Being a mom is…

Being a mom is so many things that are often hard to remember or to define. On the long days, we find ourselves counting down the minutes to nap time or bed time, trying to determine how long we can feasibly leave the kids in their room once they’ve woken up from naps, cherishing the moments together of coloring or playing with puzzles or relishing in being able to read a book just once before the next book.

Being a mom is also…..

  • Making sure Cookie Monster is safe in the carseat at least 20 times a day and rescuing him when he’s stuck in there…

cookie carseat

  • Letting the dogs and the kids get to know each other…

boys playing

  • Remembering that having all your buttons dumped out into your yarn bin and on the floor is less of a catastrophe than it may seem like in the moment…

buttons everywhere

  • Letting Dr. 2-year-old make sure you have plenty of kleenex when you’re feeling sick.

dr mae

  • Letting your 2-year-old put a hat on her 6 month old little brother just because, and then rescuing him from a hat over his face…

dressing up patrick

  • Taking time to find pins to get a 2T skirt to fit on Elmo when he’s really small enough to fit into newborn clothes, all before breakfast with a hungry baby and the discomfort of over full mammaries because the baby slept all night…

Elmo skirt

  • Teaching your dogs to listen to your 2 year old by letting her feed them, which involves lots of throwing kibble around, her yelling at dogs to stay away from the other one’s food, and often, stepping in to referee because the dogs don’t know to listen the child yet…

feed the dogs

  • Being your baby’s happy place…

happy boy

  • Having a general idea of where things should be in the house, and yet inexplicably knowing where to find lost items…

jelly in the cupboard

  • Finding children in various stages of dress or undress while attending to other tasks and suddenly realizing that your toddler is no baby anymore as she gets better and better at dressing…

ready to go bye bye

  • Thinking “It’s much too quiet, I better check what’s going on…”

stickers

  • Having a permanent audience for nearly every task…

waiting for lunch

  • Cherishing the moments your baby is small enough to nap in your lap…

94

  • …and recreating it with your next baby too…

101

  • Stumbling across matching pajamas and putting your little boy in pink, thereby confusing everyone on the planet who now think you have two little girls instead of one of each…

155

  • Letting big sister make sure her brother isn’t lonely in his bouncer…

158

  • A safe place to take a nap when he is so, so, so tired…

Tired patrick

  • Knowing you set an example every time you do something in front of your kids, so you try to make the best example you can, and then allow a bit of freedom for your kids to explore your hobbies…

Mae knitting

  • Never being able to take an in focus picture…

Parenthood is the single greatest, yet most challenging, blessing of one’s life and it can never be summarized properly because it is so complex, so different every day, so different for every family.

These are the moments I am so glad I have captured because it reminds me that what I do staying home is significant, it matters. I can get lost in the mundane, the repetitive tasks, the lack of “objectives fulfilled” and forget that what I do matters.

I am thankful that I have pictures and people to remind me – like when I come home from a night out with friends and find that my little girl woke up with terrible gas pains and called for me through her tears. She knows that mama is the source of comfort when her world isn’t right. Being a mom is being the world to your little people, knowing how to comfort them best, knowing when to grant the next step of freedom, learning when to step in and when to stay out, guiding, teaching, directing. There is no manual, no set of guidelines on the internet that works for every child.

This is why we need a community of other moms to help us along, to commiserate, to share joys, to have someone who understands, to pass along tips to make life just a little easier. I am so grateful to the mom friends I am making and the richness they bring to my life.

 

What is being a mom to you?

Advertisements

For the weary soul

Galatians 6:1-10 

 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Oh I am weary today. I am tired. I want rest. I want a break.

You know this weariness, right friend? The kind that cannot be cured by sleep. The kind that rests deep in your soul and slowly bubbles up to the surface through simply living life. The kind that rises through never ending laundry and yet another load of dishes and preparing or eating or cleaning up from meals. The kind that surfaces through hours upon hours with little kids and reading the same book for the 500th time and drinking “coffee” out of a little plastic cup and sitting on baby folding chairs and vacuuming (again) and wondering where that smell is coming from. It’s in another diaper change, another clothes change, another bed strip.

Isn’t that life, though? As we move through the repetitive motions of simply living, we become weary with it. Whether we are at home or at work, the repetition moves from comforting and predictable to wearying. We begin to long for something to break the monotony, for a day to do something different.

We begin to question whether what we do has meaning at all.

We forget that before any success is a long process of living, training, being, doing, persevering.

That’s the key, right? Don’t give up. Keep on moving, weary soul. Drink up from the Word of God and let it refresh you. Take time to be still in the presence of God for renewal. It’s easy to feel bad and guilty for being weary.

