For the past month, my son has gone to bed well. I would feed him, lay him down, and he would sleep until 6 am. It has been a great improvement from the first nine months of his life.
As I was trying to get him to sleep last night I could feel myself getting frustrated. The second time I picked him up and looked into his sweet, sleepy face I realized something that softened my heart in an instant. We all have rough moments and bad days. No matter if we are 10 months, 5 years, 40 years, 80 years. We all have times when we are exhausted, emotional, and sad. We all have times when we need extra squeezes, to cry and let the tears fall, to sit alone in the closet with our favorite treat.
We are imperfect. Life is hard. Even Jesus went away to be alone. Even Jesus let his tears fall.
While I was walking this little one around in his room wanting him to fall asleep I realized the privilege – the privilege I have to hold him in one of his moments. The opportunity I have to be a grace giver.
Life is hard enough. I want to be a momma that can readily give grace. To stop long enough to breathe and realize that the moments are not about me or about getting my child to behave in a proper manner. The moments are holy opportunities for grace giving. Opportunities for love reaching.
A selfish life is a wasted life but a self-less life is a life well invested.
After laying my baby down I began to pray. Words came to me that hit me in the gut. I want to be the kind of mom that sees her children before I see the dirty floor, laundry pile, or the food that needs to be prepared.
Yes, these things need to be done but my children need me more than they need these things. My kids need giant pick me up off the floor hugs. Dances in the living room. Stories expressively narrated. Creative block towers built together. Laughter singing as we chase under the blue sky.
These little years are the foundation – the foundation of important conversations and trusting relationships to come.
I want my children to thrive. And in order for them to thrive, I need to more than just survive the early years of motherhood.
Motherhood is not a job or duty. There is not a checklist or job description. It is an absolute calling. A calling in every moment.
As mothers, we need to be in tune with Jesus constantly. The Holy Spirit will guide our mothering from a survival checklist to a song that allows us to see our children for who they are – Sons and Daughters of a holy God. Souls that need tender care just as a garden in the springtime.
If you are a surviving momma I ask you to stop right now and ask God how you can become a thriving momma.
This is a daily practice. I don’t have it all figured out. I just know that I need the Holy Spirit in this journey of motherhood. I need the Holy Spirit to lead me from frustration at my sleepless baby to joy at the privilege of guiding this little precious life.
John 11:35 Jesus wept. NIV
Mark 1:35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. NLT
Romans 8:26-28 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. NLT