This article: [ http://herviewfromhome.com/when-motherhood-is-absolutely-defeating/ ] popped up on my facebook feed yesterday morning and it so resonated with me!
I’ve been feeling this way so very much, specifically toward one of my children. It could be such an ugly shameful thought for a Mother. But if we bring it to the light, the brokenness becomes a beautiful thing as it reminds us we can’t do anything apart from Grace.
And often for me, I’ve been surprised to learn that half the ladies in the room can relate to those ugly thoughts!, and to realize that actually they are not so much ugly thoughts as they are *super common thoughts* for Moms. Especially Moms of the really little ones! And more than that, an opportunity to know in a fresh way how much we need the Gospel.
So, that’s been a continual lesson in Motherhood for me, and even more so with having Lyme disease. It’s like everything that was ever hard for me as a Mom before has been made even harder with Lyme–
my relationship with my oldest child is among those things.
But I want to share a story about how God brought sweetness there yesterday, because I want to write it all down before I forget.
So, yesterday was the 4th of July. I woke up rather grumpy, as I’ve been feeling sick again lately, and I’m one week into my second month’s round of antibiotics, which I hoped and prayed I wouldn’t need.
This summer, my children are living a lifestyle of having a Mommy who can’t always get to their needs right away. There are alot of tantrums and alot of not so pretty moments– both from them, and from me! There’s alot of screen time and alot of piles of unfolded laundry. The sun is shining and it’s beautiful out, and we’re inside more often than not. It’s been especially hard recently for my almost 5 year old.
I listed all my worries and (faithless) concerns to my husband yesterday morning. I went on about how all my friends keep telling me God will use this time in the girl’s life for good, but! it’s hard to see how 3 movies a day and an often tired, often joyless Mama can bear any good fruit!
We’ve been getting into the habit of eating all our meals at our kitchen counter, which is quick and easy, instead of the table- which is never how I wanted our family to live. I want us to be a family who eats meals together around a table and enjoys eachother’s company! But there’s not been much enjoying of eachother’s company these days. And Emmylou, how I so want to have a strong relationship with her, but I feel so ill-equipped for her and her passionate personality most days!
Bron listened ,and then he let me sleep in a little more while he made breakfast for the girls.
He woke me up a little later and said breakfast was ready ::in the dining room::. I wanted to be cranky…but, I couldn’t when I saw his sweet effort to bless his cranky wife.
So, I joined him and the girls around the table. He prayed and the girls
fought over who got to pray first prayed. We ate our food, and then Bron asked “So, are you gonna go to Crossfit?” There was a special 9am workout for the holiday, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go. I thought it was obvious that I shouldn’t! I wasn’t feeling good, physically or mentally! But often Crossfit helps me with both of those things, he reminded me.
Also, it would be nice to get out of the house… so, I had 10 minutes to decide, and… I got ready to go! Both girls yammered on about how they want to come too, and somehow got the idea that they were coming with me.
As I headed toward the garage, I heard the familiar dramatic cry of my 4yo, who thought she would get to come! For some reason, I had compassion on her, instead of being annoyed by the whining. And even though one of the main reasons I was going was to get some alone time(!) , I agreed she could come. Bron said he’d distract Sadie. 🙂
Emmy wiped her tears, and ran upstairs. She quickly emerged triumphant in her way-too-big green soccer shorts, and her Hello Kitty sneakers. She asked me to put her hair up in a bun like mine. I immediately saw Grace in the fact that even though I’ve been so hard on her lately, she still wanted to be just like her Mommy. How could I resist?
When we got there, the gym was super full since it was the only workout of the day. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea that I brought her! The music was loud of course, which she doesn’t prefer, and she wouldn’t be able to hear the iPad I had brought just in case. But Emmy didn’t seem to mind. I got her comfortable with her notebook and pen, and told her she could watch me from the couch.
The workout began and I glanced over at her every few seconds, but she was pretty into her drawing everytime I looked. I figured with the loud music and all the commotion, she would just be in her own little world the whole time, and would probably never want to come again. But at least she finally could see what it was like there.
When I got to the last part of the first round,Thrusters [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aea5BGj9a8Y ], my bar was a few yards away from her, facing her direction. I squatted down with the weight, kind of having second thoughts as to whether it was wise I was working out so hard when I haven’t been feeling well! As I stood up and pressed the weight overhead, [picture an epic and strong (but not so epic/strong) lady holding big weighted bar over her head] I saw the sweetest thing. In the midst of the loud, cramped gym, full of all these people who are stronger and faster than me, I saw Emmylou.
She jumped down from the little couch & her pen and paper,
and stood up to give me TWO BIG THUMBS UP!
-with the biggest smile on her face- ,
looking me right in the eye as I pressed the weight up.
She had her eyes right on me, and she was cheering me on. She was so proud of me!! She didn’t care who saw her doing it! I am fighting tears as I type, because it was just such an encouragement to me in this current season. I never want to forget those two little thumbs up!
Emmy was so proud of me, even though I’d truly been feeling like I’m failing her so much as a Mom. She wasn’t harboring any bitterness about me in the last few days, she probably doesn’t even remember! She certainly doesn’t understand how much I wish I was doing a better job! She’s just a little 4 year old girl,
and she was jumping up and down with her little thumbs up,
and her messy bun,
and favorite big soccer shorts,
proud of me, and happy to call me her Mommy.
I gotta say I felt fresh strength to keep pressing that weight overheard as she watched me, with such sweet, pure little-girl joy and excitement. 🙂
I was so close to not even taking her! And I would have missed that sweet moment that was such a picture of God’s grace to me and to my family in this season; His care for me and His care for my children.
Her cheering me on was a gift to me. A timely reminder that we’re okay, our relationship is not destroyed by a few hard days in a row. God’s grace is there. Love covers a multitude of sins.
But I also was reminded that being strong for her, in my weakness, that’s a gift to her too. And by God’s grace I can keep giving her that gift each day, pushing through the pain of this current season, and showing her what it is to trust God in trials.
I can’t help but wonder if what made my little girl so proud of me at that moment was that fact that she’s seen me on the couch all week. She could sense the significance of me being able to do something difficult even though I’m sick.
If she is almost 5, and able to rejoice with me, and cheer me on now,
I can have hope that when she’s 10 and 15 and 20,
she’ll rejoice with me too. As life goes on, and brings more trials and joys, she’ll see my weakness more and more. And may she see God’s goodness more and more.
And before too long, I’ll have the privilege to cheer her on and rejoice with her as God uses her weaknesses and trials for her good and His glory.
She followed me for the rest of the workout , weaving through all the strong & sweaty people, snapping her fingers (she’s very proud of herself that she knows how to snap her fingers) to the loud music, and doing a couple push-ups of her own every now and then.
I got home, and showered, and we got ready for more 4th of July festivities, and there was sweetness between me and my daughter where there is usually strain.
God used that time I took Emmy to Crossfit to make our relationship stronger, and I hope I never forget!
Ladies out there, if you are feeling weak as a Mom, be encouraged. Remember that God uses our weakness for His glory. I’m sure your children are more proud of you than you can imagine! Just in a similar way that God is more pleased with us than we can imagine, dare I say. He uses our children’s unconditional love, despite how we fail them again and again, to remind us of His. And He’s cheering us on.