Finding God While Folding Clothes

I was crying and laughing at the same time.

All these years, I’ve heard about that, how you’re spilling over with overwhelming emotions and your body just doesn’t know what to do.  Cry out the tears?  Burst out in laughter?

There’s Sarah in the Bible, who waited month after month, year after year, decade after decade for a baby…and then when God said she’d have a son, she laughed.  She just couldn’t hold that in, that joy….that disbelief…that incredulity….that moment of shock when your whole life changes in one second and you’re thrown off balance and grabbing onto a furniture or to an outstretched hand to  steady yourself.

Me?  A son?

Sarah had her moment; I had mine.  Lying there on an exam table while an ultrasound tech rolled a wand expertly over my pregnant self.  She tells me these are kidneys, this is the stomach, there are the chambers of the heart….My baby looks so beautiful and healthy, and I’m already exhaling that big held in breath and each of my muscles slowly relaxes just hearing the good news.

Then she says the words, “It’s a boy.”

This momma to three daughters laughed through tears.  I can’t even remember what I said, but it was something like:  No way!  I can’t even believe it.  Are you sure?  Are you sure your sure?

My husband asks me later if I’m disappointed, but it’s not that.  I’m excited, yes, just still in a bit of shock.

All these years, I’ve become a girl’s mom.  I’ve learned all things girl and prayed over all things girl, read the books and considered the truths about being a mom to girls.

Truth be told, I’m feeling pretty confident most days, not always but often, thinking maybe I’ve gotten the hang of this. Maybe I know what to do.

Bringing up girls is what I do and being a mom to daughters is who I am.

Now I’m reading blog posts and books and listening to podcasts about raising boys.  I’ve watched sons with their moms in the store, in the park, at the school.  I’ve leaned in close and listened to friends and made mental notes about being a mom to boys. 

And I’ve prayed.

Maybe that’s the point.

Nine years ago, pregnant with my very first baby, I thought I’d have all boys and thought I’d be a great boys’ mom.  That was when the news of a daughter first shook apart any foolish confidence I had.

How I had prayed then when God gave me this unexpected gift of three daughters, and my Mom-life still holds together simply because of my worn-out knees from constant prayer.

So here I am now, stumbling down onto my knees again and I’m reminded: I am insufficient.  I don’t know.  I don’t have it all together and I’m not sure how to do this right.

I start by dragging out bag after bag of girls’ clothes from the Rubbermaid containers in the garage and sorting them into piles to give away to friends.004

Then I remember how over the years some people mis-heard the news and thought we were having a son when we were having another girl, so they gave me gifts for boys.  Then there were those who worried that ultrasound techs got things wrong, so they gave me gifts of yellow, green and white just in case.

I pull out the collection I’ve amassed over 9 years of having babies.

And right there God meets me.  Right there as I’m folding these tiny boy’s clothes and watching the pile grow.

I had no idea how long He’d been at work preparing me for a son.  I didn’t realize how much abundance He’d provided unexpectedly and beyond all reason.  Blue outfits, blue t-shirts, little boy washcloths and towels, hats, blankets, mittens, sleepers, and socks: it all piled up on the back of my sofa as I folded the clothes until the piles were about falling over.

God had been at work all along, making room for grace.

I still feel insufficient.  I still feel overwhelmed with all that I don’t know and amazed that He would trust this gift to me when I feel so incapable.

Paul said it, though:

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

This grace of God’s is sufficient.

But we don’t realize it, don’t rely on that, don’t allow Him to be fully sufficient until we realize just how insufficient we are.   The more we are driven to our knees by our unworthiness, the more we declare Him worthy of all praise.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

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