This weekend, we had another mini getaway at the farm. It was supposed to be fun and relaxing, but turned into a bit of a nightmare.
The kids were sharing a room, which they normally don’t do at home. At one point, my daughter was running around in circles in her crib at 3:30 in the morning shouting with glee. My tried-and-true sleep training techniques didn’t stand a chance.
In a desperate effort to gain control, I shared the bottom of a bunk bed with Kai, which went well, except for the head-butt I received when he was getting comfortable. On top of it all, Sylvie has a diaper rash that’s making it hard to tell whether her biggest problem is exhaustion or pain. The saying “the kids don’t sleep at the farm” still holds true.
Just look at this pretty scene from Saturday. My mom is raking leaves as Sylvie and Kai run around all bundled up, knowing that when they come in they’ll get hot chocolate. They are having a great time.
Well, pictures never tell the whole story. And sometimes, neither do I. I have one of those annoying can-do attitudes that actually just gets in the way of my need for help. All of us moms know, that need runs deep.
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
-Psalm 55:22, NIV
Depending on God Every Average Day
It takes discipline and humility, but giving God my fears and failures every morning is the only way I’m able to lighten my load.
I have to be careful when my daily parenting struggles are the biggest things I’m concerned over. Life is hardly ever blissfully near perfection or swinging into deep-strife territory. When those times happen, it’s second nature for me to seek out God. It’s really the average days that can distance me from God the most.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and
you will find rest for your souls.
-Matthew 11:29, NIV
I see this same sort of stubborn determination at work in my kids. Kai has gone so far as to tell me he’s happy when he’s crying. Unfortunately, I can identify with that attitude more than I’d like. Too bad it’s also the one thing that can make his life so difficult, when he can’t simply tell me he’s mad or sad or ask for what he wants.
I’ve become desperate for him to share his negative feelings with me, because I can handle them. And especially because it works like magic: Once he can name his feelings and his needs, he’s free from them and I’m free to help him.
Simply Leaning on God
It turns out that’s how it is with our Father in heaven, too. I know every time I try to force my sad into happy, I’m pushing Him away. So He keeps reminding me that I need Him and that naming those problems I’m having is the first step to seeing His hand in my life. He does this a lot through my kids. When I give my cares and desires to God on a regular basis, it’s freeing in every way.
I’m a mom. I have a lot of cares. I just wish I could remember how wonderful it is when I lean on God, the way I want my kids to lean on me.
I’m not the best at releasing that tight grip I have on my pride. I want to be able to handle everything parenting throws at me like an unblinking supermom, able to conquer anything while still having awesome hair.
But I’m learning that if I try to do that, all I’m left with is a throbbing headache and a heap of disappointment in myself (plus: messy hair).
I can’t tell you how glad I am that I’m blessed with awesome kids who are great at growing me, wonderful parents who can give my daughter a bath while I sleep, and most of all, a God who has my back and created me to lean on him.
Deep down, I would never want it any other way.