I sat there straining to hear a video I was looking forward to watching, over the shrieks of my exuberant children. This wasn’t the first time I’d tried to concentrate while being painfully aware that it was pointless, because whatever I was trying to accomplish would be trumped by the urgent needs of two small humans.
“Mommy, I need more toilet paper!” and “Mommy, there’s a bug crawling on the floor!” are just two of the infinite interruptions I met with while writing this post.
But something was different that day. As I sat there at the computer, I felt something inside me just rip. It was a strange mixture of annoyance, resolve, and desperation.
At that exact moment, I felt the urge to slam the MacBook shut, grab my car keys… and drive away. God reminded me that I needed more than just a tall cup of coffee to get through that day.
Mothering drives me to my knees more often than I want it to. Nothing exposes the raw, ugly weaknesses of my flesh more.
For those of us who have been called to this crazy, simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating ride of motherhood, there is no step by step instruction guide. There is no perfect formula.
There is only stepping out in faith, little by little, trusting that the Lord will guide us among the pitfalls of anger, frustration, and self-reliance.
There is that nagging paradox we face each day that while we’re responsible for everything, we are in fact responsible for nothing. We pour out ourselves daily, continually, because we need to, we want to.
God help us, we love these tiny terrorists in our homes. We know there are no guarantees.
But this is where we meet our Creator.
He is weaving a story to us of who He is. Of how He loves. Of His own desperation to connect with us and to be understood.
Here are 5 ways God speaks to us through our kids and uses them to teach us about Him:
1. When they are wasteful and careless with possessions.
Gobs of toothpaste in the sink, anyone else? Dealing with my children’s wastefulness gives me a glimpse of how God feels when I squander my talents and am ungrateful for His blessings.
2. When they are mean spirited towards each other and unwilling to share.
This leads me to understand how broken hearted the Father is over people’s sins that divide them from one another.
3. When they don’t heed our warnings.
When they stubbornly go their own way, it pains me to discipline them even though I know it’s for their own good. In this way, I grasp His desire for me to trust Him.
4. When they aren’t appreciative.
Pouring myself out daily for their needs and not receiving so much as a thank you, I see God’s unconditional love for me… even though I am willful and reject that love sometimes.
5. When they pray.
Hearing my children talk to God, I’m convicted that a simple, honest and heartfelt prayer is better than big, flowery words or a sacrifice. It reminds me that all He really wants from me is my heart.
From everything to failing at breastfeeding to struggling through issues of disobedience, these have exposed my imperfections and utter necessity for a Savior.
I’ve learned more about Him during the last 8 years of mothering than I have in the previous 11 of being a Christian. The beauty of not knowing what you’re doing is that you cling to the One who does know.
Mothering is not only about parenting, but also about allowing its work to refine me.
He wastes nothing. All these heartbreaking, frustrating, and also joyful things that make up my experience of mothering lead to sanctification.
Selflessness. Compassion. Gentleness. Patience.
Though they are not old enough yet to drive, vote, or stay home by themselves, my children are being used by God to change ME.
These years of carefully tending my children are doing more, I think, to water my own soul. My kids may not appreciate my sacrifices as they’re growing up (or ever), but I have grown in the Lord during this time I’ve spent as a mama.
All those days painstakingly correcting behavior and instilling character, all those days of cultivating a heart for Jesus, all those long nights rocking and praying. They are the many moments that strengthen us and draw us closer to the Lord.
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
All those moments we endure with and alongside our children bring about much of the work our Heavenly Father wants to complete in us. Our journey of motherhood reveals a God who would do anything to be close to us, helpless and needy as we are.