Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When Feelings Don't Match Loving Actions

For the most part, my feelings match my actions. I've pretty much muddled my way through life following my feelings. I learned a few years ago that this may not be the most reliable way to live. I'm learning to trust in the One True God, rather than the god of feelings.

Today my feelings did not match what my daughter needed.

She cried. I pushed away. Not with my physical actions but with my emotions. I wanted this morning to be a place of quiet rest. I wanted it to revolve around me. I wanted to sit and drink coffee, read my bible, write, whatever...just a brief mental vacation. But my daughter needed something different. I tried to placate her with books, random toys, and such while I typed. Nothing worked. She just wanted, Me. Her mommy.

What do you choose in these moments when you literally feel as though you can't, but your head is telling you, you must? I'm not sure what others choose in these moments. I can't say I really thought through it, but I sat down and cried. As I cried, I started to tell God all the reasons I can't. I told him that my feelings did not match what Ana needs right now. I told him I'm totally dependent upon him for strength. I told him I'm a horrible excuse for a mother.

As I sat on the floor with tears streaming down my face, Ana and Gabriel came and sat on my lap. Gabriel brought a book. I thought it might be a book relevant to how I was feeling. Nope. It was a Barney book. But as we sat and I read and Ana traced my tears with her fingertip, I thought back to our time in Guatemala. I thought about sitting in Casa de Los Angelitos, the baby house, surrounded by 20 babies wondering how in the world the house mother does it. God showed me at the time that I can only ever do the next thing He puts in front of me. I repeated to myself, "Just do the next thing." It's really not that hard.

Yes, I realize this sounds so selfish. It is. I am selfish much of the time. I should be thinking about the needs of my children and what the Lord would have me do, rather than my own needs. Without Jesus, I can't even imagine what I'd be doing right now. I am so thankful that He never changes as my feelings and moods and actions ebb and flow. Thank you, Jesus, for being the rock. My refuge. The author and perfecter of our faith. The only one who is able.

*Side Note: This is a random happening, not an every day event in our home. I often get emails from people after I've shared the harder part of mothering and adoption, saying how sorry they are for my difficulty. Please, please, don't be sorry. There are so many moments of pure joy in mothering. So so many. Please feel free to pray for me and all mothers, as well.