Thursday, February 26, 2015

Motherhood musings

I read this encouraging blog post about the trials of motherhood. I especially liked this "God doesn’t command us to enjoy the challenges of motherhood, but he wants us to find joy in the midst of mothering. Our heavenly Father scatters his goodness and mercies throughout the most difficult of mothering days (Ps. 23:6)."

So often I think I must be the only mother in the world who struggles with this. The exhaustion, the feeling constantly behind and overwhelmed. Just a morning scroll through Instagram can show me that other mothers are enjoying a homemade breakfast with their kids or a lovely stroll through a park while I've had the girls in the bathtub for 45 minutes just so I can keep the mess contained. Not exactly a Kodak moment. Everywhere there are beautifully designed, clean houses. Beautiful, dressed, clean children. Beautiful, put-together, clean mothers.

I do what I can to be realistic in what I share with the world but sometimes I fall into the trap of wanting to be the one with the beautiful moment perfectly captured that everyone else is in awe of. And then the Lord humbles me. Throw in a toddler tantrum or a baby in a walker who just emptied a bag of tortilla chips and then rolled over them and I'm put in my place -- under His grace. Constantly in need of His grace, really.

I find it encouraging though... I'm not commanded to enjoy the struggles. God doesn't want us to be some hypocritical, masochistic followers. He wants us to FIND the joy in the trials. Find the blessings that He showers on us. Find the moments where your babies curl up in your lap and are still for 10 minutes while you read a story and you realize, it's fleeting. You don't have to enjoy cleaning up spilled cereal for the umpteenth time but you do have to be joyful that God has given you a healthy toddler who can make messes, or a job for your husband so he can provide simple luxuries like cereal and milk, or a home that you can maintain and make a welcoming place for your family.

The other day Brian got home after working a 20-hour day and the first thing he noticed was that I had cleaned. It wasn't much, just generally tidying up and making sure there weren't toy booby traps all over the floor. But the point is that I think I set this really high standard for myself and I'm trying to impress all the moms of the internet instead of just doing what I need to, to take care of my own family and their needs.

I don't know if this post really has a point. I'm just spilling my heart right now. I was overwhelmed and then reminded that God gives us enough grace for today. He is good. He is merciful. I have to remember that when I'm doing the small, tedious tasks that make me want to run screaming from the house.

And in case you haven't seen this, totally accurate in this house.