On Being a Mama…

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They don’t tell you everything. The sleepless nights. The emotional and mental drain. The struggle not to yell every.single.day. The sandpaperish difficulty of different temperaments trying to all live together under the same roof.

Or maybe they did and I couldn’t imagine it so my brain and heart didn’t have a framework for it all.

Either way, it’s not at all what I had pictured. But to be honest, I don’t remember what I had pictured. I don’t remember many things these days. And when I do it’s usually too late to do anything about it.

Their mess is everywhere. They talk with their mouths full of food. The toilet paper roll is always empty. I don’t remember the original color of the upholstery in my car. They always have my iPad. And when I finally do find it at the end of the day, the 1% battery life makes me want to scream for the 432nd time that day.

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Being a mom is the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. It is draining in every imaginable way. Part of me feels guilty for saying that. The rest of me says AMEN.

This weekend we celebrate mothers. But, Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that frustrates me, like Valentine’s Day and National Ice Cream day. Yes, I ordered my mom flowers just like you probably did. I fell prey to the pomp and circumstance of it all. But, deep inside of me, I question many things:

 

Did God really know what He was doing when He picked me to be a mom to my daughter and son? {Some days I wonder.}

What makes being a mama so hard? {Am I the only one who questions this?}

Why do I care so darn much? {This…this may be where I find a lot of answers to my questions.}

I was praying this week about being a mama, because lots of days lately praying is my lifeline and anchor, and I asked God to show me the answers to these questions.

Now, let me warn you. Be prepared for a massive enemy assault of epic proportions when you pray and ask God to reveal things about you and your children. They will have quite possibly the worst week of their lives. And so will you.

But as I was seeking one day (and cleaning out my inbox), I read this post on Ann Voskamp’s blog. She had a guest poster on May 2nd, Elisa Morgan. Here is an excerpt from her writing:

“I didn’t know then what I do know now: that every child’s journey is his or her own.

God is guiding and shaping their individual lives and the lives they individually influence.

No parent, no matter how dedicated, expert, present and loving can produce a perfectly healthy and happy adult. Such a feat is simply not within our power.

At the same time, every parent is divinely used to affect the journey of every child – toward this and away from that, even if with opposite from intended results. (“If you say don’t go there, there I will tread!”  “If you say head over here, I will head over there!”)

And I didn’t know then what I do know now: that every child of every parent is God’s instrument in the life of his or her parent.

My children have been His chief tool for the shaping of meshaving off the certainty, molding a softer version, raising up a gumption necessary to face another day.

Evidently, they needed me – who I thought I was and who I’ve become – to mold their beings.

And certainly, I needed them – who they were and weren’t, who they are and aren’t, who they will be and won’t be – to become who I was, am and who I will be.” Elisa Morgan

This is what branded my heart with fierce conviction: EVERY CHILD OF EVERY PARENT IS GOD’S INSTRUMENT IN THE LIFE OF HIS OR HER PARENT.

Ouch. Gulp. Tears.

Not only do they need me, but I need them. Oh how I need them so. I have never ever been broken so much. Being a mama IS the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. It IS draining in every imaginable way. And I need Jesus more as a mama than I’ve ever needed Him in my life. I can’t do this in my own strength and He knows that all too well. 

I have so many rough edges. God knows just the right grade of sandpaper that I need. And right now, they are grades 3 and Kindergarten!

They need me. I need them. We both need Jesus.

“Oh Father…guide us. Show us. Be gracious with our fragile hearts. We can’t do this in our own strength. You are our strong tower. We run to you and we are safe. Remind us of your truths as we speak them over our babies. Help us to stand firm in the storms and to praise you. And thank you for making us mamas. And Lord, for those who want to be mamas, will you grant them grace today? And in your time, make them mamas? Clinging to You today, Father.” 

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