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On that Day I wasn’t ready to be a mother…

It was 7:00 am this Wednesday.  John was out of town and the baby had been teething for days.  The kitchen was somewhat clean but the clean laundry was spread across the living room floor and if I’m being truthful it was spread across my bedroom floor as well.  In fact, the clean laundry and the dirty laundry in my bedroom was beginning to cohabitate and it was becoming unclear who was who.  I woke up to the sound of thumping.  My little guy was awake and beginning his all too familiar morning warning of kicking his feet in the crib.  I had limited time to get to him before his kicking turned to crying.  I pushed past the two little stowaways that had snuck themselves in to my bed and all but taken over; which of course awakened them.  It was time to awaken the nine year old and persuade him to move quickly enough to make it to school on time.

I was motivating the nine year old to move in the general direction of the shower when the teething baby began to cry and made it clear that today was going to be another long day, the six year old began to give me a long dissertation on something I wasn’t all that concerned about and the three year old began to make her morning demands.  And my thought was: “Good Lord, I am just not ready yet to be a mother today…”.

I love my kids.  They make me laugh with their hysterical ideas.  They make me cry sheer tears of joy at the privilege of being able to mother them, but in reality so many moments of motherhood are hard and downright draining.  They ask for more then I have to give and they have no regard for the fact that Mommy needs just a few moments to get her act together.  I find myself frustrated with myself.  I should be more patient, more loving.  I should wake up each day ready to serve them some delicious baked oatmeal, rather than impatiently waiting for them to make their five minute decision over Raisin Bran or toast with honey.  I don’t have the patience for one more fight over the red or green chair when I really need to let the dog out, fold the laundry, nurse your brother, change a diaper, get your brother out of the shower, manage to get four kids in the car and drop off your brother so the teachers don’t think I’m incompetent, but alas one of you climbed back in to bed and fell asleep so we might just be a few minutes late…

And then I think about Him…  The source of everything…  And He reminds me of how He lived his life.  I picture Him in the garden; on his knees; pleading with His Father because he knew what the morning would bring.  He knew that they would come and they would take him and lead him to his Death; and He knew he didn’t have the strength to follow through in His human flesh.  He was fully God and sometimes I forget that He was also fully human.

I know He came to die for me.  I know He came to rescue me from my sins, but sometimes I also forget that He came to show me how to live.  He knew the mornings, the days and the nights would be long.  He knew there would be moments that my flesh would cry out at one more demand that was placed upon it.  He knew that these little people would demand, fight, whine and chip away at my weakness time and time again.  And so he laid himself out in a garden and he prayed desperately.  He prayed desperately so his Spirit would persevere over what his flesh would fail to do on his own.  Because He knew I would fail time and time again.  That I would let my flesh get in the way and that I would yell.  That I would ignore the important words of a six year old because I selfishly wanted a moment of peace for myself.  That I would be impatient…  And I would act entitled.  At that at the end of the day my list of sins, failures and lost battles with my flesh would be by far too long and the only thing that would be left is His grace.  So he prayed that He would have the strength to pay the incredible price that I cost Him.  And He prayed to show me the way to find the strength to let the ones I love crucify my flesh yet again.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  I know my children will celebrate me and my husband will honor me, because God has blessed me with an amazing gift of grace in my family.  And I find myself on my knees, remembering the one who covered my brokenness and redeems my mistakes.  Finding the need to spend some time in the garden so my spirit also has the strength to conquer my flesh…



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