By: Kristen Oliver
One area in particular I feel like I am constantly chasing grace is in motherhood. Even with the good, the rough, the down-right hard moments of motherhood, I am reminded that God has given me two sweet boys to love and raise. Mothering is a BIG responsibility, I would venture to say the biggest of my life, aside from following Christ! Kids watch what we do, ask questions (a lot, a lot of questions) and make decisions based on their experiences, based on what we’ve taught them, or haven’t taught them.
“Here’s the thing about grace: you don’t have to be perfect to embrace it. Grace is free- for imperfect and unworthy people like you and me.” -Grace, Not Perfection pg. 8
As a little girl I always pictured myself getting married and having kids soon after. Which is what I did, but the difference between imagining this scenario and actually living it out day-to-day is something much different. It’s harder than I imagined…
I dream of kid free days and countdown the hours until nap time. I reminisce back on the days when Mike and I could do what we wanted, when we wanted, without having to book a babysitter week’s in advance. If I’m really going to be honest…. I miss my pre-baby body!
BUT…. amidst this crazy season of raising little ones, I’m also loving it. I love the smells of their freshly washed hair. I love the way Lucas runs up to me and screams…Mommy!!! And then wraps his little arms around my neck. I love listening to Landon explain things to Lucas, and Lucas listening better to him than to me. I love watching Mike wrestle with our two boys and hear their full belly giggles.
This week my darling husband Mike came down with the flu on Monday, we always joke that when he gets sick he does it well, too well! Then Landon, our 5-year-old, and Lucas, our crazy 2.5-year-old, inevitably started showing signs of the flu two days later. By the grace of God, or all the Clorox and hand washing, mommy is still going strong! I recently had a conversation with a friend and we were discussing how our heart breaks when our kids are sick, but we LOVE the extra cuddle time (so bad I know!) When my kids are sick nothing else matters but the necessities. Food, hydration, rest, lots of cuddles and of course Netflix. All the other “should do’s” go out the window, because in that moment all I care about is my kid’s, physical health.
Although, this has been an emotionally and physically draining week for my family, there have been some amazing moments as well. Since we have had so much time on our hands, to be home with each other, Landon has had more time to practice reading! As a reading teacher there is nothing that makes me happier than to see my son excited in learning to read!!! Let me tell you though, this was definitely not the way I imagined he would learn to read; when he had the flu, in between fevers and sleep. But man, if that isn’t how life is? Life is messy and inconsistent with ebbs and flows.
Mothering is a 24/7 gig and there will be seasons of motherhood, like I’m experiencing right now, that test your strength and will as a person. But…. then you come out on the other side and see how much growth you experienced during that time. Although I don’t enjoy going through tough periods in my life (who does?). I can always tell how God brought me through and was encouraging and strengthening me through it. Like this week, every free moment I have had I have been writing. God has been speaking to my heart about exactly what I am going through right now. Instead of allowing anxiety and depression to creep its way in this week, God has been allowing peace and joy to fill my heart through songs, phone calls of encouragement (thanks mom) and Landon learning to read. He has been reminding me to leave margin for grace during this week. My daily checklist is out the window, the dishes are piling up, and the laundry is not done…Because I have been everything to everyone. If you are still reading this I am assuming you have been there too?! Guess what? It’s ok. Just like in life, motherhood comes with different seasons and we have to be flexible whatever comes our way.
“I’m slowly learning that my happiest most special moments happen when the circus is at its peak.” -Grace, Not Perfection pg. 66
If you have read any of my other posts you know that I WILL NOT write about anything I haven’t experienced myself, because that’s just fake and who has time for that? The only way I am not losing my ever-loving mind this week is because I am focusing on God’s promises and all his goodness, not my faults, weaknesses or unfairness in the world.
I don’t know what season of life you are in right now, but all you need to know is YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Someone else is experiencing your pain, your joy and your struggles too. You can get through it and come out stronger on the other end, I truly believe that. I believe God has a purpose for everyone’s life. I have been reminded to give myself grace during this season of my life.
We are made perfect in God’s image, so lets stop striving for perfection on our own when its impossible to obtain without God’s guidance. There are so many areas in life we need to extend grace to our lives but for me, right now, my biggest struggle is in motherhood.
Where do you need to give yourself grace?
Share below one area you want to focus on extending yourself grace.