My 2 year old is currently belting out his rendition of ‘Come Thou Fount’ as he sings himself to sleep. Rogue bits of dried up Play-Doh stare up at me from the living room rug under my tired feet. And are those bell pepper seeds on the rug? Weird. Oh, I just heard the squawk of my 4 month old who I thought was peacefully asleep for the next 5-6 hours. I’ll be right back.
(1 week later…) This is my life right now. At any given time, my mind is typically reeling a mile a minute, trying to keep track of playdates and appointments and when does the baby need to nap and did I remind the toddler to go use the potty if he needs to and I better put dinner on the stove and empty the clothes that have been in the dryer for three days. I feel really exhausted just reading that.
Earlier this year, even before becoming a momma to two kids under two, I wrote a little bit about pursuing grace over perfection. I definitely need that reminder even more so now, as I navigate these still-new waters of parenting two little kids. Four months in and I have more days where I’m just running on sheer survival instincts. It’s all consuming, this keeping my head above water and making sure that not only are basic needs being met and that no one is hurt in the process (although tears are allowed) but also that my marriage, friendships and other relationships don’t get shut off either.
If I look hard enough past the bleariness, I know and see that God is teaching me new lessons every single day. How to be more patient. How to hold it together while being firm in discipline with our toddler. How to gladly and lovingly greet my husband when he walks in the door, even if I feel like handing him a crying baby or whiny toddler and shutting myself in the bathroom. How to sacrifice even more. How to give even more. How to love like Jesus loves us. This survival mode, I know it is just a season and will eventually pass but the waiting and being content, during the hard times? It’s tough. A dozen times a day, I ask myself if I will ever feel like I have this mom job down. But really moms, do we ever stop feeling like it’s just survival?
This coming fall and next spring, I’m going to be involved in MOPS again. Except this time, I’m not just going to be a participator. This time, I’m pushing aside my comforts and will be leading a small group of moms. Some of them will be before me in this mom journey, others right alongside and still other moms will have much more parenting experience under their belts. I am thrilled and humbled to see how God pushes me aside and reminds me that it all comes back to Him. I don’t know who will be in my group yet, but I’m already praying over each mom. I pray our time together becomes this sacred space, something that refreshes our weary souls. Somewhere we can lean into each other and encourage one another in this hard journey. Something else I’m praying about? That God uses these women to show me how to do more than just survive. I want to let them speak into my life about thriving, about embracing what it looks like to flourish.
I want to do more than just survive.
You shall go out with JOY and be led forth in PEACE.