Today I was mulling over the word "blessed." We use it so often, in reference to the wonderful things in our lives: "I am blessed to have an amazing family, healthy happy kids, a loving husband, a warm house, an abundance of wants." But today I was reading in the bible about being blessed as a result of obedience, and the concept started to take on a different meaning. To be blessed, is to be "highly favoured or fortunate" or to be "consecrated (dedicated to God, made holy.)
So do we really mean "blessed" or do we mean thankful in those first examples? Do I feel blessed with motherhood, or grateful? Can these daily messes I find myself in qualify as holy? I have learned that in fact it is the very messy, or despairing nature of a situation that leads directly to blessedness.
Consider the Beatitudes, the wise Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus proclaimed a state of blessedness on certain groups of people. When you look at the "requirement" for blessing, you find:
- the poor in spirit
- those who mourn
- those who are meek
- those who hunger
- those who are persecuted
- those who are reviled
In my own words, I add to this "those mothers who are worn out, short of patience, tired, weary, burdened" and any other adjective that weighs us down from the daily demands of motherhood. Yes, motherhood is the most rewarding thing I've ever done, but no one could deny it is also the most sacrificial. And so it would seem perfectly in line with the Beatitudes, that those who are mothers are also blessed.
Today, I am blessed.
Today I helped my three year old toilet train, which had both successes and (complete, utter, messy) failures.
Today I held my teething, miserable baby as she wept and writhed in pain, her only comfort found when we lie together in my bed, curled into each other.
Today I smiled through the rising cadences of boy-noise.
And yet today I feel more blessed.