Many years ago, long before children were ever on the radar, I had a job! Yup…a real job. Imagine that. I worked from eight to five, earned my very own money and had a splendid time marketing the city where I lived in South Africa. I got to do something I loved. I was with people all day long, got out of the house, and made many beautiful friendships along the way.
Life was dandy.
Well, most of the time it was. There was the odd crummy day in there too–you know, the “Honey, I had a bad day at the office today” kinda day. They were few and far between, but they sure did exist.
Then life changed. And changed. And changed some more.
We had kids! A bunch of them. God kept adding to us beautiful blessings. And we welcomed them with open arms. It has been an absolute joy. We made a decision a long time ago that I would stay home to raise our children, and I have never once regretted it. I have loved every minute of being home with my children. They fill my days with love, cuddles, laughter, kisses, and they fill my love tank to overflowing. There is truly no place I would rather be than right here in my home.
“Honey, today was a really bad day at the office!”
Just as I once had those crummy days in the real office, I have them here too. I do. It’s no different to what life was like all those years ago. This is my workplace, my mission field. It’s the job the Father has given me to do. But that sure does not mean that things are peachy every day of my life. The bad days? I have my fair share of them too. Just in case you thought that my life was always a bed of roses and my children perfectly behaved at all times. That would be a NO.
This week has been one of those times. Two sick kids who whine and cry all day long, the dang laundry pile is overflowing (again), the house is a complete disaster, the unanswered emails are too many to count, the bath tub still has a lovely ring around it, homeschool has not quite been a priority, the dust is thick on the bookshelves, the to-do list keeps getting longer, phone calls seldom get returned, the ironing (heck, whatever that is) is piled sky high, the kids have turned the pantry upside down in their constant quest for food, and vacuuming is nothing but a good intention. I am distracted by too many things.
Aaah, yes, it’s been a couple of those days.
Days when I simply feel depleted. Like I have nothing more to give to anyone.
It’s life. Isn’t it? Just a constant ebb and flow of good days and some very challenging days.
There was once a time in my life when I felt as if I had failed horribly as a mom if I had a day like I have had today. Gosh, and Lord forbid I had two in a row. That would positively make me the worst mama in the world, I thought. It would send me scampering after every mothering book on the planet in search of the perfect solution to make every day a great mothering day. Of course it never worked. There is no such thing.
These days I see things so differently. I pray for good days, but accept that some may just not turn out the way I hope they will. Some days are just darn crummy. The kids will test my patience more than I ever imagined possible. The house will be in a shambles. I will fall into bed at night, feeling awful that I was quick with my tongue and that I was not slow to anger. I will regret certain decisions and wish I had loved and snuggled more and been impatient way less.
I am a work in progress.
I am human. I am a mama leaning on my Savior one day at a time. I am a child of the risen King. That does not give me a golden ticket to the easy life. Oh no. His Word promises me that the trials will come knocking on my door. God tells me that this life will have trials and challenges, and that I need only be concerned about today. Tomorrow is a whole new story just waiting to unfold–and how it turns out is not my concern.
These days I see my challenging days in my “office” as an opportunity to learn, grow, and become the mother that God would have me be. I embrace them, actually, for I know that God uses even my worst days to teach me profound lessons and deep truths. It’s on days like this that He reveals my nasty sin–things that need to be weeded out so that more of Him and less of me is all that remains.
On days like today when I am depleted and running on empty, I know that my God is more than able to fill me right back up again and give me the everything I need to run my race with perseverance. Never forgetting that He who has called me WILL enable me.
“Honey, I had a really bad day at the office today.”
And you know what? It’s quite alright for us mama’s to have them too.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Cor. 12:9