I know I’m in the thick of it, at least that’s what everyone says. I wake up in the night to a teething sometimes hungry, 7 month old. I wake up in the light, with a three year old begging for breakfast and a two year old asking to be held. Tap my phone to see that it’s already 7am, it always seems to come so fast.
“Let’s whisper,” I tell them, “baby is still sleeping.” Hoping the whispers will keep baby sleeping long enough to get the coffee going. Stumble out of bed and into the kitchen, pulling clothes off of the floor and on to my body.
They ask for waffles but I’ve already started making oatmeal so the tears flow and the wails come. The not-a-whisper wakes baby. We take deep breaths and talk calmly about thankfulness and seeking joy in all things, even oatmeal instead of waffles. The tears are wiped away and the Lord reminds me that my heart too is often discontent with the things He has given me.
Finishing the oatmeal I slide it over to them, but 2 year old did not want fruit in hers, so the tears flow and the wails come and the mom picks out the fruit. We bow our heads and thank the Lord for provisions, other random things then ask for a day filled with Him.
I start to make coffee when two year old is fidgeting, we make a run for the potty and I forget the coffee. After wiping a bottom and filling their cups, I head over to nurse baby. My day as momma, has begun.
Sometimes the days run together. Sometimes it feels like the day will never end and we cling to bedtime as our finish line. Sometimes we need time to sit alone and pray or eat or clean or cry or scream or bathe; so we turn on the the glowing babysitter and let Netflix roll. When my life seems completely absorbed in keeping the diapers stocked, the kids fed and the laundry going, I can start to wonder…
Where is the greatness?
Could it be that the greatness is there, in those days that are not about us? The days when we don’t get a chance to look in the mirror or put on clean clothes? Slowly (and painfully) being stripped away of our selfishness, making more of Him and less of us– choosing over and over again to lay down our lives for the sake of someone else.
Could it be that the Lord is using this mothering journey to reveal the icky dark parts of our hearts? Bringing our idol of self-love into the light, revealing how self absorbed we really are.
What if He is using this mothering business to increase our love for others, over love for ourselves? Growing our ability to love, give and serve through the constant dying of self. Could it be that the greatness of motherhood is found in the hardness of it? The pure exhaustion and hardships pushing us to love deeper than ever before. That as we feed and cloth and care for our demanding, disobedient and ungrateful children the Lord is doing a mighty work in us, bringing it to completion.
And just maybe, this journey of raising children was meant to push us to our limits and stretch our souls more than ever, to draw us near to Him, to see His love in a great light, like never before. Like He’s using these children to lead us to days with no answers, no energy, to breaking points that only He can handle. And through it all He leads us to live in deeper trust, deeper love and deeper relationship with Himself; Our creator and redeemer, the only one who can calm our fears, relieve our anxieties, and renew our strength. He alone is our hope and reward amidst the insanity.
So maybe, the greatness of motherhood is only revealed through Christ’s love for us. The greatness is found when we run to Him, so let’s stay in our running shoes!
His love too huge, too intense, too incredible to leave is where we’re at. His love too zealous to leave us trusting on ourselves. Motherhood pushes us to desperate dependence on His grace, leading us to experience the depth of His great love.
Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
[1 Thessalonians 3:11-13]
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. [Philippians 1:6]
He must increase, but I must decrease. [John 3:30]