A mothering life can be one that rides a temperamental sea, moving quickly from one moment to the next. It can at times leave me feeling a bit queasy, sea-sick from the rocking swell of emotion and conflict, communion, and triumph.
Case in point: yesterday morning was passed in the hushed beauty of conversation with one of my precious children. We shared our hearts; I listened eagerly to confided victories and struggles. Wisdom was passed back and forth, examined, and embraced. We entered the presence of the Holy One together, cultivating quiet and rest at His feet as we laid down our loads, exchanging them for hopeful trust. From that place of intimacy I moved into the remainder of my day, encouraged, confident, thankful.
On the previous morning, however, things had not run so smoothly.
My day had begun with a bang, rushing headlong into conflict. One of my brood had needed a strong word of exhoratation. The response had been difficult, unsettling. Sullen looks and a hardened heart were enough to send my spirits sinking. Concluding the conversation, I had pulled myself up to hit reset, hoping to gain a fresh start and redeem what remained of my morning hours.
Little did I guess that trouble, personified in the form of yet another one of my treasured gifts, was skulking outside my doorway.
This time it was training in both skills and attitude of the heart that was required. The push-back was hard. Grumbled questions, set lips, downcast eyes: tell-tale symptoms of resistance and rejection.
I sighed, started again, and hoped for a softer response. Now the Holy Spirit led me to highlight the hidden attitudes of the heart, going deep into the root of the rebellion. Gently probing, I spoke the truth of God’s word, planting seeds and watering them with a hefty dose of loving encouragement. Once again, I gave final instructions and moved away, jumping into the ever-present task of running a household.
As my hands ran through their duties, my thoughts whirled and my heart cried out.
Father, don’t allow these seeds of truth to be snatched away by the enemy. God, let your Word prevail and the lies of the evil one be defeated. Jesus, may a harvest of abundant righteousness be reaped from these moments.
Wave after wave of pleading rose strong, and as each one receded, I was left feeling a bit storm-tossed despite the ensuing calm.
Throughout this unpredictable journey called motherhood, I have learned to grasp tight my only life-line. Embracing the shalom of God is not an option for me; it is the very thread which wraps my heart in strength and hope.
I have learned that to ignore the Father’s peace, doggedly persisting in worry and anxiety, will only short-circuit my fruitfulness and joy.
However, that peace which shields my heart must oftentimes be tenaciously grasped in the midst of heaving swells, each one alternately pitching me high, leaving me to plunge into the watery valley waiting below. I turn a vibrant shade of green from the motion and cling to the buoy cast by my faithful God.
Today I wake at four am, unable to quiet my thoughts, eventually rising to the perfect stillness of a sleeping house. I have no idea what awaits me as the sun rises. Each one of my children is sleeping, and in the hush of this perfect, unsullied pre-dawn, I am hopeful.
The words of the irrepressibly sanguine Anne of Green Gables ring in my heart, “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.”