Hey Mama I see you. Struggling to keep your cool, fighting back the tears, and waiting for the screams to end. I see you taking deep breaths, clenching your jaw in frustration, and pleading with your child to calm down. I see you because I am there right beside you. I am walking the same path and I feel your hurt and struggles. I carry those same burdens and I too am praying for relief.
On Sunday I had someone approach me and talk about a funny story she saw on my instagram page. We laughed for a few minutes about the silliness of life and then we came to the topic of children. She gave me some sweet and encouraging advice and she said a phrase that stuck out like a sore thumb.
“Oh yes, I remember those days. You are in the trenches.”
She had perfectly summed up the last 4 months of my life in five simple words. YOU ARE IN THE TRENCHES.
You see the Lord has blessed me with 2 beautiful and healthy children. Brooklynne my oldest was the worlds easiest baby, and to this day still obeys the first time 99.7 % of the time. The Lord also blessed me with Mercy. Beyond fitting for her name, that child has me begging God for mercy on a daily basis. How to describe her in 3 words? Stubborn, strong-willed, and defiant. Now do not get my wrong, she has the biggest heart for the people she loves and if I am “in trouble” when daddy is tickling me, she will come flying into the room in full attack mode so that she can protect me. She has qualities in her now that I recognize that show potential leadership. However, there are also many other qualities that need guidance and instruction.
A few weeks ago I was in Walmart picking out a toy for my nieces birthday with my girls and it was time to go pay. The girls had agreed upon a toy and when I told Mercy to put the other one back she instantly got angry and told me no. If you have ever been in this situation (which most moms have) you know you have approximately 20 seconds before world war 3 erupts. Before I knew it she was crying, screaming, kicking and I think at one point the walls may have been shaking. So I marched her little bum into the back area for employees only, disciplined her and walked out. Nothing improved. So we went into the bathroom, disciplined her again and walked out. And when I say walk out, it appeared more like a flustered mom struggling to carry a furious child and push the shopping cart at the same time. At that point I knew I just needed to get her out of the store so I put her in the cart, screaming and crying and went to check out. While I was waiting in the line, I heard the couple gossiping behind me about how horrible my child was acting and how they would leave the store if that ever happened to them. I was trying so hard to fight back the tears as soon as I heard that. It took every bone, muscle, and nerve in my body NOT to turn around and give them a piece of my mind. You see my husband had been out of town for the past week so I had been alone with my kids all week long. I didn’t have the option of taking them home and leaving again after they were in bed. I didn’t have the option of asking my husband to pick up the toy on his way home from work. I was playing mom and dad that week by myself and I was exhausted. So as soon as we left the store I barely had enough time to put the kids in the car before my emotions got the best of me. I sat down in the front seat burdened and feeling powerless and just cried.
Some days I feel like I am hiding deep in a war zone trying to dodge flying bullets and waiting for the moment of silence where I can peek my head above to see if it is safe to come out. Lets be honest, raising children is a battle. I never knew how angry I could get until I had tiny humans try to defy me in every way possible. However just as a soldier would prepare himself for war, so should a parent prepare themselves for the grueling (oh it is, at times) task of raising children to be mature respectful adults.
Ephesians 6:10-18 is one of my favorite passages about putting on the armor of God. After reading through it the other day, I couldn’t help but see the correlation in my everyday life being a mom. When you have a child or children that are going through a defiant or difficult phase ( so basically all parents) you HAVE to prepare yourself for the battle. If not, by the end of the day you are left defeated, worn out and exhausted. So I asked myself, How can I put on the armor of God every day when parenting my kids?
First I need to be filling my mind with truth, and that would be the word of God. It is so important to take a few minutes to humble yourself before the Lord and ask for guidance on raising these precious children we have been entrusted with. Believe me, I understand that time is fleeting but any time with God is time well spent. Lately I have been struggling with my tongue, and it has been getting me in more trouble then I would like to admit. James is a wonderful book, that teaches guidance on controlling the tongue. Oh how easy it to snap at those little faces when I am tired and worn. There are also so many good practical application in the book of James, if you have never read through the book I highly recommend it.
Secondly I can pray over my children. I like to go in late at night when my girls are asleep and pray specifically for each child. In the quiet and the stillness of the night, when I can finally hear my own thoughts, that is my favorite time to bathe those sweet babes in prayer. My children need me to fight for them. I love coming to God on their behalf and asking for their needs. Needs that they are not even aware of yet. What a blessing it is to know I can come before the throne of God and lay my worries at his feet.
I always hear people say, “Don’t blink, they grow up too fast”. Yet during the tough times, all you want is to blink in hopes of finding relief in the next stage of life. I am trying to find the happy medium, and some days it is simply having a content heart. Each day seems to pass quicker than the one before and I know I only have so many days before their little fingers and toes start to grow to match mine. Mama's stay steadfast and strong in the Lord. Our efforts are not in vain, and if no one has told you today, you are doing a wonderful job!
If you are in a similar stage of life and would love prayer over your little or big one, please let me pray for and with you! Let me lift up your babies to the Lord as I lift up mine...