It’s easy to look around and see the mess, the baskets of clothes that STILL aren’t put away, the dirty laundry waiting patiently for its turn through the washer, the dishes precariously piled next to the sink. It’s easy to be tired of the constant interaction with toddlers, the incessant talking, the occasional screaming, the spit up of an infant on everything if you take a second too long to get that burp cloth in place, if you get distracted for too long by something else.

But we just moving, right?

We keep checking our email and responding to the requests. We meet with our boss, we tackle the next step in our project and make that call we’ve been avoiding for two days. We check in with our coworker, log into our computer, enter the inventory, go to lunch with our clients, make notes in our patient’s file. We walk down the hallway to the next thing, offering up a silent prayer of strength, begging for a little more to get through the day, and then drive home in the weather and the traffic and hope for a respite when we get home.

So friends, let us not become weary in doing good. Let us come to Jesus for rest and renewal. We cannot do it on our own, but only through Christ who gives us strength and rest for our weary souls.

The day and hour unknown: Matthew 25:36-51

I’ve been neglecting reading for a bit and so today I made the conscious decision to sit down and read while I ate my breakfast (really really late breakfast) and this is where I left off before.

We don’t know when Christ is returning. A number of people claim they can figure it out by decoding secret messages in the Bible by counting every 17th letter and then unscrambling them to form a coded date and time that God has revealed to them or whatever other means they claim. However, right here, in Matthew, Jesus says no one knows, except God, when Christ is returning. Only the Father knows when that is happening.

What does that mean for us?

We need to be prepared. We need to remember that if we’ve lifted up this banner of Christianity, we need to live life in light of that. We don’t want to be caught unprepared.

I’ve been playing an online video game lately and recently I joined a guild to have other people to hang out, chat, and play with during my gaming time. Last night, I started to chat a little with a guildmate about working, parenting, and then God. He works overnights with people who have brain injuries and I worked with people who have mental illness. I talked about gaming overnight once when Patrick refused to sleep to keep myself awake while I held him. I then mentioned how parenting has given me a whole new perspective on God and a whole new way of relating to him. My guildmate said “I’m not a believer, I’m afraid” and I told him not everyone is and I respect that. He appreciated that and I went on to say that I would love it if everyone I talked to became a committed follower of Christ, but that’s not my job. My job is to plant seeds and to live an authentic life.

My job is to be a faithful servant waiting for my master to return. Because I don’t know when Christ is coming back and I don’t want to be caught unprepared or having forgotten about this relationship.

On Sunday, the pastor of our new church location preached and he talked about how those out in the workforce (not pastors) have incredible opportunities to share Christ with the people around them. He was saying that as a pastor, his presence is enough to change the climate of a room, and now that he’s had another job for a few months while his family prepares for the launch of the new church, he’s had different opportunities to share Christ than he ever would have had while being a pastor.

I was thinking about that as I contemplated talking about God to this person. I hesitated saying what I said, I wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad move, I just didn’t know. At the end of the day, though, how can I sit back and know I could have said something but remained silent?

Over the past few months, I’ve heard several sermons on heaven/hell, watched a documentary called Hellbound?, talked about the end times in a bible study, and watched a sermon series on the end times. All of those things have, for this short time, given me a lot to think about regarding eternity. Am I doing all I can for those around to me to see Jesus in a true and authentic way?

I know I live in a busy season of life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reach out to those closest to me and share my faith, even if they already know. I messaged a friend a NOVEL basically asking her if she’s really ever thought about starting a relationship with Jesus. She never responded to it, but I was faithful to what I believed God was calling me to do. I talked to a complete stranger about how parenting has changed how I view my faith. Again, I was being faithful to what I believe God was calling me to do. I’ve sent bible texts to friends in need for them to read and meditate on, we gave some baby things to another total stranger who has fled an abusive relationship, we are helping out friends with a new baby by providing some other baby things we don’t need for now.

Sure, I can be pretty inconsistent about reading my Bible and about really everything in my life, but that doesn’t mean I’m done growing. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, to those around me. I don’t have to post bible verses on my facebook page all the time or be really aggressive about “making sure those heathens know they’re going to burn in hell” or whatever. I can show love, compassion, and understanding and live my life in such a way that people think “hmm, there’s something different and I like it”. My actions and my attitudes are my biggest witness. Sometimes I need to use words, especially when I feel a specific push, but for the most part, my life speaks volumes (as others have told me).

Eternity is real. We will spend it either with God or apart from God and I would love to see nobody spend it apart from God. I have to do my part in showing them the truth but rest in the knowledge that they have to make their own choice. We plant seeds, someone else waters it, but only God makes it grow.

We just have to be faithful servants, good stewards of all that God has given us for a short while.

When was the last time you hesitated but ultimately obeyed what you felt God calling you to do?