Naptime was beginning and could not be more welcome. It had been a long day and I was exhausted. My teapot steamed to a whistle. I had the next hour and a half all planned out… work on a few art prints while listening to Bonhoeffer, clean the kitchen, pack for a trip.
I poured my tea and sat down. Then my heart sank. I heard my youngest crying out. Apparently he’d awoken after about 30 minutes, not long enough for a nap, but potentially long enough to trick him into thinking he was rested and it was time to play. Frustrated, I quickly walked back to the room to try and rock him back to sleep.
Please please please go back to sleep. I won’t make it through the rest of the day if I can’t have a few minutes to myself.
I was tempted to do just enough to get him back to sleep, to rush it in a frustrated hurry. I prayed for sleep to come. But as he squirmed and whined in my arms I accepted the fact that naptime might be over and all my plans were changed.
As we rocked I thought about embracing the moments with my little ones, and how I want to so badly but sometimes it’s so hard.
I’m not complaining about the “trials” of motherhood. I love this job with a passion and signed up for all it entails. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m talking about the deeper heart issues that easily surface in the demands of this work. My sin, rooted in selfishness, is so quickly visible.
In a moment of grace in the rocking chair I remember a few things (though in scattered thoughts- not neatly organized with bolded text):
Hard work is a good thing. It’s good to be stretched beyond my limits, to feel exhausted, to feel like I don’t have what it takes. Because I don’t. I’ve never in my life called on God for help as much as I have in the last 3 years as a mother. I think this is a very good place to be.
Comfort does not usually produce change. I pray for God to change my heart and character all the time to make me more like Christ. I know change almost always comes through stretching and difficulty, yet I still resist it.
My time is not my own. It is a gift. I’m in charge of stewarding it well, and being open to God’s leading. I tend to make an idol of the coveted “me time” and then fall apart when it’s interrupted. But then, the reminder – It’s all His. It’s a gift.
In His presence is fullness of joy. No matter where I am, what I’m facing, I’m given the potential for fullness of joy in God’s presence. Amazing. Invite the glorious into the mundane. Give thanks.
My precious boy did go back to sleep that day, though of course that’s not always how the story ends. But despite the ease or difficulty of our days, the Lord is constant in love and overflowing in grace. When I’m almost undone, He’s my strength time and time again.