I muttered these words under my breath all day yesterday:
"Oh, if I have to clean up one more spill!" "Why doesn't anyone ever put things back where they belong?" "Please just stop talking..." "I can't do this." "If only..." "I just want to get something done today." That was the mother I was yesterday. I was tired, I was anxious, I was looking to my to-do list and not to Christ's to-BE list. Have I forgotten everything I learned about my true identity in Christ? Have I so quickly forgotten that I do not need to have everything go my way to have peace today? That a clean home is not my shelter and orderly children don't earn me anything that the blood of Christ hasn't already provided for? That the thing standing in my way to happiness today is ultimately my expectations wrapped up in sinful pride.
When I have a day like yesterday, it serves to remember that motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint. Dirt and dust, accidents, crying, messy diapers, and dishes will not cease at the end of the day. We so often act like we can overcome these inconveniences of daily living in one fell swoop...like it is somehow possible to so accurately manage the unpleasantries of working in the home that we might never have to tackle those things again. It's not how efficiently you get it all done today, it's how well you run the race to the finish.
The reality is: What we might perceive as unpleasant, inconvenient, and exhausting tasks of motherhood, actually serve to accurately reveal what we desperately rely on for comfort. We depend on those comforts, hoping that we might not need to look elsewhere, or to anyone else, for sustenance. We often live like we want to run our own race, according to our own rules, for our own glory.
We rebel against humility, weakness, lowliness, and dependence upon our Master...and try (and fail miserably) to fulfill ourselves through meager means of control and striving. And Jesus woos our rebel's heart by allowing our efforts to come up short and our attempts at satisfying ourselves to feel empty. Instead, he fills the void with what we cannot muster up for ourselves: patience, joy, forgiveness, wisdom, humility, righteousness...an eternal perspective...all of which I desperately needed yesterday.
Jesus bled for those muttered words of discontent. He redeemed this mother who fails, who wrestles, who isn't a naturally good mother. (Who is?!)
His mercies are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord...Today will be unlike yesterday, by your grace, and for your glory...as I submit to the marathon of motherhood. I hope you'll join me today.