You know those days where you turn around and take a look at where you’ve been and realize that in spite of all your flaws that you’re coming along nicely? Yesterday was one of “those days” for me.
A Flashback: On my 25th birthday I behaved like an absolute brat. I thought that the day should revolve around me and when my husband asked me to spend part of my day running errands for his youth pastor job I flipped out.
“You want me to return bottles, on my birthday? I thought today was supposed to be about what I WANTED to do, not about your youth group pop cans.” Then I spent the rest of the afternoon being crabby and rude.
I know… shameful, I’d like to go back in time and smack that girl.
Motherhood has changed a lot of things about me, I now kill most smallish bugs on my own without fear. I couldn’t sleep in to save my life and I drive a mini-van and I like it. I’ve also developed a tragic addiction to sports bras and yoga pants but I try very hard to keep that behind closed doors.
I now spend most of my day doing things and thinking thoughts that revolve around others. With a husband and two little ones to love it’s not really an option to make Mother’s Day, my Birthday or any other day “all about me.”
I actually have more of the opposite problem and yesterday as I lay in bed listening to the squealing and clattering of Kel and the kids making breakfast I had to force made my muscles to relax. “The world will go on without my intervention, yes even in the morning.”
I finally rolled out of bed at the shamefully late hour of 7:40… (we get up early here)
My Mother’s Day was breezy and relatively fuss-free. The most complicated part of the whole day were the blackberry waffles Kel made me in the morning. There were no linens or fresh flowers on the table. But there were kids screaming for more syrup and steeling my bacon and you know what? It was just right, I breathed in the chaos with thankfulness. This is my life, these are the people celebrating my motherhood and this is how they do it, and I love them, so I love this.
Was it the mother’s day I imagined pre-kids? Oh heck no, but it was everything I never knew I always wanted, china white plates next to sippy cups, my life always intertwining with theirs.
We had fresco tacos (takeout) for lunch and Chinese chicken broccoli with friends for dinner (takeout again!). We know better than to tempt fate with a 1 & 2 yr old in a busy restaurant on Mother’s day.
Because my husband is in a crazy busy season, I was the one who did all the dishes and the mopping complete with 3 loads of laundry after bedtime. Not once did my inner diva come out to play and demand to know why she was the dish doer and laundress on a day centered around mothers. My heart for my family is getting in line with God’s constant call to forget about myself.
Motherhood has made the phrase “die to yourself” come alive in the form of a brown eyed girl and a blue eyed boy who have taken my life by storm.
Every morning when I wake up and lists for the day, the things I’d like to do don’t make top ten. I’d like to do some cleaning and organizing, maybe a bit of writing and reading during a long afternoon nap time. Instead my list involves folding little shirts and dishing out apple sauce, warming milk in the microwave and changing over a dozen diapers. We go to the library and the park, the splash pad and the WalMart, when they’re healthy happy my world is at peace.
For a long time each morning I would scream inwardly: “Doesn’t anyone care what I want today?!” I used to DO things and GO places! I used to THINK thoughts and FINISH sentences!
I lived in a state of stress and frustration when I allowed those thoughts to dominate my brain space.
What I’ve learned about loving well, especially loving young children, is that you have to approach things with a “What’s the best thing for those I love” mindset. That doesn’t look anything like the life I used to live. But, as I learn to die to myself, the happiness I derive from setting my kids up for a great day brings me deep satisfaction and joy.
Many a mother’s prayer looks something like this: God please keep me patient and sane today, help me to respond with grace and love when I want to scream. Give me eyes to see the moments where I can show them your hand in our world. Fill my mouth with words that will indicate the trust I have in you so they believe deeply that they are fully alive in their Father’s world. When I start to feel selfish, redirect my heart with your gentle teaching… and if they could nap for at least two hours at the same time that would be the icing on the cake. Amen.
Motherhood has rocked me and changed me, disassembled me and put me back together a different, stronger woman and I find myself thankful for this rebuilding.