Mama, Are You Doing Okay?
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
I am struggling. Last night I carried my laptop upstairs so that I'd remember to do the online forms for my kids to go back to school, but then they all crawled into my lap and started knocking me in the head with their little elbows and toes as they struggled to get comfortable. All thoughts of filling out forms went right out the window. Why did ALL three of them have to crawl into my lap at once? Well, I had the audacity to hold the oldest because she wasn't feeling well, and that is NOT how we typically do things. Pretty soon, one little brother had to join her; then the other got jealous real fast. We weren't exactly comfortable with three of us in the recliner, but four made for a very interesting situation. I made my husband take a picture because this is something that doesn't happen too often any more. Then I posted it on Instagram with a reminder of how this is what I prayed for and I'm grateful.
I wasn't feeling grateful though. I was feeling overwhelmed and ready for them all to go to bed. So I wrote that little feel-good post to remind myself that I'm grateful. Dang it. I'm grateful.
This is our life these days - snatching moments of time to try to talk about important things between their demands for attention, rescuing my laptop from the chubby little fingers that decided to carry it around, cherishing the moments when they all decide to be sweet, and trying to keep our noses from being broken (again) when they swing an arm unexpectedly in the direction of our faces. There are toys everywhere. They never listen the first time. They smear their grubby little faces on the windows and chew holes in my nice dining room chairs! And I'm not even going to mention all the things it requires of us to take care of Redmond's unique challenges.
Sometimes I don't feel joyful or blessed, I just feel angry and frustrated. I catch myself literally growling at them as I try to understand how they could completely cover the bathroom floor in bath water, again, after they've been told every day for years not to! How??? I see posts from other mothers, more peaceful mothers, who smile at the mess and write things like, "Their creative play in the bathtub led to a slight explosion that I'm happy to clean up." or "Isn't it sweet that a tsunami hit our bathroom floor?"
I admire those mamas, but I'm not them.
I struggle with how to pursue my calling while I have them at home. Didn't I beg God for these children? Didn't I say that I wanted to be a full-time, stay-at-home mother and soak up every minute of their sweetness? How can I let anyone else spend their days with them? How can I delegate some of their care to others?
If you're struggling today with frustration that you can't be at home with your kids every day, if you're struggling instead with frustration that you can't be at work right now, if you're full of guilt because you're that peaceful mama, but you actually shut yourself in your closet and cried after you cleaned up that bathroom floor (please tell me that is true so I can feel a little better here?), you are not alone. I am struggling because I want God to wave His magic wand so I can be an awesome minister of the gospel to other Christian leaders without actually having to do any work that takes me away from my kids. If you're not sure how you'll ever get it right, I see you. I am you.
I hear God whispering to us, "I knew you before your were formed in your mother's womb, and I knew your children too. They are in exactly the home I placed them in, at exactly the right time, and I've provided everything they need. You be who I've called you to be and let those mothers who do things differently than you be who I've made them to be."
Then, because surely God has a sense of humor too, He reminds me of how it was when the pandemic hit and we were all at home together, all day every day, with no help. Just me and them. like I always thought it should be. And I laugh and laugh, digging right back into work.
Let's not forget, in the middle of the bathroom tsunami and the closet cry sessions, in the middle of the guilt that we were not there when they learned how to take a selfie, that when we have a heart to serve the Lord, He is making all things new. He is caring for those precious ones and for our hearts too. When we work as unto the Lord - at home or in an office or on a stage or in a field - we are doing holy work. We can trust God to take care of everything He has entrusted to us.
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