Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I view motherhood as a refining fire. It is a constant marathon of testing, of trying, of options to lay down my own desires, of observation of my failings, of opportunity to find my strength in the power above and beyond me in Jesus who can give me strength, and to see his strength made perfect in my weakness. It it is a 24/7 opportunity to joyfully lay down my will. :)

Do not allow the above paragraph to lead you to believe that I am successful in all of those things. :) For I most assuredly am not. I struggle against speaking harshly and impatiently to my children, with not wanting to put down my activity of choice to get them a drink/find them some clothes/break up a squabble/read a book/etc., with keeping my house cleaner rather than messier, with prioritizing what I should rather than what I would prefer. I am inherently selfish, self-centered. Children are a constant opportunity to break that cycle. :)

So a part of me relishes the struggle. The same part that enjoyed seeing myself push myself in running - how fast, how hard I could go. Or watching myself make it through labor without pain meds. Sometimes when I am up at night for the billionth time, thinking in wonderment about how I will get up for good in a very few hours, I'm feeling the "burn" of the emotional endurance muscles, and seeing how much I can take. Or when I catch myself before I snap impatiently at a whining Gabriel, and I gentle my tone, it's a high five I can give myself as I run past.

"Running my race" is a pursuit of excellence that I am passionate about. I have a large pile of books that I am reading all at one time covering subjects of how to do the most that I can do to build a relationship with my kids that will most effectively (but still with no guarantees) communicate the truth of a life-changing, life-saving relationship with the One that life is all about, of how to make my house into a home, of how to mange my time and my resources to the maximum, of how to discipline my children in a redemptive way. I really enjoy the trying and the thinking and the implementing of new ideas. I am finding a lot of encouragement and affirmation in my spirit right now of truths that remind me that there is strength in God for the asking. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16) Motherhood finds me so needy. I don't have enough resources, knowledge, patience, or character.

This Mother's Day (like the last, somewhat ironically) has been a thorough exercise in all of those things. Two fussy, feverish kids, with Israel coughing/hacking this dry, irritated, CONSTANT cough about 742,673,583 times in one day. Wide staring eyes of enduring. ARRRRGGGHHH. Then tonight, after he went to bed, he coughed hard enough that he puked, and then it was the whole mess of changing clothes and bedsheets and scrubbing the carpet and scolding Gabe for walking in the vomit. Sigh. And speaking of Gabe, dealing with his hyper, silly, giggling, chortling, in-the-baby's-face self that you get reeeeeaalll ready to have in bed by the end of the day. At least he wasn't sick too.

So on this Mother's Day, I find myself thoroughly grateful for my husband. For the Daddy. Who scrubs the puke off the carpet so I don't have to, who holds the baby so I can get something done, who distracts the kids WHEN I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!! When I want a break from refinement and want to go read a book in the bathtub. :) I just think that a woman who has to raise her children by herself, and do ALL of the work alone, and come out ahead has to be the STRONGEST woman on earth.

AND, I am also thoroughly grateful for two women who I'm pretty sure both have most of all of "it" down, whatever "it" is. :) Mom, you have been a great mom, and are one of my very best friends. I am constantly referencing back in my head to "how Mom did it". And calling you for maybe a third time in the day if I can't remember. :) Carol, you raised a great son, and I can't thank you enough. You are a great mother-in-law, and so supportive of me and easy to talk to. We all love you both soooooo much!! :) :) :)


kdurec said...

This was beautiful, thank you so much for sharing! I am sitting here blurry eyed after five hours of sleep last night with my child who decided that 5:00 am was her waking time of choice and she refused to go back to sleep. I have struggled all morning to not take out my frustration on her whiney little self, thanks for the reminder of what's really going on here, the setting aside of myself for another. :)

Cottonista said...

You are right about the refining fire! Although, most of the times I just feel the fire, not the refinement.

I'm sorry you had sick kids on Mother's Day! Don't they know they're supposed to be healthy, happy, obedient, kind and non-annoying all day long on that one single Sunday a year, so that we can have warm, cozy thoughts about motherhood? ( :

I liked the picture of your momma with you as a kiddo! Very cute!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Carrie!


Amber Cullum said...

Wow, I don't even know what to say about the post. It was so beautiful. I am not a mother yet, but can still relate to so many things you said. This is something I will look back and read as a reminder and an encouragement to keep running the race set out for me in Christ Jesus.

Let me know the names of the books you are reading. A few may be good buys for my sister.

Carolyn said...

You are definitely my favorite writer.

The Hochstedlers said...

Hi Carrie!!
Great post - and much truth in it... thanks for sharing! I haven't been on here for a while but had fun browsing and catching up on you guys.
Keep having fun and being challenged...