I see them looking at me. Every move I make watching and learning. The pressure begins to build from anxiety to anger to rage. As their fun becomes louder and the mess becomes larger I hear that voice, "You weren't cut out for this".
As the days progress into weeks my children begin to mirror my mood. They smile less and seem on edge. Knowing their mommy's mood could change from one of fatigue to one of temper. The voice is deafening now, "You have failed! You can't do this! You will only be known as a mom! They will only remember the bad times! They will adopt your horrible seeds of doubt, rage, discouragement, hopelessness!"
I fall to my knees, tears welling up inside and flowing freely down my face. What will my children think? That I am a baby? That I am weak? That they are the reason for my tears? Ever so gently I feel little hands and little arms embrace me. Soft little kisses and whispers saying, "Mommy don't cry, we love you".
As I embrace the love radiating from these miracles I carried in my womb I allow God to speak through them. No yelling, no guilt, no reprimands, just gentle whispers of admiration.
From that point on I declare war on the devil. For what he tried to take from me. For the lies he yelled to me. I go to my knees in battle, not just for my sake but for my children. I show them how to fight with the greatest weapon we have. Prayer. I allow God to show me who I am. A mother yes, but also a warrior, a teacher, a doctor, a cook, a comforter, and above all else a servant like Christ. They watch me fight this battle. They watch me win as time goes on. Their smiles return and they are carefree around me. Their is lots of laughter in the house and dancing too!
As I tuck them into bed at night, tired from a day of serving out of love, I kiss them and as I do, breathe in their sweet childlike scent. As I close their doors a peace washes over me. I have won, I have won back my motherhood.
How I wish I could tell the mothers reading this that this excerpt is a key that once you discover it the door will always stay open. But we live in a broken world and the devil is a lion seeking, always seeking to devour. He sends his demons to make us forget lessons learned. It seems unfair, but in all reality it keeps us coming back to God.
When I wrote this excerpt I was in such a horrible place, things did improve after I wrote it. The Holy Spirit rising up in me to fight for myself and my children. But like all lessons learned, if we start to slack, if we get comfortable with the success… we lose it again. That is what happened. I prayed to God to help me fight and he did. But as things got better and I needed help in other areas I forgot to practice my new found knowledge. I forgot to strive harder to do even better for my kids and myself and became complacent and comfortable. Before I knew what hit me I was back to square one.
I have been on a spiritual journey this year and most of it has been a living nightmare of trying to break down a brick wall… no a cement wall with my head and meeting nothing but resistance. How I wish I had a photographic memory (but only for the spiritual lessons I learn, not all the rest) so that I remembered to never get comfortable where I thought my walk with Christ was. How great would that be to remember every word in the Bible, every Christ like meme, every sermon my pastor taught on?! Right now, my pastor is teaching a series titled “Things I wish Jesus had never said”. Talk about lessons that need to be remembered! These types of sermons have a lesson straight from the mouth of the Holy Spirit and it is weighted with self-evaluation of my soul, out of love, but also out of fear. Fear that as good as I think I am doing I will never come close to hitting the mark. To try and truly accept in my heart that grace is the only possible way I can get to heaven. Spiritual lessons that I want to hold onto with every fiber of my being. But I won’t, I will forget, I will have the notes in my phone and never (more than likely) go back to them when I need them.
Motherhood is so hard. Moms really do have it the hardest in life, we serve like Jesus did and we weep like God does when it comes to our children. But there is one thing (because of our broken world) that we have to endure that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit don’t have to. We have to endure that our imperfectness, our imperfect parenting, our faults and our sins will not only be seen by our children but that our children may adopt them. What a scary thought! But you know what? That is a good, no great thing; because of this imperfectness it allows God to step in and fill the gaps. It allows God to break chains that our children see when we are on our knees begging for help from Him. Begging him to take our rage away, begging him to let us see the beauty in ourselves that he sees, and begging him to help us bring our children to accept Christ.
My daughter was just baptized this past weekend. She is almost 7 and had been contemplating it for about a year now. Wow! When I was 7 I may have gone to church a handful of times but I certainly didn’t love my savior or even understand what it meant to tell the world publicly that I believed. So that is my proof right there, that despite all my short comings, all the times I fail; that by going to God where my children can see it, they are learning about Christ at such a younger age then I did and I am so proud of this new chain that has started. I already had a few people question whether my daughter was really ready to be baptized. Well, for those who know her, they know she is kind of an introvert, so to publicly declare Jesus as her savor in front of a crowd, well you can make up your own mind.
The bottom line is we are going to fail as mothers in our day to day lives. But that does not mean we will fall in the end with our kids. If we go to God constantly in prayer regardless of who is around or where we are, we can succeed at being mothers who helped bring their children to faith! Have you ever noticed that most of the bible is male based? You have Eve, Sarah, Ruth, Esther and Mary but not really too much mention of raising kids, never getting to shower uninterrupted, looking like a train wreck when you are running errands and your child has thrown up all over you, etc. But if you are slow and really read the Word you will see that majority of the men (whether good or evil) are followed by the mention of their mother. Hum, something to ponder over isn’t it? Just as in life today, mothers of the bible were mostly in the background, a one sentence mention and nothing more; but like today we are the nurturers of our children, we have the power given to us by God to help steer our children into the right direction. The mothers of the bible were always there while the kings were off being kings (fighting wars, running their kingdoms, and securing their legacy) which is what they are supposed to do, protect the family. But no matter how good or how horrible a king was, his son could end up being the complete opposite. How is that possible unless the mothers were the biggest influence on the children?
So take heart and receive strength from the One above who loves you. Motherhood is a gift not given to every woman, so cherish it, the victories and the failures because in the end, God willing, will result in being reunited with our children in heaven.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up ~
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth ~
Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it ~