after 11 and Jojo woke up at 1:30. She has just now gone back to sleep. Tom’s on his last overnight shift of the Christmas season so I had to deal with her alone. 

Now I’m up. 

Parenting is streatchingly hard. It is testing like boot camp or climbing a mountain. It reveals the metal you’re made of. 

My grandma joyfully said to us grandkids, “Smile while you suffer!” I always thought she was asking us to put on a mask and pretend suffering wasn’t real. But now I can see that she had reached down into her own suffering and found a way to be grateful. 

The pain of being so tired it hurts doesn’t compare to the pain of waiting for her to come that I did for seven years. So when I am shaking in frustration and at the end of my patience I walk away. And I try to remember the years of waiting because no amount of momentary parental suffering compares with the unending agony and helplessness of the hole in your chest that is infertility. 

“Be anxious for nothing. But in everything, with prayer and supplication, and with thanksgiving, make your request be known to God. And the peace that surpasses understanding will be yours in Christ Jesus who guards your heart and your mind.” (My paraphrase of Phil 4:6)

So when I’m sweating and aching shaking in exhaustion rocking my 30 pound girl for way too long. I remember her song that starts…

“We waited so long for you my love, we waited for so many years. In my heart I carried you all of that time. And now you are finally here.”

And I get grateful. And I find the will to rock her for another minute or two. To smile while I suffer. 

J

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