The life of parents with toddlers and preschoolers is one that is nothing short of marathon training! I recall when my children were in preschool, life was one continuous load of clothes, dirty dishes, runny noses and weariness. I worked away from home. I say AWAY from home because those of you who work AT home (office or not)—my hat is off to you! Most days I ran our household vacillating between Claudia Carefree and Debbie the Drill Sergeant. It worked, until it didn’t. God had a better plan!
**Children up at 6 am, breakfast, dressed with shoes on (one day that didn’t happen – story for another time!), book bags by the door, packed and ready, and out the door at 6:45, sharp! I was a stickler for punctuality! I was taught that being late was akin to stealing (time) from punctual people.
**I taught school where my children attended; some days it was a delight to exchange those two charming sweeties for a classroom full, if you know what I mean.
**Home by 4:30ish; homework, play outside, dinner, baths, reading time, prayers, and children in bed by 8:00.
**My goal was to sit down with my husband to visit and relax by 8 pm. That meant lunches packed, dishes done, laundry in process, house picked up. Do you sense a storm brewing?
By God’s design, one particular day, I had failed my motherhood duty when my son came to the teacher lunch table in tears because I had forgotten to put his quarter in his lunchbox for his daily milk carton. He said these words with tears streaming down his face, “But Mom, I was counting on you.” I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, but it was to me – this day.
One thing led to many other “momma moments,” and prior to dinner being served, I informed my husband that I was “off duty”! Imagine that – a mother of young children saying she was off duty! I had hit a wall and thankfully, God got my attention. (Please know that this momma had a high tolerance for pain, abundance of know-how, and well-sustained stamina). Problem identified!
I knew there had to be a better way to manage my time, my energy, and my desire to ‘perfect the art of child-rearing’. I had allowed pride to make its way into my mind and heart. Confession and repentance of my self-sufficient ways was a good place to start. It was a pivotal moment and, I believe, one orchestrated by God.
I knew in my heart this “wall hitting experience” was no coincidence. (Did you know that in the Hebrew language there is no word for coincidence?). God, in His great love, had a better way for me to live and move and exist (Acts 17:28). Humbling myself and confessing my independence was a necessary step, and one that placed me squarely in the lap of God’s sufficient grace. God does not call us to be self-sufficient parents. Rather, His desire is for us to admit our weakness, and, as we do, the Holy Spirit is free to teach us and to work His good pleasure in our lives. Subsequently, the outpouring of this is a beautiful thing: the grace we receive will be lived out in our homes, in our relationships, and, ultimately, our children will benefit.