{moments in mothering}

there’s times I feel like I can’t keep up as a mom –
especially with the big age gap between all my kids.
I feel like Gumby, the green stretch man most days..
tugged and pulled in all directions.

major life decisions being made with the oldest.
while still helping the youngest brush (all) her teeth before bed.
and every extreme between!

there’s days of getting it all pretty right.
and days of getting most of it wrong.
on Monday, after a crazy weekend,
and looking at an even crazier week,
I was feeling so overwhelmed.
how could I do it all?
but most importantly, BE all I needed to be?
mainly to the people in my own home.
I found myself praying, “Lord, give me moments.”
one on one connection.
quality time.
sensitivity to what they need.
patience to put them first.

I felt acutely aware of my prayer last night..
after a crazy day of running non-stop.
getting home at ten.
then sitting in the driveway answering texts and messages,
when all of a sudden the back car door opens.
I hadn’t even seen her dash out.
my littlest in her night shirt. no pants. only underwear.
looking for the books we’d bought earlier at the book fair after school.

“mom.. can we read now?”

I start to say, it’s late. you need to go to bed. you’re only in your underwear!
but I hear that prayer for moments in my head. so I nod.
I stay in the front seat where I am and she in hers behind me as she begins.
it’s a long process as those of you with beginner readers know.
and I turn to tell her words and close my eyes a few times asking again
for patience to put her first over my tiredness.
and finally when she’s done one, there’s a second one..
that of course has to be read too.
so I nod again.
and think how these haven’t always been the choices of my younger mom years.
but I wish they had been.
so I try to relax and remember this is the stuff that matters.
and then, 30-minutes-to-read-6-pages later!!
she slaps it shut and says she’s going in, calling as she jumps out –

“I’ll have to run cause it’s raining..”
and halfway up the driveway I hear,
“AND I’M IN MY UNDERWEAR, YA KNOW!!!!!!”

(a little clip from our late night reading sesh in the car)

moms.. if you’re feeling that you’re under the waves more than you’re
on top of them lately – pray for moments.

sure, we’re going to mess up.
we’re going to get it wrong.
some days they’ll watch more tv shows than they should.
eat mac n cheese for dinner.
and not even brush their teeth before bed.
you’ll feel you’re totally screwing up.
there’s one that’s falling through the cracks.
that maybe you can’t get through to.
or you haven’t connected with in awhile.

it’s easy to spazz in those times.
to jump into control mode and force things.
but often that only leaves us more overwhelmed.
I’ve learned, and am still, to give myself grace..
and “give” isn’t necessarily the right word.
TAKE the grace God provides.
it’s nothing I do and all what He’s already done!
and that thought makes me sink into rest vs. despair..
which we tend to do as moms.
feel like a failure.
like we can’t do it all.
and yes, we can’t always.
life gets busy.
we get tired. grumpy.
but that’s the beauty of grace. it always arrives fresh. every morning.
I love the quote that says, “courage doesn’t always roar…
sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says
I’ll try again tomorrow.”

praise God for tomorrows!

so, maybe there weren’t really any great dinners this week.
or grand adventures.
but there were some sweet times tucked in among all the crazy.
like the one in the driveway, in the rain, listening to a little reader stumble through her words.

those are the things our kids will remember one day.
those are the things they’ll hold on to.

Children are not a distraction from more important work.
They ARE the most important work. – C.S. Lewis