By contributing writer, Leigh Ellen.
Ten months ago I gave birth to our sweet Lydia. Even though I was shocked by the fact that our baby was a girl (read this post about our surprise baby), I was absolutely sure of one thing as a mom of now four children; that I would be losing sleep. I knew the drill of waking up every 2 hours to nurse, burp, and change my newborn.
What I didn’t expect was now ten months later, still getting up every 2 hours to nurse. Why wasn’t she like my other babies that slept through the night at 7 months??
Right now, we are in the process of night weaning (which is complete torture when you are sharing a bedroom with the baby) and I’m exhausted. It’s night after night of not sleeping, and then going all day trying to catch up on the housework, run my blog and online shop, all while homeschooling and caring for my four little ones.
Often times, I feel like I never stop. So, how will I ever be able to focus on my spiritual life if I can barely keep up with these everyday demands?
While I don’t have a secret formula for a more content and full life, I do know that if I’m not seeking the Lord everyday, then I will feel defeated, alone, and worn down.
Here are a few things that I try to remember when I just want to give up:
Mama’s are missionaries
So often, we can view our child’s crying or our toddler’s mess as an interruption. Maybe you were finally sitting down to read God’s Word, and all of sudden your child needs you. How are we supposed to grow as a Christian woman if our children are constantly relying on us to care for them?
The truth is, if God’s Word is important to us, then we will make time for it. We will wake up a little earlier, read it aloud to our little ones, or choose The Word instead of the latest Netflix show.
We can begin to view our tasks as a busy mother like the missionary overseas that has given up a comfortable life and has committed their lives to service in the Kingdom of God.
Each day, we are met with challenges in our mission field. Challenges that make us want to give up, lack self-control, and forget our purpose. We complain about our circumstances instead of seeking what God is doing in the hearts of ourselves and of our children.
When we view our motherly role as a missional opportunity, then God’s purpose can be revealed in our hearts. We will commit to learning and becoming educated in God’s Word, so that we can share the good news to the little people in our home.
We Can’t Do Anything Without Christ
When we try to do this motherhood thing without Christ, we will be exhausted, confused, and desperate. We will find ourselves always wishing for our children to outgrow stages and wait for the next season. We begin to believe that life will be easier when our children can help with the chores.
Or are finally out of diapers.
Or can read.
We begin to believe that if we can get out of this current season, we won’t be so exhausted. But the truth is that when we are mothering without Christ as our guide, we will always be tired and lost.
As moms, we can have hope in the fact that even when motherhood is hard, God is there. He is teaching us, guiding us, and loving us. On a hard day, if I can remember what a gift it is to have little ones, I’m more patient, more loving, and enjoy motherhood so much more.
I hope to see my future preteens, teenagers, and grown children as a gift as well. Our season won’t determine our happiness. Every season is exhausting and disorienting if God is not sought daily.
So, when you are getting up for the fifth time in the middle of the night, know that you are laying down yourself to care for your baby. Just like Christ displayed His love for us on the cross, you are showing your sweet child His love in that tiring moment.