Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in language he has barely mastered.
- singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen
One of my children has a habit of complaining that things are "too hard." It kind of drives me nuts. A major part of the problem is that everything that requires effort gets labeled "too hard," which means (in the child’s mind) that it’s not worth tackling.
Because I was finding myself rather unsympathetic to this way of thinking, I spent some time probing my own experiences with things I thought were "too hard." When I was a young mother with the tantrumy kid in the supermarket, parenting seemed too hard. When my son John’s anxiety spun out of control and required significant intervention, it seemed too hard and overwhelming. When another child developed major anxiety issues, the additional layer of care seemed like way too much to ask.
All of these examples had certain characteristics in common:
It also made me appreciate how God acts in my own life. Left to my own devices, I’d wail that many things were too difficult to get through–and never grow. But God has other plans. They may be hard, but they’re not impossible... even if I can’t see that at the time.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.