[dropcap]S[/dropcap]he clung to me, not wanting me to leave. It was bedtime and her bed just wouldn't do. I caved in to her affection, and she rested her head against my neck as we walked down the carpeted stairs and into my bed that stretched farther and wider than hers. The deep cough that shook her small frame filled the silent walls. I stroked her hair and told her a story. She snuggled closer then tossed and turned trying to settle in for the evening. She wanted her mamma's voice to soothe her to sleep and her mamma's body to cradle her sick-filled soul this winter's eve.
Earlier in the day, I had to let her go. She resisted and my heart broke. My child was being perfectly taken care of yet I had a harder time waving goodbye. Maybe it was because I knew that once she left the drive, my day would be filled with meetings, planning, and hours spent without her.
This life - juggling work and motherhood - is difficult when my head and my heart decide to compete.
Maybe it's because I question the decisions, the mothering plan, myself. Or, could it be that I am still trying to figure out how to care for my young while also caring for the flock that the LORD has graciously given me to serve? Could it be that I feel torn - in completely different ways - to two unique desires of my heart? How do you mother wholeheartedly while also work wholeheartedly?
She wakes early in the morn after a restless nights' sleep. Her cough is deeper, her eyes puffier. We eat breakfast together with the curtains open, shedding new day's light on the room while sister continues to sleep. I don't wake her. Instead, I type out a note to co-workers saying I won't be in but I'm still available by phone and screen. From up above, I hear sister wake with a cough that is as identical as their looks.
All the voices around don't always help with the noise inside my own head. The suggestions, the advice, the jab that shoots straight to the heart. Being a young mother, I make mistakes. I should have noticed the cough sooner and taken both girls to the doctor simultaneously. Yet, my youngster waits with me and she does not condone. Instead, she follows instructions and giggles when the stethoscope hovers above her belly button. She doesn't blame me for her diagnosis not coming sooner. We leave and get ice cream.
It makes me feel better at least.
Some days, I wish wisdom in motherhood came when the strip shows two lines. Why can't we know what to do from the very first moment we realize our womb is filled? Why doesn't God send an instruction manual down from the heavens and into our arms telling us exactly what to do and when to do it?
Wait, he does.
God gives us instruction on motherhood.
He tells us in Proverbs to trust him and not our own understanding. In Deuteronomy 6:4-7 he commands for us to love him with all our hearts and to get his love inside our children. Isn't that wisdom enough? No matter what hurdles we jump, trip, or do our best to avoid as mothers we should trust in his ways and show our children what love truly means.
Loving my children is about staying home with them when they are sick. Loving my children is also about working outside the home to provide opportunity and faith fulfillment. There isn't an either-or, a better-than, a right-wrong choice. God calls some of us to work longer hours outside the home while others work longer hours inside the home. He calls some like me to balance the two and some days I'm just a little clumsy. But, no matter what our family schedules or mothering plans look like, he has designed all of us the same: to trust him and know love.
Arriving home from the doctor, my girls both took their medicine and got an extra dose of television time. I stole a glance to my inbox and found a sweet scripture from a friend. She shared with me that "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority" (Acts 1:7). As a mother, I'm not supposed to know everything from the moment of conception. No, mothering is a moment by moment, day by day, month by month and year by year experience. There are decisions to be made during every season of mothering and our actions must not be only from worldly advice but from the One who authorizes our existence.
Because he is like my child.
He doesn't chastise me or make me feel guilty and uncertain.
He gives me wise counsel, peace, and strength to make right choices.
My Father IS my mothering teacher, child-molder, and heart-beater.
[quote]For You: As mothers, ripe or aged, we have God's loving truth to cling to just as our children cling to us. Does this come naturally to you or is it easier to take advice from those around you? How does God's love and plans give you confidence as a mom? [/quote]
Till next time, let your light shine!
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