"Kids are a complication."
That's what the pastor said.
Right before I whipped out my Mama Bear claws.
But then I paused, because the way he explained it caught my attention. I was puzzled when he said complications are not actually bad. I had always defined complications as being negative, but he made me see that they can actually be positive, too.
Like when we went to Disneyland and had to wait for an hour for the ticket counter to find our reservations. For our trouble, we were given several passes that let us skip lines, making our visit to the adventure park much better! I realized that what had complicated my day had become a blessing.
But at first it felt like a problem.
Taking care of children means that moms have to give up time, money, and energy. A lot of it.
Kids are loud. (You can't talk on the phone when they are in the room because you can't hear the other person. What's an 'inside voice', anyway?)
Kids make messes. (Items dropped all over the house, drinks spilled in your car, rotting food in the bottom of backpacks. Gross!)
Kids interrupt. (Your conversation. Your book. Your shower. Your meal. Your hobbies. Your few moments of solitude in the bathroom, for Pete's sake!)
With school starting up again, my life has quickly gotten more complicated. There are multiple trips to different stores for clothes, snacks and supplies. There are various papers to read and sign. There are several more chauffeur duties to and from practice. There are extra activities that require extra spending cash.
This year I had to purchase 2 - yes, 2! - graphing calculators, and I am pretty sure I heard my bank account sobbing as my husband submitted the online order. (Wait, that might have been me...)
Right now I can easily see how my kids complicate my life.
But the other night, as I pulled my son's forgotten uniform out of the washer and stuffed it into the dryer, I pondered how complications really aren't so bad. In that moment, when I could hardly keep my eyes open, I was proud to serve him.
Because in only a couple years, he will have moved out on his own and much of my responsibility will be done. While I am looking forward to not having to help with laundry way past my bedtime because someone was irresponsible and didn't plan ahead, I also know that one day I will miss taking care of him.
Right now, I may be exhausted and nearly broke, but I have many sweet memories.
Unleashing my irritation, complaining about how I wanted to go to bed, would have only caused division and negative memories. I prefer to look back on late laundry nights and smile because I was a good mom who chose to enjoy giving my time, money and energy while I had the chance.
So in this moment, I choose to embrace 'complicated'.
Because late laundry nights earn me a whole heap of gratitude from my first born when he forgets to do it himself.
When I'm tempted to complain or feel sorry for myself because I'm constantly giving to my children, I hope I pause and thank God for the two complications He gave me.
Where are your complications adding blessing to your life?