Thursday, May 5, 2016

I need Thee every hour.

There is nothing so conflicting as the emotions of motherhood.

Night after night, you dream of the night when you will not have to wake up to tiny cries, when you can tuck your precious littles into their beds and enjoy a night of restful, unhindered sleep. And yet that same night, when their soft, chubby fingers are curled around your thumb and you feel the soft whispers of their warm breath on your chest as they dream in your arms, your eyes fill with thankful tears. You close them and take in the moment in, hoping to imprint it on your mind forever.

Day after day, you struggle with frustration and impatience with a toddler who seems to choose disobedience at the most inconvenient times. You tire of saying "no" what seems like thousands of times a day, you wish you could have just a few minutes to be alone and to get away from the whining and the tantrums. And yet, when that same toddler lifts up her head to give you an open-mouth, wet, adorable kiss, your heart feels like it will burst because you love her so much! The  just-woke-up, warm snuggles she gives you in the morning when the house is quiet and still make you feel like you could hold her forever and ever.

As the laundry piles up, and the kitchen floor collects sticky spots, and the dinner needs stirring on the stove, you feel the pressures of daily tasks. And yet, besides the building list of items on your to-do list, there is another kind of pressure that comes and goes- the realization that you know your precious toddler and infant won't be little for long. Coloring flowers, finger-painting, and reading Goodnight Moon ten times in a row will soon be things of the past. She's starting to sing "Twinkle, twinkle, Little star" by herself. You're jumping up and down with her and cheering because she went potty like a big girl. Your toddler is growing up and soon her sister will too. Time will not stop. It keeps on going. Sometimes this brings you joy, sometimes sadness. That's the funny thing about being a Mommy- some days you want to fast-forward to a new stage, while at another moment you wish time would just stand still. These are the conflicts motherhood brings.

How can your heart feel such weariness and yet such joy? such impatience and yet such love? such a longing for this season of littles to pass and yet other times when you wish these precious moments would last forever? A longing to just "get through the day," and other times when you reverently soak it all in and enjoy every moment?

If there's one thing I know about motherhood, it is that it changes you. You begin to experience these conflicts. You also experience emotions you had never felt before. You continually feel like you are being stretched beyond what you can bear, and yet there is always more stretching to be done! You see your sin like never before. But you also get the chance to see Jesus like never before. For, if you are one of His children, He is there in the trenches of motherhood with you, molding you to become more like Him. This molding takes many forms- sleepless nights, faithfully and gently taking your toddlers hands in your own and talking with her about obedience while the baby is crying and dinner is about to boil over and you would rather ignore the disobedience and move on, singing Amazing Grace as you tuck her into bed, teaching her not to whine when your head is fighting back complaints about how weary you feel and everything in you wants to whine yourself. Motherhood regularly brings me to Jesus' feet, begging Him for help. My prayers are short- "Father, keep me from frustration." "Help me speak with kindness and gentleness." "Thank you for being patient with me over and over, God! Give me patience now!" "Father, please save her! Teach her that she needs You" and "Thank you God for the gifts of these littles!" I realize my desperate need of him more than I ever have before.

Just last night, during a much needed moment alone, thanks to my sweet husband, I listened to the hymn "I need Thee every hour," and I never felt my heart resonate so much with those words as I did in that moment. Since then, I've been singing them throughout the diaper changes and car rides to the grocery store that my time has been filled with today.

Motherhood has been teaching me how much I need Jesus. Not just every hour but every second in the hour! Motherhood is one of the hardest things I have ever done. And yet is is one of the best things as well! And I think it is that way because it draws me more and more to my loving Savior.

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