Doing a "spot check" after your five-year-old goes Number 2. Wrestling a two-year-old who doesn't want her diaper changed. Reading that story for the 100th time. Calling to make appointments and straining to hear the person on the other end of the line over the shrieks of two children. Vacuuming while a toddler screams because she is terrified of the huge, monstrous sucking thing and feeling guilty for cleaning. Breaking up fights, cleaning up messes, answering endless questions in between washing and drying four loads of laundry, emptying the dishwasher and cooking three meals.
Just a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom.
The never ending sacred dance of comforting, wiping, disciplining, and loving. Trying to control your temper when you are met with an unexpected mess of magic markers all over an outfit, or when your oldest gives you attitude over a simple request. Being molded and shaped into the person God wants you to become, even while you are molding and shaping their young minds and hearts. One exhausting minute at a time.
You wonder sometimes if what you're doing really matters.
This scripture came to mind recently: "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." (Matthew 6:5-7, NASB, emphasis mine). I was in the middle of a crazy week and pulling double duty since my husband was away for work. There was a birthday party for one of my son's classmates, baking for the school craft fair, a friend's baby shower, and a MOMS Club board meeting, not to mention the usual chauffeuring back and forth to school, dinner and bedtime. The long week ended with Gregg's flight being delayed due to bad storms in the Midwest, causing him to arrive home six hours after we had anticipated.
I could feel that old familiar anxiety rise up after the sun had gone down and he still didn't have a firm boarding time to text me with. Resigned, I put the ground beef that I was planning to use for dinner that evening back in the fridge, prayed, and got out the frying pan to just make some scrambled eggs. In the middle of all this, I remembered that God sees me and is with me. When I'm lonely and frustrated and doubting myself. When I pray with my children and teach them to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
While I am in the thick of cleaning up the same messes, racking my brain for creative and healthy meals, correcting, soothing and struggling, I could easily overlook the moments that God breaks through my hectic day and reminds me He is there. When the two-year-old lays her sleepy head down on my shoulder right before her nap, and I stroke her hair and back while gently rocking side to side. When the five-year-old writes the numbers he has been learning in school on a piece of a paper and proudly shows it to me. And then I am thankful that I get to be here for every single, solitary moment- real and raw as they are. This roller coaster that I ride daily with them is totally worth it.
"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom may not be something you do, but someone you raise." - Andy Stanley