Sometimes I feel like I am the only thing holding the world together. My world is small. About the size of my house. But within this tiny domain, I reign as one of two ruling monarchs (I'm the Queen). But I also moonlight as the scullery maid, so it's not all crowns and silk.
I do the dishes. I wash the floors. I nap the babies. I pick up, haul, schedule, list, change, and regulate in many different ways and sometimes on an hourly basis.
I make no money. I do make happy memories, fun messes and a lot of life discoveries.
On top of the tangible drudgery, I do a lot of emotional and mental work. I set the mood of the house. I support my husband, not only physically but emotionally as well. Daily I am teaching my small humans how to manage their own temperaments. And there is the delicate transaction that is responding to a tantrum in just the right way. I try to deescalate it by methods that not only teach my son how to better manage his emotions but to cope in a way that leaves the glass “half full” instead of “tipped over shattered on the floor” for the rest of the evening. If you have a toddler you will know of what I speak.
Today I was sitting exhausted in my recliner chair watching my non-napping one year old dump out a box of toys and feeling very out of touch with my world. The dishes were half done, Becky (the one year old) was wearing only one sock and my son (3.5) was whining for me to get up and retrieve a puzzle for him. All I wanted was a hot pot of tea and a nap and some quiet.
All of a sudden I remembered a book a friend had given to me when I was researching homeschooling. You see, I wasn't home-schooled and I was dealing with defeating thoughts that I couldn't do it. She gave me this book called “Teaching From Rest” that I still need to read (it's on my shelf, next to more Charlotte Mason books). But it was just the reminder I needed at this moment. Because yes, I do want to home-school from a place of rest and peace. But more than that—I want to parent from a place of rest and peace! I want the peace of God to just envelope my whole life and become my foundation so that it springs out of the wellspring of my heart. I need Parenting for Rest and Peace, the book. If such a book exists.
'For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,'declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” ~Isaiah 41:13-14
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” ~Psalm 91:1-16
I also need to stop living like I hold any part of this world together. Jesus is the only one who holds the world together. He is supposed to be my strength. And he is the glue that fastens everything. In him I rest and only by his strength and by his mercy do I accomplish a task. One of the reasons I get so run down and tired is that I try and rely on my own willpower. This is a lie. I am who I am only by the grace of God.
Jesus holds motherhood together. He created it for His Glory. Motherhood is not about what I want, or what I envision for my kids or my family now or in the future. It's for one thing and one thing only: the Glory of God. And I don't know what that looks like but I do know what it does not look like. It's not me whining. It's not me giving up. It's not me carrying the weight of lists and toiling alone.
It is me, day after day working in abject surrender to Christ and his will. No matter what comes my way.
So stay strong, sweet mom, strong in his word, strong in his presence and point those little ones to Christ.