This morning was pretty typical around here.
I got up a little earlier than everyone… made lunches, made coffee, and folded the clothes I threw into the dryer before bed last night. I let everyone sleep a few extra minutes – but then I handed out morning back rubs and whispered “time to get up” room by room and slowly woke the house.
For some reason everyone needed a shower this morning. So, while each of my girls disappeared into a bathroom, I took a few minutes and did something I rarely do: I made their beds. My heart was simply to surprise them – give them one less thing to do this morning as they hurried to get ready for school.
I returned downstairs and, within a few minutes, the beckoning began. One needed pants; another needed a shirt; one needed an entire outfit. I dug through my freshly washed pile of clothes and delivered the favorites to each of them. And man: there is nothing like fresh clothes out of the dryer after a shower, right?
Soon the tribe filed down, one by one. They ate the breakfast I made with the food I shopped for. They grabbed the lunches I prepared with their favorites foods – and a requested treat of some jellybeans. They were each sharply dressed in their clean clothes I stayed up late and got up early to wash and fold for them. And, as for the fact I made their beds? Not one of them noticed… at least, not one of them mentioned it even if they did.
So, we said our goodbyes as shoes were put on and backpacks were slung and frustration was had because one ‘couldn’t find her ring’ and I ‘must have lost it’. And then – they were out the door.
Peace. Quiet. A dirty kitchen. Aloneness. That’s what they left me.
Why am I sharing all this? Because when mornings like this happen – mornings where my love is overlooked, dismissed, unappreciated – I am not angry, or depressed, or surprised. I am humbled.
I am humbled as I think, Father, do I do this to you? Do I wake up and overlook your kindness and your sweetness and your blessing?
He wakes me in my clean bed with my faithful man beside me and His beautiful sunrise outside… and I rush into the day.
I make the coffee, and breakfast, and lunches He graciously provides; I clean my big house, drive in my dependable car, wear my nice clothes… all without a second thought.
He is so kind and so gracious and so merciful to give me another day to breathe and be present – and… do I notice these things? Do I stop and see Him? Do I feel His love and His thoughtfulness? Do I notice the little surprises He brings my way – not because I need them, but simply because He knows I love gifts and wants to thrill me beyond belief?
The truth is: I’ve been getting better and better about thanking Him with my every breath. Maybe it’s because now that I’m a parent I see what it’s like to be overlooked; I see what’s it like to be forgotten and dismissed; I see what it’s like to have my children upset with me for no reason; I see what it’s like to lay all that I am on the line – only to have my children say, “Great – I got it from here.”
Motherhood is a tough gig sometimes… but, because of it, I get it.
I see what’s it’s like and I know what it feels like – and that’s what pushes my heart even closer to my Father.
I get why He sticks it out with me.
I get why He he loves me in spite of me.
I get why He continues to show up and help me through the tough stuff… even though so often I’ve pushed Him away with “Great – I got it from here.”
I get why He constantly reminds me, “…I will be with you; I will not fail you or abandon you.”
I get why, even though I turn my back on Him, He loves me unconditionally.
I hope that today you get it, too. Because while mothering can be tough, we have a Faithful Friend to strengthen and love us through the journey.
PRAYER: Father, help us mamas to see the blessing in every breath we take today. Sometimes this mama gig is a tough one: we get overlooked, are often unappreciated, and more often then not, we are exhausted from service. But thank you that You offer us strength! Thank you that when we cling to You, we can be selfless as You are selfless; we can be strong as You are strong; we can love unconditionally as You love us unconditionally. Thank you for being a perfect example of what Love looks like… and thank you for loving us in spite of ourselves. May we serve with joy today – and may we not forget that our men and our babies need our warm arms, our sweet voices, our gentle spirits, and our encouraging words. In Jesus Name, Amen.