Since beginning my journey of seeking and following Jesus I have learned and continue to learn. Daily I wonder and reflect on the unreasonable blessings I have been given, as well as feel the resulting weight of responsibility upon me. I feel inadequate, clumsy, not full of wisdom—yet. Is that going to happen someday?
Parenting our sweet son through a partnership called marriage has been among these great gifts. I am blessed to share this role with a man who absolutely loves kids and has eagerly awaited parenting since long before he knew me. In March 2012, his dream was realized. Chris connects with this tiny person in ways that are intuitive and beautiful, finding delight in the small and big things, an outpouring of Chris’s own relationship with our creator.
Amidst the toy explosions, the 3 a.m. tears, the messes, and the mountains of laundry (whose idea were the cloth diapers?), I fall deeper in love with our son, my husband, and in turn Jesus, the giver of these. I ask myself, What have I done to deserve these gifts? and quickly realize—nothing. Thus they are gifts of grace. But more often an inaudible voice of desperation in me cries, How can I hold onto these? Keep these? Protect these? Dare I even say hoard these? It is ugly to speak those fears, and yet I know the sometimes scary and echoing response in my soul is—I cannot. They are not mine to hold onto, keep, or hoard, and I am powerless in the big scheme of things. I long to guard these I love from things that will wreak havoc on the harmony we now experience. We have walked through enough seemingly insurmountable hurts and hardships to know we are not immune. And so I cling to the truth that I serve a God who is able to do exceedingly and immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). And he has. I choose to trust him even in my fears.
As the years go by and I process where I’ve come from and where I’m going as a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and many more roles, I ponder what God is doing with my life. Where do my choices and actions fall on his scale? How are the simple things I do and don’t do echoing in eternity, causing ripples in the lives with which I collide? Are my passions and dreams worth following? At times I fully believe these things are uniquely me, placed in me for the purpose of fulfilling a need in this world. I long to live in that freedom and understanding. With age I hope to shed more inhibitions that keep me from pursuing my dreams, which perhaps would be one of the most intrinsic ways in which I can honor and serve my creator, God.
Today I will continue to move forward with what is before me. Many of my days include the tasks of a stay-at-home mom: dishes, cleaning, shopping, those laundry piles I mentioned, and best of all—playing. Intermittently I fit in a great hike, a date with my man, time to dabble on my fiddle and guitar learning, a cup of coffee with a friend, or an hour of solitude. In these quiet spaces I ponder the bigger dreams of how to incorporate into each day my passions and love for people from cultures unlike my own. When might I again find the time and mental capacity to pour into pottery and other creative endeavors? How can I love my family better, more deeply or delve into authentic, meaningful community with those around us? I pray that in time I can make ways to weave these into what exists in my days already. Here’s to looking ahead with hope!
Theresa Breithaupt has been a follower of Jesus for 13 years. She grew up in Minnesota and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse with a BS degree, majoring in art and international studies. She and Chris will gladly show off their wonderful son Haven, 1½ years, some Sunday morning. They reside in Newberg after moving back from a grand Alaskan adventure about a year ago. Some of her hobbies include knitting, cooking, and walking.