The early years of raising children can be extremely challenging. Sweat and tears flow as we strive to teach our little ones. Nights go unslept as we cradle a sick babe in our arms. Physical and mental exhaustion creep in as we go without rest and recuperation.
As a new mother I remember feeling weary and confused. My daughter didn’t sleep for more than half an hour at a stretch and screamed all day! It was a difficult time for me.
I wanted to be a mother so desperately, but when my turn came, I felt so ill-equipped. Some days I gritted my teeth and wondered how long I could go on, other days I dreamed of my life before children, of the success I had hoped to accomplish. I felt useless, and often times incapable.
But life rolled along. I now have three children and am thoroughly content at home. That's not to say being home is always easy. I still long for quiet moments, I seek the luxury of actually completing a thought from time to time, and have a great desire to pursue many interests. However, there are some things I cannot do right now. Or perhaps I should say, choose not to do right now.
As a mother, especially to the younger crowd, some of my desires and interests have been put on the back-burner. Even though many are good and worthy, pursing them at this time would ultimately hurt my family. I know some of you will be thinking this sounds harsh. And I sincerely don’t mean it to. I believe there is a time for Mom to do her own thing. There is a time for Mom to share her passions with her children. It is a good thing for Mom to have interests, to continue learning, to be creative. These are important and benefit her family, as long as they don’t take over.
It is possible for us to go after good things, while letting what is better slip through our fingers.
I’m reminded of a phone call I heard on the Dr. Laura show many years ago. The caller, a mother, desired to go on a six-month, medical mission trip.
The catch: she would be leaving her 2 year old son at home for the duration of this trip.
Dr. Laura immediately said, “No way.” The mother replied, “But it has always been my dream.”
Dream or no dream, the timing was just not right. That 2 year old needed his Mommy. Many people could go on this mission trip, but no one could stand in her place as Mom. She could take this trip later. She could even take her son along when he was older.
This is a perfect example of letting the good get in the way of that which is better.
Moms, you are irreplaceable!
I know some days you feel as though you are accomplishing nothing. But moment by moment you are shaping hearts for eternity.
Our children are in our care for such a short while. Before long we will be waving good-bye as they drive away to their own families. Then we will wish for these days over again.
We go through this life only once. Treasure the blessing you have. Keep an eternal focus.
Remember, this is just a season. There will be other seasons.
This knowledge helps me lay aside that which can wait for later and focus wholeheartedly on those right at my feet.
When the days are hard, know you couldn’t be doing anything more important than training your children to know the Lord.
When the days are good, soak up the love and tenderness that is there for you. Rejoice in the privilege you are given to care for these precious souls. Store it in your heart.
Your sacrifices and investment are worth it all.