Saturday, May 07, 2011

Rising Above

There are some days when being a mom is a glorious, fabulous, wonderful experience. A few weeks ago Annie had the day off from Kindergarten, but everyone else had school. I took her and Maren out on the town. We met some friends from ECFE at the Aquarium and then went to McDonald’s.

It was one of those days that was gold. No time pressures, no temper tantrums, no stress. My friends I’m sure had fun too, but they have little kids. They were pushing strollers, changing diapers, and chasing toddlers while I was sitting on a bench watching. I may have helped hold or feed a baby.

While we were the worst place on earth, the McD’s playground, I noticed a lot of other parents that were cranky and uninterested in their kids. They were not having fun. Neither were their kids.

I remember going to the aquarium as my first outing alone with all five kids. Five kids eight and under, double stroller, two in diapers and one nursing. I was exhausted and my body wasn’t fully recovered. It was scary and overwhelming trying to swing that one. If I had to go the bathroom everyone had to come in the handicap stall with me. I’m sure it was not a glorious day in many ways.

The cold, hard truth is that some days are great and full of joy. Some days are stressful and full of battles and drudgery. Some days you are up to your eye balls in spit up and diapers. Some days you enjoy a sunny day at the park. Most days there is more stinky laundry than an average NFL team could produce. But one thing I know is that the the days, good or bad go fast. Lightning fast.

I’m not sure how I went from the mom with all the little kids to the one sitting on the bench in the blink of an eye, but I did. And do you know what? I don’t want to let the messes and fighting and stress make me into a crabby and uninterested mom. I want nothing more than to be my best for them. Every day. Because you don’t get those days back.

Even though I have memories of being overwhelmed many times, especially when they were all little, those memories are also priceless. They were young and sweet and innocent and I’ll never get them back at that stage again. So I have to rise above my feelings and circumstances every day. Because once those days are over, they are gone for good.

On the days when I am crabby or wake up feeling like I want to throw in the towel, I can choose to rise above that. I know I want to do better for my kids. I can’t do it on my own because I’m crabby and tired a lot. And it makes me crabbier to know that I’m failing.

When I look at my kids, I know they need me. No, they need better than me. They need the love of Jesus Christ, through me.

That’s where it is imperative to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God in us and through that he can give us the power to do things we could not do in our own humanness. And that’s a good thing because I cannot be very patient and thankful when someone starts puking at 3:00 a.m.

This is God’s promise to us.

“And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

Here are some of the things the Spirit can produce in us.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Those are qualities I cannot achieve myself, they only come through Him. So let me encourage you on this Mother’s Day when we get all flowery and philosophical about motherhood, to find the courage to rise above through the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is great fruit to be gleaned by your children through that. For those with all their mothering days before them, pray for those things in your life. For those of us who feel like we’ve blown it a lot, there is forgiveness and pruning. If we trust in Him and not ourselves we can bring sweetness to our lives as moms.

I feel fortunate that in my life I have had the privilege of having many women encourage me to enjoy the years I have with my kids. So, from the mom on the bench, be encouraged to rise above the feelings of the day and mother to the fullest with the Spirit’s help.

Like it or not, you will become the Mom on the bench before you know it.

Happy Mother’s Day!

1 comment:

Sharen said...

Wonderful! I love the line,"When I look at my kids, I know they need me. No, they need better than me. They need the love of Jesus Christ, through me." So very true!We can't do it and do it well on our own!