I usually do my best thinking in the middle of the night. Do you ever have those nights where such profound thoughts are in your heart and head? Maybe it’s my exhaustion or maybe it’s just the quiet of the night when the Holy Spirit moves in me, preparing me for the day ahead. As I mentioned in my first post, motherhood has changed me. Specifically mothering three boys has changed me.
As a mental health therapist by trade I’m pretty familiar with and knowledgeable about psychiatric diagnoses. And I’m pretty sure I have some degree of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). My neat-freak-ness took on a whole new level once my first boy began to walk. Yes, many well-meaning people told me “just let it go”, “you can clean it up after he’s in bed”, “get used to it”, etc. But my internal need for control and order wouldn’t allow it! I function better when my house is in order and when it’s messy and chaotic then my attitude reflects quite the same! Not pretty! So since having my boys God is doing major adjustments in my heart and life. In order for Him to change me and make me need Him, He did the following: He gave this OCD mama three boys. Not three sweet little girls, not one boy and two sweet, un-messy girls. But three messy, loud, dirt-loving boys. The change wasn’t sudden. In fact, I ignored the nudge at first. I went about my business and my Sunday-morning-faith (you know, the faith that you have on Sunday mornings, but don’t have Monday-Saturday?) I knew in my heart that I was saved and that I loved the Lord, I said my bedtime prayers and thanked God for His many blessings, but I lacked a real, true, gut-wrenching relationship with my Creator. That didn’t come until number three was born and I realized I couldn’t do this parenting thing alone. Heck, I can’t do this life thing alone. So when I surrendered and allowed the change to begin I started to see and hear God like I never imagined. I relied on Him for strength to get me through the longest winter of my life. A winter spent with an energetic five-year-old, my then 18 month old toddler and a newborn. Those days were so long, at times lonely and of course very cold, which meant we were inside all day, everyday. There were days that it seemed the clock stood still and days when I couldn’t wait until bedtime. I knew Spring would eventually come, but until then I had to survive. But who just wants to survive? I realized things had to change and that I would much rather thrive than survive. So God was working in me and I began to see things differently. I began to see His plan for me and my family. I began to see why he wanted me at home to raise these boys. All for His glory and His kingdom. At just the right time a sweet godly woman offered to come to my house every Monday morning to spend time in the Word, offer words of wisdom and pray for me. I joined a bible study at church and started reading my bible regularly, letting the scriptures saturate my heard and hiding God’s Word away within me.
In church last Sunday we discussed a particular set of scriptures that really stuck with me. In John 15, 1-3: Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He also trims every branch that produces fruit to prepare it to produce even more. You have already been prepared to produce more fruit by the teaching I have given you.” This reminded me of what God is doing in my life. Pruning me to be the mother, wife and godly woman He knows I can be, but only with His help. Once I realized that I am weak and He is strong, and the magnitude of Christ dying on a cross for me, my life was changed. My prayer life changed. My relationships changed (and are still changing). My outlook changed. The way I dressed changed. The way I view parenting changed. My priorities changed. There is change happening in every aspect of my life, on a daily basis. When I don’t spend time with the Lord, I feel it. I feel those old patterns and ways of doing things (my way) creeping back in. Then I crave God and His presence and think “How could I not make You my priority everyday?” Is everyday sunshine and rainbows? Heck no. A lot of days there are intermittent thunderstorms! Change doesn’t happen overnight and my pride and strong will still get in the way! But I know, like Scripture tells me, that God will complete this good work He has started. And that He loves me unconditionally, is quick to forgive and show me His way of doing things (because doing it my way usually gets me into trouble). He has taken me where I am (a mess) and redeemed me, saved me from myself.
So I’m learning to accept this privilege of mothering boys, dirt and all. I’m not fretting so much about the messes, though most days I do still have Windex in one hand and my handheld vacuum in the other.
… Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God! …
~William Ross Wallace