Motherhood is a strange form of masochism.
We continue to do it every day even though it brings about pain and humiliation.
I know some of my readers chuckled a little and thier brains proceeded to justify the horror we live through daily.
“Yes yes, it is so hard, but it’s so very worth it when they smile/laugh/hug me/etc.”
Let’s talk about the hard seasons though, can we?
The ones where every day with our toddler is a fight.
The ones where our 7 year old says “you say no every time! I never get to do anything fun. I hate you.”
Or maybe the ones where our teenagers say “mom you’re so boring. Why can’t you be more like so-and-so’s mom”
(Let’s take a pause. Do not discredit me for my eldest being 4. It was not long ago I was the ungrateful teenager above. 6 years ago. My memory is still sharp.)
Now I’m on the mommy end. Now I lay in bed at the end of each day, staring at my ceiling, going over and over the plays of the day. I think to myself, tomorrow. I will be different tomorrow. I will not yell. We will peacefully enjoy each waking moment of family life.
You too? Something about those quiet, dark moments while we plead for sleep to come. We sit and think up all of the ways we’ll be better tomorrow. All of the ways we will be enough for our kids. We’ll make a healthy breakfast and we’ll play with them for hours, building the same incessant block tower. We’ll cuddle and watch movies. We’ll put our phones down when the going gets tough. Most of all, we’ll be enough.
Can I tell you the truth?
We can’t be enough for our kids. We are sinners and they are sinners. We get mad and they get mad. Everybody wants his or her own way. It’s the same lesson I teach my toddlers. Every time you take a toy, someone else is doing without. There is never a winner. And the fact of the matter is, when it’s all about us, someone has to lose, right?
You will never be enough.
Before you hurry out of this screen, there is hope.
What if we stopped trying to be enough and gave it all to God?
I thought I understood that question a week ago.
It doesn’t say, try your hardest and then God will fill in the rest.
It says “stop trying and give it all to God”
I spent a lot of time and energy going through the motions every day. Breakfast, dishes, pick up, laundry, pick up, lunch, dishes, naps, laundry, pick up, play, dinner, bath, bed, dishes, pick up, trash, maybe shower, and flop onto a bed in pure exhaustion and defeated.
In between all of that I had little patience left to give my children and little time.
I convinced myself that my kids would find God somehow in all of that and He would make up for my failures.
This past week has been a good one for me. I learned my worth and in that, I learned that it isn’t about me and it isn’t about me being enough for anyone else.
The truth is, I am enough for God, and in that, I will be enough for the work He gives me to glorify Him and His kingdom.
My mornings are a little different now. I haven’t had much sleep this week. But then I have seen the sun creep over the mountains each day. The light pours across the wood floors. I see the tiny detail in each plank on the floor and I am reminded.
He took the time on those details.
He took the time on your details.
He took the time on each of my 4 snotty nosed, giggling, tired and sweet babies’ details.
I am reminded that today is not about me.
It is not about my children and whether or not I do enough for them.
Today is about doing God’s work and glorifying Him.
Give it all to God. Before you lift a finger, let Him know that you know that today is His.
Remind yourself your work is for Him. You are serving Him.
When your focus is on serving God and basking in His sacrifice for you and less on serving “ungrateful children who genuinely have no idea what you’ve sacrificed” little things tend to upset you less.
And you are enough to serve Him.
When you know that, the rest will follow.
Does that mean your kids will stop fighting? That your day will go smoothly with no traffic, lots of tips, and no flat tires.
Nowhere does God promise easy, fortune, and the perfect American life.
But He does promise us peace. (Phil. 4:7)
He does promise us strength (Phil. 4:13)
He promises that he’ll never leave us nor forsake (renounce or give up) us. (Deut. 31:6)
I don’t know about you, but for me that sounds like all I need for breakfast to get me through the day.
Peace, strength, and a God who is always with me and will never abandon me.
And He promises us so much more, if we only set aside our selfishness to accept a better eternal future than we could have imagined.