Lindsay is one of the best friends the Lord has placed in my life! While I was pregnant with Ezra, she was pregnant with her 3rd blessing and was an incredible source of wisdom and encouragement. We share every day about our little blessings. We celebrate the joyous moments, discuss the troubling moments, and encourage each other through the tough moments…because they exist!
After I had a particularly tough day with a colicky Ezra, Lindsay had a tough day herself. Sometimes it helps to put your thoughts down on paper which is what she did, and she shared it with me as an encouragement. Friends, this is it! This is how we need to approach those tough moments. We need to go about Embracing the Chaos with His Grace! Lindsay’s words were such an encouragement to me, I asked for her permission to share with you. I pray you will be as blessed as I was by her words.
Embracing the Chaos with His Grace
by Lindsay Christie
OK it’s time to get real.
Motherhood is not all sunshine and roses.
In fact sometimes it stinks.
Don’t get me wrong, I love these little arrows God has placed in my quiver and I would never trade these arrows for any others. But some days I just need to get real. Really real.
This mothering thing can be hard.
Today has been one of those days.
As I write this I am sitting in my driveway on my phone. Two toddlers and a baby have fallen asleep in the back and I don’t want to move them lest I wake a sleeping beast. I have just devoured a frosted coffee from Chick-fil-A as though it is the crack of the motherhood. (I mean it was that or alcohol, and since I don’t drink I thought the coffee was the better choice.)
My 3-year-old is being defiant with a capital D. I am talking not listening, telling me “no”, knocking a pacifier out of my hand when I handed it to him to give to his oldest little sister. (Which caused me to pull over then and there and demand he not speak the rest of the way home…which amazingly he did only speak once more as I left with my Chick-fil-A crack.)
My 1.5 year old has learned to scream a blood curdling scream that would merit the neighbors to look out of their windows and make sure she wasn’t being taken. She does it when she is mad. She does it when the 3-year-old takes a toy. Sometimes she even does when she is happy. I think she likes her voice. But you better be sure it will be at its loudest when she is in protest of something.
Then there is my sweet innocent 3 month old. There is not much to report on her. Right now she is my easy, smiling, sweet baby girl. But give it a couple of years and I am sure we will be revisiting her.
Forgive me, anyone, who was the brunt of my thinking I knew more about parenting before I was actually a parent.
Forgive me if I thought your tantrum-throwing, defiant child was behaving in such a manner due to a lack of discipline.
My children are disciplined. But if you see us in the grocery store while either of the two older ones are climbing buggies, running down the aisles, or mad because I won’t buy another toy to add to what was supposed to be a reasonable collection of toys at home, you will probably think otherwise.
It is hard. I am sick of feeling self-conscious when my children misbehave…embarrassed. Let me just tell you right now that we do not take misbehavior lightly and my children do face consequences for their behavior. We. Do. Discipline. But I have strong-willed children who seem to be getting stronger by the day. When I see another mama with a misbehaving child, such as the mama whose 2-year-old sat down in the Jo-Ann parking lot the other day and would not move as they headed to their car, I want to hug her. I want to stop and chat and relate. I want to feel not alone and I want to tell her she is not alone.
“I feel you, mama.”
But in this chaos, I told Jesus something on my way home.
“Jesus, I need you. I can’t do any aspect of this parenting thing alone.”
And as I sit here in my air-conditioned van, I look in the rear-view mirror at these precious blessings asleep. Quiet. And I am reminded how much I love them. Even when I am completely at my wit’s end and counting the hours until a MUCH needed date night (…and hoping nobody gets a fever or something to cause it to not happen!)
I know this is a season. I know that every day may bring a new phase (I mean 3 days ago this screaming phase hadn’t begun!!) Every day won’t be the same. Tomorrow may be better. Tomorrow may be worse. A week from now we may have a new challenge. A month from now….a year from now…my how time flies.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5a
Lord please help me to soak up the good moments. Help me to embrace this chaos with grace. Help me to have patience and stop wanting to scream (or actually screaming). Please keep reminding me that these arrows really are the blessing of my youth. Help me when it’s hard. Because it is really hard.