Sweat and Tears

I can't hold back the tears. They slide their way down my cheeks and onto the floor. Some days are harder than others... I get down on one knee to help him put his pajamas on. He jerks his forty-pound body into mine, I lose my balance and awkwardly fall over. He lays on the floor. All forty pounds press heavy into the ground. I take a deep breath. Out of my mouth comes a desperate mumble, "Please God, give me patience... Elias, stand up! We have to get your pajamas on." He turns his head in the opposite direction and pouts his bottom lip. I take another deep breath and ask for more patience. I try singing to the melody of London Bridges Falling Down, "Now it's time to stand up, stand up, stand up. Now it's time to stand up, and put on your jammies!" He flashes a smirk and slides one foot in, then another. I take one more deep breath and walk him to bed.

My fingers brush through his hair as I sing to him. His eyes are heavy. He falls asleep to my voice telling him the things that press hard against my soul. I know he doesn't understand, but I want him to know that I will never give up on him. No matter how stubborn he is or how difficult the day has been, I will always be by his side. I kiss his lips, then his cheek, and his forehead. My love for him is wild.

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The day was more difficult than I thought it would be. But these kind of days are good for me. They make me a more passionate mom. They remind me of the strength I don't have. The strength I am desperate for.

These days also remind me of how I love Elias unconditionally. There have been days of weakness. Seasons of feeling overwhelmed and at a loss for direction while raising Elias. But you know what? The things that I pour my soul into, the things that are the most difficult, and the things that bring me on my knees—they all bring the greatest reward. The people I love the most take time, commitment, sweat, and tears.

My character has been changed. My thoughts and perspective overflow with passion—all because of the difficult days. I praise God for the difficult days. Yes, I cry. I'm impatient. Sometimes I wish things were different. But if those weak moments were nonexistent, then I would not know joy like I do today.

Precious joy.

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© 2014 Natalie Falls