It’s 7:30 p.m., and I just sat down for perhaps the first time today. My body feels weak and tired, like I’ve just run a marathon; but my Nikes haven’t pounded pavement in years. My house is a mess. You can’t walk through the kitchen without stepping on a piece of food that may or may not have been in someone’s mouth prior to finding a home on the floor. The living room looks like a Lego factory exploded, and don’t even ask about the bathrooms. Those showers haven’t seen a scrub brush in weeks.
As I think back on what I did today, I can’t come up with anything that would seem remotely productive to the outside world. If only diffusing tantrums and wiping butts were an Olympic sport, I’d be headed to Rio.
So here I sit, feeling tears well up in my eyes as I summon the energy to close out the day. I decide to pray–because God is the source of my strength, and I don’t know about you but nothing has made me hit my knees like being a mother.
The tears start to fall before I lift two words to Heaven:
“God, I can’t do this. This parenting thing is so much harder than I thought it would be.”
I know. I am a parent too. (John 3:16)
“I’m physically tired and emotionally drained.”
Come to me, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28-30)
“I think I’m doing something–everything–wrong. The baby won’t sleep and the three year old can’t go five minutes without a meltdown.”
You’re trusting in methods. They will only get you so far. Trust only in Me. (Psalms 20:7, John 14:1)
“Is it ever going to get easier?”
The challenges of raising little ones will fade. However, you live in a fallen world that’s not getting any better. But take heart. I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
It’s now 8 p.m. and my prayer is interrupted by my oldest child (he went to bed 45 minutes ago), who just came out of his room and said that he has to use the bathroom (the one stalling technique he knows I can’t argue with). He asks me what I’m doing, and I tell him that I’m praying for him and his brother because I love them so much.
He looks at me and says: “Maybe I can pray and tell God how much I love you.”
In that moment, as the tears start to fall yet again, I know that God heard my prayer. So, I put my son back to bed and I clean the house–even though the crumbs and Legos will surely reappear by 8 a.m.. And I’ll get up tomorrow and do it all over again. The tantrum diffusing. The butt wiping. And most of all, the praying.