Labels: babies and kids being purposeful Braxton family Hayleigh light and momentary struggles Mommyhood on my heart walk with God
My Mommy War
The other day I read an article on the Desiring God Blog. It was not extremely long or much of anything I hadn’t heard before, but for some reason it just grabbed ahold of me. This quote from the post summarizes it pretty well:
"The real mommy wars are not against flesh and blood, but against the one who seeks to destroy the next generation of those who would rise up to praise God." Carolyn McCulley
The scripture which the article was based on was Ephesians 6:12 which says:
“our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
When I read this I had a combination of an “aha!” and “oh, wow. I suck” moment. I don’t know why I had never before made the connection between this verse and being a mom. Surely I view parenting as a battle, and a spiritual battle. I pray for and think about my children’s spiritual well-being almost obsessively. Although I am left wondering if day to day I recognize the gravity of what it means to be a mom. This article left me with a convicting revelation.
As I thought more about why it this struck me so, I realized it is because at this point in my life I am battling all too much against the physical-the flesh and blood. I get so easily distracted and consumed by the things that I am not really supposed to be fighting against. Lately I literally feel like my body is battling against me. This past winter I was sick more than ever and now I am pregnant and dealing with nausea, insomnia and the second trimester’s new gift: migraines. Some days are battles just to get through the day with a three year old, a one year old, an oversized belly and an undersized wellspring of energy. Braxton runs everywhere, gets into everything in a moment and I am left lagging behind, trying to pick up the trail of toys behind him and keep him from killing himself. Last week while I was cleaning up from lunch he got a stool, set it up and climbed into the kitchen sink. Oye! Hayleigh is incredibly needy emotionally, demanding energy and attention that sometimes I just don’t have it in me to give. Just trying to write this post I have been interrupted three times by kids who are supposed to be napping. Sometimes the physical is just so much more obvious to me than the spiritual. Sometimes I get so caught up in “battling” with my kids sometimes that I forget that my job is to be fighting for them not against them.
Maybe this was just the reminder I needed to get me through the moments of strife, strain and exhaustion that come with the physical battles. I so enjoy and love my children. I love the toothy grins and slobbery kisses that Braxton gives me. I love to listen to him learning new words but still loving his old standbys “dog”, “ball” and '”bubble” all of which he says in a hilarious Southern drawl that makes me laugh every time. I love to watch his adventurous spirit lead him to explore and try new things. I love to listen to Hayleigh babbling away in her pretend world having conversations with characters that only she can see. I love when she says to me, “Mommy, I just want to ‘lax with you. Can you hold me?” And I love to see her tender, caring spirit flourish as she interacts with other people. These moments far outweigh the negative ones. Just as the eternal implications of my parenthood far outlast the temporal ones that I tend to let get in the way.
The reality is that my job is to raise up adults who are ready to battle against Satan. And he is going to fight me tooth and nail every step of the way as I try my best to succeed at this gigantic task. How should I be thinking and acting differently in light of that…or better yet how shouldn’t I be thinking and acting differently?
Would the little inconveniences really matter so much? Would I be so quick to lose my patience? Would I be more vigilant and attentive to the example I was setting for my children? Would I be more purposeful about taking advantage of teachable moments? Would I spend more time on my knees in earnest prayer for the souls of my babies? Would I be more faithful in my own spiritual journey? Let me tell you something; if I knew that a person was going to try to harm my children any way, or I knew someone was going to try to come into my home and take one of these precious little ones, I would be a crazy lady who stopped at nothing to protect my children. In fact I would go on the offensive to preemptively thwart their plans. Why is it so different when it comes to the spiritual battle I face as a mother? If it any less real a threat? Actually, this threat is a promised one. Oh how I have faltered from my high calling.
As I mulled over my failure in this area two other verses came to mind. 1 Corinthians 10:13”…God is faithful; He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear.” I think for me I am tempted to lose my perspective too easily. God never said it would be easy, just that it would not be too much to handle. He also says in Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls”. Lately I have longed for rest. I know my body is yearning for physical rest but perhaps my soul is also crying out for spiritual rest. I tend to run to God in moments of crisis or during stages in my life where I just cannot make “it” happen on my own. There is no crisis or overwhelming situation in my life right now, just the day to day real life. Yet, I feel God telling me to turn to Him because I need Him to get through even the day to day life. I wish this was a more natural tendency of mine. I know if I had this right I wouldn’t struggle so much with these “Mommy Wars”. I am so thankful for a God who has given me a life where I am exhausted by my many blessings. And when even the day to day seems like too much to do on my own (which if I am being honest is really all the time; I can’t do anything apart from God) He is there lovingly reminding me that earthly mommies need their Heavenly Father.