Crowded by Kids - Where's the Exit?!?

Ever wonder when you'll complete a sentence, complete a thought, or even just decide to do something without having to consider potty breaks, snacks and squeezing in some toddler activities that you will, of course, be obligated to participate in?

Ever feel squished and pressed and trapped?  I don't understand why I would even indulge such selfishness, but here I am. Everywhere I look there are babies and toddlers and children.  Mommy bloggers proudly display their children's pictures - stack upon stack - and I can hardly look at them. I'm suffocating. I need space!  ... they'll never go away, will they? I'll be their mom forever. Actually, if I'm lucky, they'll multiply and bring in friends, children-in-laws, grandchildren.... oh my! You know, on second thought, ... let's not go there. I can hardly handle here.

When they were infants, I told myself  "Okay ... it'll be alright. This sleep deprived, whining, formula-making existence is just for a little while, then they'll use words and play on their own". I think I was silently convincing myself that I would soon be able to do whatever I wanted, and life would become civilized and grown up.

Then they started to walk away and talk back and I told myself "Okay... it'll be alright. Just a little more training and they'll have good manners and be so obedient. Oh I can hardly wait!". I silently reassured myself that I would soon be able to do whatever I wanted and life would become civilized and grown up.

I'm detecting a pattern in which I constantly overlook now, straining to see later - for surely it's better than this! And yet, when I have a couple of hours to myself (to 'do whatever I want') , I can't imagine what life would be without them. I'd do ... what? Sit at this keyboard ALL DAY every day?? TV? Eek. I'm sensing some identity issues here... what's the point of my life again?? The object of their demands? Floor sweeper and closet organizer?  I forget ...

I've written posts on the mission field of parenting, and a mom's identity. I've written on joyful motherhood, and how there's grace for when I've messed up. I've been here before - feeling trapped, incompetant and slightly resentful and a little purposeless - and I've climbed out of that hole into the light of thankfulness, joy and contentment. It's a journey I guess, that requires lessons to be learned and relearned. I need to remember how I climbed out of that hole ... how did that go again? Something about thankfulness. Ah yes...

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,and keep the vows you made to the Most High." 
Psalm 50:14
"Do everything without complaining and arguing," 
Phillipians 2:14

Okay ... thankfulness will be my sacrifice to God. Let's start there.

Thank you, God, that you've given me children - they are a gift from you. Thank you for all the material blessings you've provided - work, money, health, food, clothes... so much. Lord, forgive me for my complaining heart. I'm incurably selfish and I don't even know what I want! Save me from myself! Lord, you love these children and have a special purpose in mind for them. I pray that I would see them as you see them, and fulfill your purpose for me in their lives. Lord, everything in me resists giving in. You know my heart. I surrender myself to you, to your will for me. You've made me their mother. Please strengthen me to the task even when I don't feel like doing it. You are sovereign, in control, loving, and all knowing. Thank you for giving me this honor. Help me do it for you. Amen.

Hmm. I think I'm starting to remember that this IS my calling to missions - that these are God's children, not mine, and I must parent for Him.  Ah yes - it's coming back to me that this work does not envelope me in peaceful joyful feelings all the time - often I don't feel like momming at all! But that's not the point. Living beyond my emotions. Yes. yes. It's about God and His purposes. Yes.


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