Choosing Love & Grace in Motherhood

Many times, as a mom, I must consciously choose love and grace in the chaotic moments of life. I must push away the frustration, and smother the anger that wants to arise. I must purposely choose to use my greatest ability…to just love.

Let’s face it…Whether we are stay-at-home moms or working moms, and no matter how many kids we have, life as a mom can get chaotic… PERIOD. No matter what anyone says, it DOESN’T quite get easier!

I say this, not to see the glass as half empty, but because it’s true! Whoever started saying “it gets easier” to exhausted moms at their wit’s end had good intentions, I’m sure. It is most definitely a hard adjustment in the beginning as we cry out for sleep. That part will get easier.

Babies, toddlers, teens… They are constantly growing, going through phase after phase, stage after stage. No matter how much of an expert you become at handling the newborn’s schedule, next comes growth spurts and teething as babies…

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then comes potty training and the tantrum era (“terrible two’s” or threes AND fours in my son’s case)…

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Then, our children hit preschool or school age in which we need to have the patience to help them learn (whether we send them to school or teach them in the comfort of our own home) all while maintaining discipline, manners, hygiene, nutrition, and so much more!

Then, they become preteens, then teens… oh man! And even if you find all the tips and tricks that help you with one child’s stage, your other child (or children) may end up having a completely different personality, and you may have to learn all new ways to cope! It just never ends, but call me crazy… I really don’t want it to actually end anyways.

I have learned how fast they grow, and still “practice” treasuring even the difficult moments. Like while I was trying to write this post for example, my preschool aged son could not sit still and do a quiet activity while I tried to write because he had done all his letter and number tracing, and chores. I tried Legos and various other activities, but I guess I picked the wrong time of day to do this. If you have ever tried to work at home, or make an important phone call, or do anything with children around… then I’m sure you know that frustration can arise and even elevate to anger if you let it…

I kept getting impatient that he would not let me work, and then I look at him and laugh my head off! Why you might ask? Because I JUST realized his pants are on BACKWARDS! He went to the bathroom about a half hour ago and must not have paid much attention, but neither did I! This moment of humor made me relax. It also made me realize that I was not paying attention. It made me remember that he is so young. So young for such little time. I took this opportunity to snuggle him, and put the work away.

If he were perfect and did everything correctly, I would have no role, no chance to be a good influence and help shape his precious life. I would not have enjoyed that moment of laughter and snuggling as I told him he accidently put his pants on backwards, and that I was going to help him fix it. I was also able to “practice” patience, and show him love and grace instead of frustration.

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I have three young children, my oldest only 4, so as you can imagine my patience is often tested. It seems as though someone is always crying or needing something. Sometimes all three of them are crying! I have adjusted to three young ones very well, and even find myself often THRIVING with them. Maybe doing more than a typical new mom of 3, maybe less… I do homeschool preschool with my oldest, we take them all grocery shopping, go for walks, play outside, and go places on the weekends (the mall, the library, etc.) mostly with all three in tow. However, chaos arises whenever it pleases. Someone doesn’t want to put their shoes on, I forgot someone’s water, the baby gets hot or hungry, someone hits someone else, someone gets tired and throws a tantrum… the possibilities for chaos are endless!

Daily, I must make a conscious effort to show my children love and grace in these moments of chaos. Whether they do something wrong, act out, or cry, I must LOVE. I must show grace. I must get down on their level and redirect them. Guide them. Acknowledge their feelings, and help them navigate them. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I yell. I am still learning…

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BUT the most beautiful moments are when I REMEMBER they are just young, beautiful, learning, growing children that God created. When I remember this, I show them love and grace in the situation. I help them through their little, yet big feelings. It can be made beautiful! You can change the path of a whole situation just by choosing love and grace. After all, isn’t that how our Heavenly Father treats us? With constant love and grace! When our children are young, we are their examples of Christ. To truly teach them who Jesus is, we need to be like Him. We need to instill these same characteristics into our children, but we first need to take control of ourselves.

We, also, are always learning and growing. It may be in different ways and different levels than our children, but we too must learn. Make that conscious effort. That choice. Choose love and grace over anger, and over impatience. Practice the fruits of the Spirit! “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) Be the example of Christ that children need in their lives.

Pray. Push away the frustration, and smother the anger that wants to arise. Purposely choose to use YOUR greatest ability…to just love.

Selah

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