Messy Motherhood

“Being a parent is like folding a fitted sheet. Nobody really knows how to do it properly, we all just wing it.” Posted by: Me.Me – Mum’s grapevine

When folding a fitted sheet my brain says: “I’ll match the corners and then fold here, then here and it’ll be great…….oh it doesn’t matter! It’s clean and it’s in the shelf!”. When it comes to parenting, I have to remind myself: “I love them, they’re alive, so I’m doing great!”.

Having 2 kids 20 months apart was pretty full on to say the least. It was one of the most physically, emotionally and mentally challenging seasons of my life. The chores were unending and constantly overwhelming. The lack of sleep was soul destroying. The constant demands threatened my sanity!

“Parenting is logically complicated, theologically enlightening, and sometimes a bit psychologically destroying.” Ann Voskamp states in her book ‘The Broken Way’.

My dream of being a mum had come true but it was far from the fairy-tale existence I had dreamt up! Others around me made it seem so easy. There is a term so widely used: “you’re such a natural at this!” and I felt far from that! Somehow God did give me the instincts I needed for each child. They were very different right from the start so what had worked for my first child did not always work for my second. It was a constant game of guess and elimination. This ‘game’ continues and escalates into the teen years!

“Motherhood is a daily decision to paint the ordinary moments of our days with the extraordinary love of Christ.” Alicia Bruxvoort

Love is seen in the trying:

  • Trying to say the right things, but feeling like I’ve said too little or too much.
  • Trying to finish work early for that sporting event, but arriving just moments too late.
  • Trying to stay awake to make sure they arrive home safe, but desperately longing for sleep.
  • Trying to cook a meal, but longing to sit on the couch and cry.

But what if the ‘not enough’ is just a lie? AND in fact our efforts, when combined with what God can do, are more than enough!!!!

“Remember: even the smallest drop of God’s strength is more than enough to cover our frailties, our shortcomings, and the places where we deem ourselves weak.” Lysa TerKeurst

What if this is really what love is and looks like:

“Real love dares you to the really dangerous: die in the diminutive. Be broken and given in the small, the moments so small no one may applaud at all. Pour out your life in the laundry rooms and over toilets and tubs, pour out life on the back streets, in the back of the room, back behind the big lights. Pour out your life in small moments – because it’s only these moments that add up to the monumental. The only way to live a truly remarkable life is not to get everyone to notice you, but to leave noticeable marks of His love everywhere you go.” Ann Voskamp

In the tough times I’m constantly reminding myself that my kids are an awesome gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him; they are God’s love-gift; they are heaven’s generous reward. Happy will be the couple who has many of them! Children are like arrows in a warrior’s hands, how joyful is the man whose quiver is full! Your children will have influence and honour to prevail on your behalf so you will never be put to shame!   Psalm 127:3-5 (New Living Translation and The Passion Translation paraphrased)

“He offers me grace, everyday grace, to fill in the gaps of my failures.” Leigh Ann Dutton

Would I change any of those heart-in-my-throat days? In a heartbeat, I’d go back and correct all that I’d done wrong. But I can’t. What I can do is ask for forgiveness for my failings and trust that God’s amazing grace can heal every wrong! I can learn from the past and press forward stronger and wiser than before. Daily seeking God to make me the mother my kids need for this day; this season; this challenge…..
I can rejoice in the now! Truly live the moment and embrace all the goodness it brings.

“The thread of your life becomes a tapestry of abundant colors only if it ties itself to other lives. The only way to strengthen the fabric of society is to let threads of your life break away to let Christ, who is in us, weave around other threads.” Ann Voskamp

My life can become a beautiful tapestry as I weave my life into my family. As we interweave our lives a beautiful family tapestry unfolds!

I’m no longer holding to the label good or bad, instead I’m holding to being an ENDEAVOUR MUM – I’m committed to doing the very best I possibly can, trusting God’s love is big enough to change me; trusting God’s grace is big enough to fill the gaps; and trusting God’s strength is more than enough!

“Real love is in the really small gestures – the way your hands, your feet, move to speak your heart. The way you slow and look right into the eyes of a child every time she speaks so they feel seen and known and safe.” Ann Voskamp

“If you are a mother of any kind, then you are a leader, so wield your influence well.” Sharon Hodde Miller

To my mum and mother-in-law THANK YOU for investing in me! For my grandmothers who are in heaven I am so grateful for the legacy you have left behind. To my sisters, aunts and friends who constantly inspire me to be the mum God wants me to be – THANK YOU!!!

To all the mums out there I say “you’re doing a great job, keep at it!”.

Have a truly special Mother’s Day!

Many, many blessings!

Leigh Ann Dutton’s Motherhood blog

‘The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into the Abundant Life’ by Ann Voskamp – Koorong link

This song has a mini motherhood testimony, enjoy: ‘The Pressure’s Off’ (spontaneous) – Melissa Helser -Bethel Music – YouTube clip

A few power ballads seem appropriate: ‘A Mother’s Love’ – Jim Brickman – YouTube Lyrics clip

‘Mama’ – Spice Girls – YouTube clip

I Turn To You – Christina Aguilera – YouTube clip

 

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