Yesterday was just one of those days. One of those days when it seems like each task takes a little more patience and a whole lot of letting go of any and all expectations I had of accomplishing household chores and errands.
I realized this as I was feeding my 6 month old, Grace, who has recently discovered that it is oh so fun to sputter and bubble and blow at the precise moment her daily pureed flavor reaches her sweet lips. This usually results in me wearing her lunch.
As much as I love the color orange, those sweet potatoes and carrots don’t really suit me.
When Benjamin, my two year old, was going down for his nap he insisted I sit with him as he fall asleep. There was no slipping away and assuring him I would be there when he awoke. So I sat and I waited. Just as he was drifting away peacefully into dreams of cars and trains and endless amounts of ice cream, the dog started barking like the sky was falling. So we began again, sitting and waiting, saying over again “I’m here sweet boy, don’t worry.”
It was in that moment that God tapped on my heart and reminded me of my vocation and of the many ways motherhood makes us holy. I wanted to say I didn’t have time for this. I needed to be cleaning or simply sitting down and regaining my sanity. Why didn’t my toddler hear the tick tock of my precious free time dwindling? The dishes were piling up in the sink and my husband’s laundry was beginning to take over our laundry room. Benjamin needed my presence. He needed me to say “I’m here and there is no where else I would rather be.”
We can make motherhood so complicated, but in many ways it’s really about doing simple things with great consistency. My children need my presence. They need a Momma who is patient. Our days require us to continually die to ourselves, and to let go. By let go I don’t only mean letting go of the way it makes me cringe when I see my toddler take a cup, scoop water out of the dog bowl and drink it. It is those simple moments that require us to give of ourselves, like reading that book for the fourth time in a row or clapping and cheering like it was the very first time a basketball sailed into its hoop.
In my short two and half years as a Momma I have noticed something about my selfishness. The nights when the baby is up sick with a cold and a fever, my heart responds swiftly. Will I be brewing an extra cup of coffee in the morning? That is a resounding yes. But, I wouldn’t be anywhere else than rocking that fussy, stuffy baby. Those momentous moments that call our hearts on to unconditional love, while not easy, flow organically. Ask me to wash that spit up out of my hair and my love is sluggish. I’ll probably even be weeping silently while I do it.
As mothers, we are constantly called to turn away from our selfishness, to open our hearts in service. I will be the first to admit that there are many days I do this much less gracefully than I ought. But my sweet little children have entered me into the school of love. I am learning. I am learning how to love and I am learning what it means to be loved by a good God who is ever present and always patient. A good God who claps and cheers like it was the first time anyone ever changed a diaper with pure love in her heart.
I praise God for my two little teachers, Benjamin and Grace. Be patient with me little ones, you are making me holy.
What did your children teach you today?
You can read more of Meaghan’s thoughts on the life, love, and the joys of motherhood at Love Simply. Live Fully.