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Often times we can become so overwhelmed with the daily hustle and grind in life that we forget the simplest things are the most important. I have fallen prey to this many times in the years of being a mama. Ooh, and how many times I have had to repent due to the harshness of my words or the lack of attention someone desperately needed in the moment.
This article shares a piece of what motherhood often looks like and one I absolutely understand. I am so pleased to welcome a guest writer for this post, Katherine Newsom. She speaks boldly and truthfully. May it bless you as you read.
In His Grace,
There are days the words and my patience are plenty, and there are days I feel in want. In this messy middle I find myself in lately, it’s been this wild juxtaposition of the two. And it’s plain hard. There is simply no way around that. Motherhood is messy, life-giving, hard, exhilarating, joyful, work, funny, and undeniably beautiful. It is a constant sharpening, testing of our beliefs about the world, about ourselves, about our own children, and especially about God. Through this, let’s seek to love God and love people – love the little people God gave us to nurture, cherish, and guide daily – well. Because He chose you, mama, for this season of motherhood, for your specific children, with your specific personality and preferences and eye color, and your child’s unique personality and preferences and eye color. By seeking Christ as we learn to fulfill this role with grace, we teach our children how accessible, how unrelenting, how gracious He truly is. Trust me, they are paying attention.
Yet this belief and understanding of mine has been tested . . . A lot more than I’d prefer . . . lately.
As I write this, It’s been an emotionally draining week, with the daily monotony of life at home wearing on me, as well as…just, life. I am tired, I am cranky, I want the toddler to go to bed so I can have some “me time,” except he is still talking, still awake. Finally we read one more book and decide together it’s time to go to bed. Or rather, lay in his bed, instead of on the couch.
As we then settle in for round two of story time before bed (where we make up stories together, laying on his bed, based on the images on the ceiling from his sound/projector machine), my four-year old turns around, looks me in the eye, gently grabs a hold of my face in his hands, and tells me, “I want to be next to you because I love you. You’re the one who keeps me nice and warm.”
My heart melts, and I instantly regret being snappy about bedtime. I regret wanting to leave him to fall asleep on his own, and wish I could take back all the nights I did close the door after story time, instead of staying, and giving room for raw conversation.
How many moments like this have I lost?
Oh, how quickly that emotional exhaustion, or want of punctuality from our child to in turn negate our lack of feeling in control, will fade when our children acknowledge us in their own unique way. The world stops when your child gently holds your cheek, looks you in the eye, and shares grace with you.
Has this happened to you, unique to your season of motherhood, too?
Grace is unmerited favor, or mercy, given by God to us through His son Jesus, on the cross. And one-way grace is evident and mirrored in real life when our children instantly forgive our snappiness in their own childlike way, by blessing us with their own gratitude for something so simple as closeness. Of true relationship and security. Of all the things we also are gifted through our relationship with Christ. Have you been missing out on that, too?
How eye-opening, and truly life-changing, is that parallel! God does the same for us.
Where we fail each day with our own kids, whether we snap at something miniscule as the things pile up, or we speak too harshly, instantly reacting to what we see, instead of practicing to pause and put things in perspective before we respond to something our kids do… As we seek to guide and teach them with grace each day, even after a mistake; our kids show us grace, love us just as fiercely, because we belong to them, as their mother.
And God does the same for us!
He loves us just as fiercely, even when we mess up and respond poorly to real life, because we are His children, and we belong to Him. He continually pursues us, especially in the trenches of motherhood. He gives us Jesus, His son comes to earth, to stand in our place, and redeem us from sin, to save us from ourselves.
And in turn we seek to love God and love people, and most importantly, make much of Jesus in all we do. We make much of Him in motherhood by seeing our children as human beings by meeting them where they are, and mirroring the image of Christ in our interactions with them.
Ultimately, we must learn how God speaks kindly to us, and continually pursues us. We teach our children what it looks like to be a person of faith and walk in the grace given to us by Jesus Christ each day. We ultimately teach our children to live as “little Christs,” by simply doing our best to love them like Jesus does; that means entering into their world.
This completely shifts the paradigm of how we relate to our children, and in turn, how we relate to God – because we are His children, and we belong to Him, too – just as we belong to our children, as their mother.
It’s in these everyday moments where my wise son teaches me something, that I am transported back into first recognizing the unmerited grace Jesus gives to me. Isn’t it incredible how much our children teach us about life, about faith, about Christ? There is truly something to be said about having a childlike faith, and so much depth packed into where Jesus states in Matthew 18:4, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Motherhood is this extraordinary invitation into an abundant life in Christ, where we daily learn of our own shortcomings, as well as the strength we have in our raw, honest faith. We learn so much from our kids, who see us as we are and love us anyway, because we belong to them – just as God does for us, for our children, too.
There is something to be said about having a childlike faith: children are innocent, often stop to marvel at nature, trusting, honest, without filter, bold, eager to learn, ask questions, rely on others for their wellbeing, and are naturally full of faith.
There is a reason we as adults often talk of “childlike faith” as something to attain, for lack of a better word.
There is a reason Jesus states in his ministry that we must “become like little children,” in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
We can learn so much about our faith and walk with God, from our kids.
It’s time we pay attention, too.
It’s time we turn to Jesus, seek His face, and tell Him, in our own unique way, in a single sentence which explains our gratitude and trust in Him: “I want to be next to you because I love you. You’re the one who keeps me nice and warm.”
Katherine Newsom – Author and Writer at Simple Natural Mama
You can find Katherine’s book, Chosen HERE.