This exchange came completely out of nowhere, took less than 30 seconds and reminds me why I love being with my daughter.
KidFish: “What’s this?”
Me: “That’s a list of the people I pray for every day.”
KidFish: “That’s how you love them.”
Sometimes the things that come out of KidFish’s mouth are so insightful and wise. I’ve never thought about prayer as an act of love, but it truly is.
Sleep is my favorite activity. I am NOT one of those super moms that wake up before the rest of the family to start the day. In fact, I have a super human ability to sleep long stretches of time. Sometimes I think I’m a koala trapped in a human body…they sleep 22 hours a day!
This morning, however, I woke up to one of “those cries.” You know, the ear piercing kind. The kind that translates into “Mom! Come get me NOW! RIGHT NOW! WHY AREN”T YOU HERE YET? I’M GOING TO KEEP SCREAMING UNTIL YOU COME!!!!!”
Eyes blurry, I looked at my clock, which read 5:27. 5:27?!? Maybe I could ignore her or pretend to be asleep. But that’s not what good moms do. Good moms get up. So I dragged my limp, lifeless body out of bed to calm her down. It was in those moments of sleepless delirium that I realized three things:
1. Treasure these moments, because it won’t always be this simple.
It’s not easy, but it’s simple now. A cuddle and a song can fix just about anything. There may come a time when my daughter experiences pain and heartbreak at a level that my cuddle cannot soothe, so I better enjoy these moments while I can.
2. I am irreplaceable.
Of the 7 billion people in the world, KidFish only has one mom—me. She will only ever have one mom. She’ll have people that come into her life that love, mentor, teach and guide her, but she’ll still only have one mom. What an awesome privilege!
3. It’s as much for her as it is for me.
Sometimes I think that parenting is a one way street and that It’s my job to take care of her. Although for the most part it is (at least at this stage) KidFish also has the ability to take care of me in ways no one else can. I am insecure and have a deep fear of rejection, but knowing that I am the only one that can comfort her in the wee hours of the morning is healing for me.
What things go through your mind when you have to wake up at all hours of the night for your children?
It’s amazing how sometimes a song can so perfectly capture the cry of my heart…
(Invade by Watermark)
Right now I am impatient, prideful and stubborn. Right now I am insecure, selfish and controlling.
This is who I am today, but not who I ultimately want to be.
I have a picture in my mind of the future me. It’s a picture of a kind old woman whose spent a lifetime being moved by the Holy Spirit. One whose rough edges have been softened by a loving, forgiving and gracious God. One who looks a lot more like Jesus than the one who exists today.
I see myself as a gentle, yet strong old woman. My eyes will be wrinkled from years of joy and laughter. My hands will be tired from a life spent in service to others. My belly will be soft, squishy and perfect for cuddling and comforting little children. My steps will be slow and steady because I’ll have figured out that most things just aren’t that big of a deal. My lips will overflow with love and encouragement. My heart will be filled with grace and compassion for others.
Most importantly, I’ll to be a woman whose inner beauty overwhelms my physical appearance.
I am not yet who I wish to be and that is okay because God has shown me a picture of who I will become if I continue to walk faithfully with Him.
Dear Chore Chart,
We need to talk. Lately, I feel like things between us have gotten out of control. When we first met, I welcomed you into my home as an assistant. You quickly became more than an assistant to me, you became a real friend. When I was adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom with a newborn baby, you brought some much needed sanity to my home. You made sure I had clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat off of. You helped keep things in order when everything felt so out of control.
Those early days were great, but now our relationship seems less like a partnership and more like a dictatorship. Somewhere along the way we switched places. You went from assistant to boss. Instead of cheering me on after accomplishing a task, you started to make me feel guilty for every unfinished chore. I found myself exchanging time with my daughter for time with a mop and sponge just to make you happy. Every time I played make-believe with her instead of wash dishes I felt like I was doing the wrong thing.
I feel worthless and inadequate because you measure my value in household chores.
We need to re-evaluate our relationship. You are my assistant, not my master. You do not get to tell me who I am or what my value is. You do not get to determine my worth as a person or my effectiveness as a mother. What you do get to do is gently remind me that I have a responsibility to keep my home reasonably tidy, that I function best in order, not chaos, and that you really are here to help.
I really do appreciate you and all the calm you’ve brought into my home. I hope you will stay. Life is better with you than without you.