When I was in the thick of adjusting from being mommy of just one child to mommy of two children, there were some rough days. Not only was Josiah doing his newborn best to get us up as much as possible every night, but Elijah was showing his three-ness with a vengeance.
On those days, I struggled with holding onto the joy of being a mother, and it felt as though all that was left was the chaos. I would feel guilty and inadequate and overwhelmed. It wasn’t how I wanted to feel. I wanted to be able to find the good, like Pollyanna, and choose to be joyful, even when I was tired.
Around this time, I remember one Sunday when we were singing Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord),” and it was as though the song was written as my own personal anthem, especially the first verse.
“The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.”
Every morning I would rise with great intentions to have a better day than the one before, to face “whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me” with a determination to still “be singing when the evening comes.” I didn’t want to end every day defeated and beat down. But when your alarm clock is a baby crying or a toddler’s whining, you can feel drained before you even get out of bed.
But, lo and behold! The answer is in the chorus of the same song:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name”
It was a reminder that, yes, we can choose to bless the Lord in everything. We can encourage ourselves in the Lord like David did (1 Samuel 30:6). We don’t have to let the frustrations overwhelm us. We can look to Him.
I think I get most overwhelmed and frustrated when I feel as though I have to do it all, and do it all myself. I’m the mom. When it’s just my boys and me at home, I’m the lone adult – I fix the food, I change the diapers, I soothe the crankies, I clean the messes, I enforce the rules. Sometimes those things are not easy or joyful.
Plus, I know that no matter how awesome of a super mom I am, I am not enough on my own. Moms, Dads – we’re not enough, despite what some cutesy, well-intentioned memes or inspirational quotes tell us. On my own, alone, I will never be enough for my children. I can’t be.
And yet, WITH God…well, all things are possible.
I don’t HAVE to do it all on my own or alone.
If the first verse is the cry of my heart, and the chorus is the reminder of “from whence cometh my help,” then the second verse is the reassurance that God has me (and my children) in His hands, and that’s a beautiful place to be.
“You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find”
Since God has given me my children, He has equipped me to parent them, and when I rely on Him, then His joy can be my strength on the good days and the rough ones. He loves us all richly, and He is patient and kind. He’s forgiving when I make mistakes in parenting my boys, and He’s there to guide me and help me do it right. He gives me wisdom when I have no idea what I’m doing, and He helps me see the humor in so many of their innocent, but disastrous messes.
It’s not just looking for the good, but looking to His goodness, that will have me still “singing when the evening comes.”
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Feature image courtesy of Pixabay/Pexels.