I heard the bathtub start and the splash of Asher, our 9 year old settle in. He had been at church camp for five days, and I was unpacking his suitcase. The stench of boy sweat and testosterone waiting to blossom filled the laundry room as I heard him say:
” MOMMA! Which one of these soap bottles is for my hair?”
That’s funny. Shouldn’t he have figured that out this week at camp?
I walked into the bathroom to see him holding the very two bottles I packed him.
” Is the red one for my hair?”
” Honey, that’s the body wash I packed you. Did you not use it this week?”
::Sighs, shrugs his shoulders. ::
” They kept telling me to hurry so I didn’t use soap. But gosh Momma! This stuff smells GOOD!”
It was then clear as to why he smelled like a dumpster when I picked him up.
Along with the chaos of four children under the age of 9 , I’ve found that my biggest struggle is feeling like I do not have a voice. Can they even hear me when I speak? Often times I say things five times before I eventually yell out an order.
I play this repeat game all day long.
“Brush your teeth. Wash your hands. Be nice to your sister. Give her her doll back. Get in the van. Eat your food. Get in your bed. Stop fighting. Do I need to call Daddy? Please stop fighting. Don’t hit your sister. Don’t pick up your brother. Go outside. Be nice. Be quiet, your brother is asleep. “
I’m in this middle of the drawing board trying to find the line between giving them grace for their mistakes , and teaching them respect for authority.
It’s really hard. I feel defeated daily. It’s exhausting.
But I know that all of this is necessary to train up children that are kind, responsible and loving.
Tonight after getting a good laugh out of Asher’s camp mishaps, the Lord spoke to me over all the loudness. Over all the fighting and the dirty dishes. The working late husband and the whiney four year old.
” Even when you feel like you have failed, you are more like me than you think you are. Do you know how many times I’ve given directions to my children and they ignore me?”
It was in that moment that I felt closer to Him than I had in MONTHS. It’s been so very loud in my mind that it’s hard to hear him. Hard to hear my own thoughts, much less His words to my heart. It’s not that I don’t let him in and invite his presence to reign, it’s that I am so tired. I am worn out. I am in Mommy mode from sun up to sun down and not one day with children is ever easy. I feel in over my very own head.
In desperate need of refreshment and sustained vision for my life. I understand that this is a SEASON, one that will pass in the blink of an eye, and I will always miss it. I’ll always long for the late night nursing sessions, and when I could fix my 6 year olds problem with a snuggle session. I know I’ll miss back to school shopping and solving my daughters fights over Barbie dolls.
I know my childrens problems won’t always be able to be solved by me. But that doesn’t make this season any easier. It’s my reality now. I’m knee deep in sibling rivalry and refereeing confrontations.
But I may never be more like Jesus than I am in this phase.
Mommas, we are the most selfless beings there are. We do things without expecting a thank you. Our job isn’t a paid one. We never stop being a Mom.
How many times has God given us directions ( his word ), told us how to live our lives and we turn our backs on him? So many.
The pain we feel for our children when they do not take our advice, and we see them fail or get hurt, that’s the same pain Jesus feels when we sin.
He knows he tried his best to guide us, but we alone make our own choices that come with an end result.
Mommas: When you are having a day where your children won’t take your advice, where you feel like you perhaps could turn blue from repeating yourself, know that HE hears you. He understands what it’s like to be rejected.
Satan wants nothing more than to discourage Mothers who are trying to raise warriors in Christ. He wants us to feel alone, isolated and defeated.
But I say to you today that we are never closer to Jesus than when we are laying down our lives for another.
That’s what Motherhood is, we serve. We give our whole lives to tiny people that will most likely never say thank you. And that’s love.