Happy Mother's Day!!
I wrote this twelve days ago with no plans of sharing publicly as it is a very vulnerable writing, but it occurred to me that this just might be what a mother needs to read on Mother's Day. We mother's have this thing about us where we always feel like we have to have it all together. Well, we don't. I know you don't and I certainly know that I don't. If I have to be the one to put myself out there, then so be it. So without further ado, here is my un-revised, raw writing on parenting (during a hard day):
Parenting is the most exhausting thing on the planet. It drains you physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. When you want to stop, you can’t. When you want to run away, you can’t. And no matter how many times you try to explain to them how much work it is, they don’t understand.
They have no idea how much you give of yourself every second of every day. Even after they go to bed, you’re making their favorite overnight oats that they have been asking for, wrapping presents, shopping for clothes, praying over them as they sleep. Energy is still being expended on them and they aren’t even awake.
They have no idea how much money it costs to live, give birthday gifts, go out for ice cream, pay for new clothing, shoes, or healthy food. And they won’t until they have children of their own, if or when they do.
Between marriage and parenting, I have come to understand Jesus in such deep ways that wouldn’t have been possible without being either one of those.
Did I say grace?
Today during dinner, Devin took the container of pink salt and poured about a tablespoon of it onto his sweet potato. I shrieked as I saw it happen, yelled out, “Devin!” Right then, I literally turned away, grabbed a hold of the table, closed my eyes, dug my feet on the floor (as if they could go any deeper) and sat there for probably 30 seconds until I calmed down.
As I was restraining myself, literally battling the spirit of Satan that wanted me to talk down to my child and make him feel like utter garbage, Devin hugged me and apologized repeatedly. He didn’t understand. He’s five! He was just trying to be independent.
The alternative would’ve been much worse and far more damaging. It’s only salt, right? But in that moment, when you have already spent nine hours doing your absolute darnedest trying to practice the above list, and your patience has been tested more times than you can count, sometimes it’s the little things that can set you off.
I’ve been praying for self-control. I have asked my children to pray for me. I have asked my husband to pray for me. And it’s working, but it’s hard.
Through the power of the Holy-spirit, I have been finding myself practicing self-control more. It may look utterly ridiculous as I physically restrain myself at times, but it sure beats the alternative.
I grew up in a household where I saw jars smashed, holes punched into walls, sinks cracked, bodies pulled by their hair; a constant loss of temper. It was modeled. That parent grew up in a household with a parent that had the same problem.
Strongholds. They’re generational. That is, if you allow them to be.
You lose respect for a person when that becomes the norm.
I don’t want that to be what my children experience. I want them to remember that their mother loved Jesus more than anyone or anything else in this whole world. That she battled against the enemy with every fiber of her being to not give into her weaknesses, temptations, and sinful desires. That she was honest with them about those things, and wasn’t afraid to ask for help or prayer. That she wanted them to see and remember Jesus more than anything else in her.
That doesn’t come without a lot of refining. Sometimes feeling like it’s more than one can bear. You want to break down, run away to catch your breath for a moment, check out for a day, but you can’t. You can’t stop being a parent in those periods of time when you feel yourself going through that fire of refinement. Nope. That’s part of the whole process. And it’s hard. I know I said it already, but it’s the only word I’ve got right now.
But, Jesus. Oh my sweet Jesus. You are my sanity. You are my light. My life. I can’t bear to live a moment without you. I am so frail. So volatile. So forgetful.
I need you more than the air I breathe. I need your presence to overwhelm me. Peace. Give me your peace. Give me the faith that moves mountains.
I can’t do this without you, Jesus.
(See short note below photos)
Normally I put a photo at the top of my posts, but I felt it was more fitting to put these at the end. It is a privilege to be the mother to these three boys. I know that God gave them to me for a purpose. I take the job of raising them seriously. Sometimes, too seriously.
Happy Mother's Day, mama's! It is an honor to be on this journey of motherhood with all of you. Please pray for me as I would be happy to pray for you, if you ask me to. We all need it, our children need it, and Lord knows this world needs it!