Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mama-Land: Ups, Downs, and Grace

Jayce and Daddy hard at work
I texted my friend this afternoon, "How can a child be SOOOO sweet, loving, kind and caring and also be SOOOO annoying at the same time?!" Her response: "They are 3."


Each day seems to be so full of ups and downs, unexpected sweet heart-turn-to-mush moments as well as frustrations and beat-my-head-against-the-wall moments.

Recently we purchased a home that needs some TLC before we can move. I find that my remaining braincells and paltry mental abilities are divided even more as I struggle to balance life. I'm behind on laundry, my kitchen is a mess, my kiddos are neglected, and I'm not nearly as effective on the new-house projects as I'd like to be. I find myself being stressed, grumpy, and occasionally snappy with the kiddos.  Ugh. Oh, my husband needs to eat?  Ha!

It's in the midst of it all that I am stressed by my three-year-olds' 3-year-old behavior. How do you explain to a three year old that asking the same question I just answered is annoying? Or, that if they know the answer, there really isn't a need to ask? Or, if I have 5 things I'm trying to juggle, do I really need to acknowledge and comment on the blue truck? Or, do we need to invent 10 things to do instead of take a nap? Or, explain that the same lyrics of "The Wheels on the Bus" repeated over and over (the "waaaa waaaa waaaaa" part) is about to make my brain implode? Or, ask for more food even though we finished lunch a half hour ago?  Small things seem to be ever-so-much more stressful than they should be.

I find I ooze through the day, making it from one cold, unfinished cup of coffee to the next cold, unfinished cup of coffee. I start to stress about the next day, since I am barely functional today.  Many times I have been reminded of Christ's words in Matthew 6, 
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I can't worry how I'm going to get through tomorrow.  I can't wonder how I'm going to keep my kiddos occupied and happy tomorrow, while it's still today.  Tomorrow can wait.  I need to be present in today and trust God with the worries of tomorrow.  

Nap time at the new house
and paint color choices....
Frustration and affirmation.  How is it possible that so many emotions and experiences can exist in a single day?  I received some racist comments about my kiddos today, and it was disheartening.  Within the same hour, I was affirmed by a complete stranger in the produce aisle.  I was snuggling and holding Anya, waiting for my grandmother to pick out her broccoli.  A woman genuinely apologized as she reached around me for an organic pear.  "I'm sorry I need a pear.  What you're doing is so much more important!"  Another stranger commented on Anya hugging me, "She loves you so much!" 

Little Man in his happy place!
Countless times in the midst of my grumpiness, my kiddos have shown love.  Jayce is, by far, my least outwardly affectionate child.  In the last week or two, I've had an increase of random kisses, a half a dozen or so random "I love you, mama"s, and some content snuggles from him.  Just this evening, after a long day, I lay on his bed as he was going to sleep.  He found my hands and intertwined his fingers, content just to hold my hands.  Sigh.  Happy mama-moments.  

In the middle of all the work and busyness, there really is grace.  When I'm feeling worn out, a friend mows our lawn.  Another friend stops by to help my husband for a bit.  My kiddos are needy and require calming, and I'm reminded that when I feel needy, God is the One in charge and I can have peace about things outside my control.  Grace.

Life in Mama-land is messy and much beyond my abilities.  God's grace is so much bigger than my circumstances, and He gives me what I need in the moment-- for today, in this moment, with these people.  He shows His love for me through my children and through strangers.  He shows my need for Him through my children and through others. How I need Him!

So, here goes today: looking for God's grace and trusting Him with the highs and lows of where He has me for today.  Now, where did I put my coffee??!

Daughter's room.  Pink.  Help.