I haven’t written a post in a while because often when I feel I have a complete thought, epiphany, or turning point to share.
Instead, this journey of motherhood has left me feeling like I have been traveling through fog. Sometimes it’s really dense and I can’t see more than two feet in front of me, other times the light burns through and my visibility is clearer and I can see the purpose and feel meaning behind the events that happen. So I write for myself more than those who may read this, although I hope my honesty will not paint the picture I am in a ditch or in a van down by the river, although those both sound quite peaceful these days 😉
Here’s the thing: I know God is moving in this stage of my life. I know he is molding and making me into a better person, a less selfish person. He is deepening my need for him each and every day that I take care of two tiny humans while trying to remain human.
Yet many days life as a mom feels straight up messy. I feel fragile one minute and fearless the next. I constantly feel on the verge of just losing my shit, ironically just a few moments after I feel I have it all back together.
When it’s a clear day with the sun shining all of this it sounds dramatic and silly, especially with how incredible my life truly is. But around and in between the the nice smiling Instagram photos are real moments like these:
Crying. All. The. Time.
When I am driving, when we are eating, when I am cooking, when I am trying to do the dishes, when I am trying to sneak and take a shower, when my head has finally hit the pillow, before trying to leave for work, just before I have taken the first sip of coffee in the morning, or even the moment I decide I just need 5 minutes to pee.
Looking back on these pictures, I can’t even recall why my children are crying. It probably is because I wanted to sit my daughter on the floor to play with toys and she wouldn’t detach. Or that I removed a choking hazard from her hand that she was trying to eat, or one of them was sick, or that I asked my son to wear “real pants” (aka any clothes that are not pajamas).
When these moments are over, I can laugh at them and even think they were so dramatic that they are actually cute. But in the moment, I feel like a dense fog has settled in. I can’t see anything good in it and ironically all of this crying makes me want to cry and feel overwhelmed at the smallest things.
Out of frustration. Out of being tired. Out of feeling stuck in the monotony of feeling no forward momentum. From feeling like I can’t quite do what I want or even need to do. From the guilt that arises from knowing often I just want to escape or take a break, or lay down and take a long nap.
And if I can escape the crying or catch a bit of a reprieve, I am often weary from trying to beat down the physical messes that make me feel like life is a little off the rails and can make the fog even more dense in my mind:
I often wonder the point of this particular phase of my life in God’s larger plan. If God wants to use me, doesn’t he have something bigger and better in mind than wiping snotty noses, cleaning toys up only for them to be pulled out again, loading and unloading the dishwasher multiple times a day, being a walking sleep deprived zombie, or making dinner that my toddler won’t eat?
Yet, as I read scripture, I come across Hebrews 11 and 12. It reminds me of how countless faithful men and women trusted God even when they didn’t understand what he was up to. How they trusted he had a greater plan. How they often roamed in deserts, waited for a promise land, as they looked toward a future hope.
These chapters also call us to “not grow faint or weary”, to “lay aside every weight and sin” and to “look to Jesus the founder and perfector of our faith”.
It reminds us that whatever we are enduring in the moment – is for our discipline and because we are loved. Like a good father, God disciplines us like his own children, with the purpose of growing us into who we are meant to be and to bring glory to him. In the moment discipline always feels bad (for the parent and the child) but we all know that it is intended for the good of the child.
So – what if the frustrations I feel with my children are what God is using to make me less of a child? What if these daily trials are used to grow and mature me in ways that giving me what I want would never be able to do? What if serving my children day in and day out produces a new kind of humility or is expanding my capacity in ways that binge watching T V shows never could bring?
See, even if I don’t feel like God is being good in these messy moments, I need to remember who he is. When the fog feels dense, I need to study the word and anchor my heart to its truth. I need to preach to myself daily, hourly, and each minute of the day to let God’s light shine through and see his goodness all around me. I need to learn to rejoice in these moments, for the fact they can show me more about myself and help me become who I am meant to be.
Praise God he isn’t going to let me be the same, and that he claims to be the founder and perfector of my faith. With these truths I can be certain that he will use all of this for his glory, somehow, some way.