Mothering Moments

The laundry is rumbling in the background. Washing. Drying. I just finished vacuuming, sorting blocks from legos and magformers from shapes. I throw away trash. Put away dirty dishes. Gather dirty clothes. I straighten the bathroom again, the toilet paper roll left bare now replaced with a fresh roll. The excess toothpaste in the sink. Wipe it up.

I'm interrupted by a cry of "I've got blood," which means another bloody nose.

(Artwork by Three Little Monkey Studios)
Dishes sit in the sink, the scuzz of leftover smoothies too strong to be removed without a decent soaking in hot water and soap. The kids are playing outside. Running on the porch. Riding bikes. Yelling demands. Shrieking with delight. Barefoot at the moment because they're "only on the porch."

There's much more to be done. Load after load of laundry to be done. Clean sheets to be put on stripped beds. Sweeping throughout the house. The bathroom floor cleaned. Trash taken out. Zucchinni bread to be baked. Kids to be kissed. Counters to be wiped. empty wrappers from now eaten fruit snacks need to be thrown away.

I sit here having just finished reading Meditations for Mothers: Moments with God Amidst A Busy Nest by Elisa Morgan. I was struck by the passage I read today...

                 "Romans 12:1- 'Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in veiw of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God-This is your spiritual act of worship.'

             Put Yourself Into Your Mothering...

      Are there days, Mom, when your mothering becomes complete 'othering'? There are seasons when we seem to be required to invest even our bodies in the vocation of mothering. Pregnancy. Nursing. Middle-of-the-night feedings. Muddled brains from processing math we once understood. Missing meals to care for someone sick. Tired knees from praying for a gone-astray child.
      Radio speaker, author, and mother Mary Whelchel is enchanted with eagles and with the spiritual lessons we can see in their nest-building practices. Listening to her describe the finishing touches on an eagle's nest, I was pierced by the mother eagle's investment in her home. It seems that once she builds the eight-foot by ten-foot monstrous nest (which has been said to look like a bonfire waiting for a match), she then softens the nest by plucking down from her own chest. Adding a fluffy bit here and there, like pillows accenting a color scheme in a living room, the mother eagle completes her nest with an offering of her own body.
    But does putting ourselves into our mothering requires only self-denial and pain? Is that what God desires of us? I don't think so. In the passages above, Paul is discussing the overall care for our bodies in this life and that offering our bodies means nurturing ourselves as much as sacrificing ourselves. In order to be able to invest daily in the lives of our loved ones, we must also nurture our bodies with rest-- and our souls with time with God--so that we will have something to offer.
    There will be days to pluck the feathers from our chests to soften the nest where we raise our young. And then there will be days when we, too, must cuddle up in the down to rest, caring for our own bodies and souls. "

         So when am I to sacrifice and when I am to rest? I think this comes from praying and asking the Holy Spirit to lead us through our days so we know what to do with each moment. Moments for work and moments for rest. Moments to clean and moments to read. Moments to sit and hold our children and moments to teach, train and instruct.

           In addition God gives us His Word. We are able to learn and grow in understanding, knowledge and wisdom and be guided in our daily living by the Bible.

Today is a day I just want to not do anything. I'm hot and sweaty and feel bleah. But instead of giving into how I feel and allowing that to dictate my day I'm choosing instead to ask God, "What does today look like? How can I honor you today? How can I bless my husband and family today? What does loving you look like today Lord?" and He is wonderfully faithful. He will guide and lead all my steps despite my failings.

And so I surrender the day to Him. All the joys and frustrations and irritations and sweet mercies.

Thank you Jesus for ministering to me as I mother today!


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