Most of March, I have been working like a crazy person to get ready to sell our house, prepare to be a grandmother
, and keep my family feeling loved and cared for. Unfortunately, my battle with chronic pain
doesn’t go away with this flutter of activity…it gets worse. I take more meds and try to ignore it until BAM…it knocks me flat and I have no choice but to rest until I am somewhat restored.
Meds, massage, and rest are about the only things that lessen my pain, but rest doesn’t come naturally for me and it is an acquired skill that I have still not mastered. I love to be busy and anyone that knows me well, learns that even if my body is at rest my brain is still going 100 miles per minute. The mind-muscle connection is a powerful one and unless I can let go of my daily stress then my muscles will never be able to let go of their constant spasms. I have to let go of everything and give it to God. I have to acknowledge that without Him, I can do nothing. I have no strength, but the strength that comes from Him alone.
Mathew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. It not life more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.”
What Mommy did…she read. She read us children’s books for hours–hundreds of them and some of them hundreds of times. “Fritz and the Beautiful Horses” was her favorite children’s book, so we all liked it too. When my brother, Brett, went through his “The Diggingest Dog” phase she read that too…over and over and over again.
A mother to nine, I am pretty sure that she was breastfeeding for the first continuous half of my life and she never did so without a book in her hand. We would all crowd around her and she would read to us. Sometimes she would read us books for us like Laura Ingalls Wilder stories, yet other times she would read to us whatever she happened to be reading whether C.S. Lewis, Tolkein, Victor Hugo…etc. We grew up on classics like “Gone With The Wind”, “Cyrano De Bergerac”, and various Shakespeare. We even got dragged into her “Wyatt Earp phase” when she fell in love with Kevin Costner (much to my Dad’s dismay) and therefore had to learn everything about the famous man whose character he played.
My mommy read and so we all read (not having a tv may have been a factor too). Her passion for reading and love of books has been passed on to me and now my children. I hate spending money, but I am dangerous in a bookstore where I am at home with all the smells, the pages, and the infinite number of books.
Most importantly, she read the Bible. Every night, without fail, she read. When we were supposed to be sleeping, if we peeked into her room she would be reading her Bible. Long after all her chores were done and she collapsed in bed after an exhausting day she read her Bible faithfully. My Mommy read and so now…I read.
Day after day, again and again, the life of a stay at home mom or any mom can be the same exhausting schedule with the irregular extreme gross clean-up situation thrown into the mix every once in a while at the most inconvenient moments. Or, maybe extreme gross clean-up situations are your norm–if you ever stepped into my children’s bathroom (aptly nicknamed the “pee bathroom”) unprepared you might think it is mine.
“Speak only words of kindness! Do you think calling someone a “headband” is very kind?”
“Ehh…gross! Picking your nose and eating your boogers is so disgusting–what is wrong with you?! Go get hand sanitizer.”
“Did you seriously just lick that? What are you chewing on? Is that gum from under that table? Bleh…I think I am going to vomit! Spit it out! Spit it out!”
Phrases like these are repeated in our mom world over and over, again and again. It is an endless cycle that leaves ourselves asking if there will ever be a day when our children will finally understand that making messes require cleaning, that obedience is not an option, and they will magically “get it” and become perfect little angels (like my children already are
Then, I think of how our Heavenly Father must look down at us and think the same thing when we continue to make messes out of His beauty, disobey, and betray Him with our sinfulness. Again and again He forgives us and His faithfulness is never-ending.
Lamentations 3:22-23–“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”