To fight bitterness

The sun streams from the window onto my bed.  Twins bouncing next to me, baby cooing in his crib, these are the signs that it is time to rise. 

I glance at the clock, 5:30, the usual time I meet the day with my three littlest beauties.  I know husband has not left for work yet, we will have about fifteen minutes with him before he goes. 

The four of us hustle downstairs, two little curly-haired angels tripping down the stairs in their nightgowns, and this tired mama carrying the extra large 5-month old.  A typical morning finds me whispering thanks to God as I walk these stairs, but this morning my heart feels heavy... and I realize it has a lot lately.

Instead of giving thanks and praise, I realize I am complaining, that my heart is filled with bitterness, that it is flowing out of me, directed towards the One who loves me, the One who has blessed me so richly, and I want to stop, but this feeling...

My husband greets us with a smile, glad to see us before he leaves for his long day at work.  Little princesses run and hug his legs while yelling, "Daddy, daddy, daddy!"  Sweet baby grins his huge grin that is reserved for his daddy.  I struggle to smile, try to look pleasant, but it still bursts out of me, "Ugh.  Another day?  How late are you going to be today?  How many jobs today?"

His glowing eyes and soft smile disappear, and he looks sad.  "I'm sorry.  I know you hate this job, it's not my favorite either.  But it is what God has provided for us right now, and I am going to do my best, and glorify Him.  I am trying to have a good attitude... please don't make it harder on me."

I feel horrible... I know I need to change my attitude... I know I need to encourage him...

But the bitterness is creeping out of me...

why can't we just...?
why won't God just...?
why do we have to...?

He smiles again.  Looks sweetly at me, "Life is beautiful.  Things are good.  Look at all we have to thank God for."

And I breathe deep.

He is right.  I've been counting my gifts lately, but I've been counting my bitterness too...

Now that I have realized it, I can fight it... and only count my gifts...

62. a husband who speaks such wisdom

63. waking up to beautiful babies

64. every new day

65. a good job for my husband, one that provides

66. a family to cook for, to clean for,

67. a God who gives the answer to bitterness

68. beautiful messy faces

69. piles of books to read to prepare for next homeschool term

70. children who love everything in God's creation, and a table full of their collections to prove it

71. this amazing girl who hoola hoops while she reads, just for fun

72. brief moments of quiet

73. long times of loud and chaos

74. loads of laundry to wash and fold for the loads of people who light up my life

75. hearing people tell me i have my hands full... i am so glad.

holy experience


  1. Oh, Amy, how precious your post. How well I can relate to your bitterness and stress. Your honesty and transparency is refreshing. I believe that God will honor your desire to reflect more on His gifts than on those things that cause you to feel bitter and give you angst.
    I join you in gratitude for a sweet husband who encourages and leads the way to the cross, piles of books to read and the ability to school at home, and for brief moments of quiet.
    I enjoyed my visit with you today.
    Grace and peace,

  2. Very sweet and honest post, really enjoyed it. Even when things look the worst we still have so much to be thankful for don't we? When my hubby worked crazy hours with his city bus driving job I had to really watch my attitude!

  3. This was a wonderful post, your children are so fortunate to have a mom like you that can see so quickly how bitterness defiles many. Thank you for your honesty you are not alone in this feeling and so I am sure that this post will help many. God's Richest Blessing on you and yours. ~ Laurie

  4. Yes, the bitterness so quickly sets in. I have to constantly guard my heart against's just so easy to do and comes so naturally. How God has blessed you with a tender heart and the awareness to be on guard. How wonderful your husband gently reminded you of His provision! May your steps feel lighter as you glorify Him with such thankfulness.

  5. Nothing better than full hands. Your gifts meet me in my own little snarl of bitterness. Thanks. Thanks for softening your heart here for us all. It's contagious.

  6. Your post brought me to tears. The times I've been there too!

    Praising, walking, stumbling, embracing right along with you.

    By the way I had to smile at your beautiful hooping/reading girl. She reminds me of my 6 year old :)