The only thing that keeps me going on a day like to today is to remember what I have and how precious those things are to me…
The imagination of a three-year-old boy is a wonderful thing. Unending entertainment flows from his lips with stories of fishermen and monsters and doctors and rainbows. And when he wants his make-believe name to be “Water” I oblige happily, knowing he is forming his confidence in the opinion of the world by my reaction.
And the glimpse of a scar on my daughter’s back reminds me of where she has been and where God has brought her. It convicts me as I sigh in frustration over another spill or her unending stories…for as she walks away I must continually be reminded that her walking was almost not so. And instead of being irritated by her constantly being underfoot, I must remember that her freedom from hospitals and doctors visits should be forever celebrated.
Kisses and hugs are continually accessible to me…never ending, all I must do is ask. A hug is healing and a kiss, a symbol that I am loved. Why do I not ask for more?
Clean dishes and a warm bath after a long day are the most treasured gift and I should not expect them but be surprised by their presence and grateful for their existence. And a husband who makes sure these gifts are not infrequent is rare and should be cherished and adored.
The freedom to fall before a holy, loving and compassionate God at the end of an exhausting day is worth all the precious things in the world for only there do I find the comfort I need.
So many times my blog is just my way of thinking through some things or talking myself out of some destructive thoughts. That is exactly what my post is today. So much of remaining sane as a mother is about speaking to yourself and reminding yourself the truth of God’s word. It is easy to get wrapped up in the frustration of the day and forget the truth.
Do you ever feel like nothing you ever do matters for anything? Do you ever feel completely unappreciated and taken advantage of? Do you ever feel like your desires don’t matter, your dreams are totally wasted and your goals are useless? Welcome to being a mother.
Though some days it is rewarding and filled with joy, most days it feels exhausting and discouraging. I often feel like I have completely lost my identity. I feel like I no longer do anything that I want to do and everything I do is for someone else. I got tired of going to bed each night feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by the day that had transpired and the one that faced me in the morning. I longed for a better perspective on being a mom. As I looked through the Bible and prayed about my frustration I found a few principles to remind of the significance of my role.
1. Being a mother is a gift from God. I often forget that being a mother is not a curse. It is not a job that keeps me from fulfilling my dreams. It is not a burden that keeps me up at night and makes me tired all the time. It is fully and completely a gift from God. In the midst of cleaning up a bathroom accident or dealing with a fight between siblings I forget how much I prayed to actually have children…and how thankful I should be for healthy children. With two separate bouts of infertility and a child born with a spinal condition you would think I could just look on those sweet little faces and be reminded of how generous a gift they actually are…but those sweet faces belong to little sinners who fight, lie, and disobey. Which can be really frustrating but should really remind that they are not just a gift but also a great responsibility. As I often remind myself…my children are eternal souls that need salvation. My children are gifts that are very spiritually fragile and require lots of care…which just makes them all the more precious and valuable.
2. The choices I make as a mother affect the future generations. As I looked through scripture, I saw this principle more in example than actual statement. Because the bible spans over the history of many generations we can actually see this tangibly played out (both negatively and positively) in the lives of its characters. We can see that the choice that Rebekah made to prefer Jacob and cater to him, made him into the self-seeking and manipulative person that he was. His mother’s choices developed his character which caused him to start the quarrel with his brother that would cause turmoil between two groups of people for all of history. But likewise, Samuel’s mother, Hannah, passed on a legacy of prayer, sacrifice and faith that would one day indirectly cause him to follow God with all his heart. Though he was raised by Eli there was certainly something different about him and I believe that it was the blessing of God upon him for the choice that his mother made. And though this concept can seem overwhelming…if I make a bad choice it will live on forever in my family…it can also hold weighty significance…I am not just raising a child, I am raising a piece of a generation that will go on to form more generations. Ultimately, mothering has powerful significance because you are doing a job that affects the entire world and its future.
3. I have help from the Lord. Sometimes I feel alone but really I am not. God himself lives inside me as the Holy Spirit to remind me of what I know to be the truth and to provide peace and calm in the midst of chaos. But I can’t just wander through life and hope to get some wonderful peace or guidance from the Holy Spirit without doing anything to receive it. I must have a base of information to pull from when I am in the craziest of situations. I have to prepare myself for instruction from the Holy Spirit by filling my heart full of scripture. The best preparation for parenting is not parenting books or blogs or even devotional books…it is the Word of God in which I can find the most valuable and rewarding help from God.