Fear!! The number one thing that being a mommy has revealed in my heart is fear! I awake and it is hovering over me like a dark cloud getting ready to assault its victims, and I lie down at night, eyes blackened from the days trials, the cloud showing no sign of relenting.
I do not suppose you to avail anything I have to offer, but that God might somehow work through my inability! Many tread upon this hill, and many return to find that God alone is the keeper of their soul. No amount of inability could keep them from victory, for in God there is wisdom and strength for the journey.
A typical morning for me looks like this: “Oh no, has baby slept too long? Does she need more sleep? Is she hungry? Are these diapers too tight? Is she getting a rash from these new diapers? Am I doing this cloth diaper thing wrong? Did I lay her down for her nap too early? Did I lay her down for her nap too late? She's crying, should I pick her up? I wonder what other people do when their babies cry? If I lay her on the floor will she get a disease? When I go out will people touch her? Have you washed your hands? When I touch this door handle, are there diseases on it? Will baby turn out dumb because she doesn't sleep well?”
I don't know how many times I have called my friends asking many many questions only to find a basic theme throughout ever answer: “Every baby is different and you just have to find out what works best for your family!”
This is hard for me because I love formulas. I would live my whole life by a formula if I could. I break out in hives when hubby varies from a cooking recipe for dinner. These recipes are an exact science and so should it be with parenting! 1+1 should always equal two. But the fact is, is that it does not. You can do one thing one way and it works for baby only to find out the very next day your method is shot to pieces because something in the equation differed in some microscopic way! In fact, as I sit here and write this, baby is sitting in her baby seat because she woke up early from her nap and would not go back to sleep.
So, I am left feeling helpless because I have no equation to make baby do what I want her to do. I think in these moments when I am so desperate and needy is when God's grace is so evident! I know God is always gracious to me regardless of the circumstances, but when I call out to him for help, I am convinced that he hears my plea!
So many times I forget this. I forget to depend on Christ for my help! I try to figure it out, I try to rely on my friends who have “figured it out” I try to read books that are based on formulas. Through the years a verse has stuck with me in my times of need and it rings true to my soul today:
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord! Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. Deut 8
Be still my restless soul, for in these verses I find much strength for the task at hand! God says first that he is the one that has led me here! God is sovereign and I must acknowledge that he has given me this baby with all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies (already), and that he has given Alex Kate, me, with all my failures and ignorance! He leads me every day. I find myself always in a place where I don't know the answer for whatever baby is doing. And, I tend to believe the lie that I am going to ruin her because I don't understand her! He has brought us here. The Lord divides the darkness where he wills! He gives me my lot!
I find myself in these wee moments realizing this, that my dependence is on him! This humbling of my soul is oh but a grace of God! How magnificent that he would bring me to this weary hour to see that he gives me my bread! He causes me to hunger and HE FEEDS ME! Oh what a great God! My soul shall magnify him! Praise God for providing all that I need for life and godliness! He will not let my soul be abandoned to Sheol! He will not let me rest in this hideous self-rule that I walk in so many times! Like my hubby always quotes from Kung Fu Panda, “I must give over the illusion of control!”
Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might!”
(pause for a moment while I indulge in a amazingly delicious cupcake my hubby just brought home. MMMMMMM a picture of God's sweet grace).
As sure as I sit here and type this post, I am struggling with fear that baby will awake early from her nap. This proves to me that I am a filthy sinner with filthy rags and so in need of God's grace. First, that I have been self-dependent from the day that I was born and in need of a savior! And Second, that this is going to be an ongoing battle that in every moment for the rest of my life I shall continually confess my sin and rely upon my God!
So, weary mom rise up and praise Him for he has brought you to this place! He loves and cares for you and wants you to turn towards him for strength and victory! Trust him, for he is the one that clothes you and feeds you! Fear is a false prophet telling you lies! Be strong, my sweet friend, and stand in the strength of his might!
Oh these filthy pieces I carry,
woven so tight from my daily tarry.
These tasks that I take,
these rules that break.
Hard pressed and shattered,
this equation is scattered!
Try so hard only to see,
from his hand alone do I feed.
You have humbled my soul,
I, you have chose!
I come to this place!
Oh God, your saving grace!