“…for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, ESV).
Last week I spent a little over thirty-six hours on full-time duty caring for two of my little granddaughters, with two of their little cousins joining us for the evening. Those thirty-six hours were filled with:
- Unproductive and oops-too-late runs to the bathroom, punctuated with hilarious comments and sweet hugs
- Total meltdowns over a cat that was innocently sleeping across the room, balanced out with smiles and big blue eyes and musical calls for Nana that melt my heart every time
- Sugar-coated arms, counters, and floors after making ginger cookies, rewarded with milk, cookies, and stories on the floor with Grandpa before bedtime
- The need to follow through after someone just checked to make sure I really did mean she shouldn’t touch the computer, followed by lots of hugs and kisses (It’s even harder to discipline when you’re a grandma.)
- Making dinner amidst requests like, “Can we do ink stamps?” “Can we make puppets?” “Can you play a game?” “Can we do ink stamps?” “Can you put a pink hair band in my hair?” “Can we do ink stamps?” (I’m so glad they like playing with Nana!)
- Intense and oft-repeated requests in an 18-month-old dialect that I have not yet learned to decipher, which I finally resorted to cautiously saying “Yeah” to, hoping I wasn’t agreeing to something scandalous.
What a sweet, challenging, blessed, exhausting, funny, messy time we had! And what a clear reminder it was that it takes a lot of grace to be a mother (or grandmother!).
Our time together, I know, was relatively calm compared to most days with little ones. I actually got to sleep through the entire night. I wasn’t nursing a baby in the midst of everything else. I had some occasional help and relief from two daughters, when their own schedules allowed it. I wasn’t pre-menstrual, pregnant, or post-partum. I didn’t have to correct school work or clean up vomit or take anyone to the dentist or Little League practice. I actually had it easy compared to most days in a mama’s life!
Motherhood is a great joy, but it’s also a lot of hard work. Our children are learning much about living in Christ as they watch our example. Do they see us trying to serve in our own fallen, puny strength, and then giving in to self-pity, resentment, or fretting when we fail? Or are they learning to work in the power of the Spirit because they have worked alongside us as we work in the power of the Spirit?
Are they learning to rejoice in God’s mercy when they see us sin? (We will sin because we’re human.) Do they see us confess, repent, and receive forgiveness, moving ahead in His power and strength? Or do they see us make excuses, blame others, or simply give up?
As Mother’s Day approaches, by God’s enabling grace, let’s commit to being mamas who:
- Trust in the Father, knowing that He is mighty, loving, all-knowing, and always there, a Father who always keeps His promises and always works out His sovereign plan.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Rest in Christ’s finished work, knowing that, because of the cross, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. He knows our weakness, and He is at the Father’s right hand, interceding for us.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 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 4:15-16).
- Rely on the Holy Spirit, knowing that He will direct us through His Word and empower us to do all that He has called us to do.
“…That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16).
“. . . For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