Last week when my sister dropped by for an impromptu visit, she found herself standing outside on our front porch, talking to her nieces through the window because mommy was no where to be found.
One of the rules at our house is no unlocking doors under ANY circumstances without permission from Will or I (even if you know the person knocking at the door). So my poor sister, bless her heart, stood outside for a good five minutes before I came out of hiding and realized that she was standing on the porch, patiently waiting for me to come let her in the house.
(the scene looked a little something like this, except the girls are about a year and a half too young in this picture)
We were having one of those days and I had locked myself in my bathroom for a brief respite to regain my sanity (and to use the facilities alone, in private, without an audience.)
Talk about feeling like mom of the year.
Luckily it was just my sister and not a policeman or DSS. And yes, that honestly was the first time I've ever done that (really, what are the odds?)
But all joking aside, this mothering gig is hard work.
At some point during most days, I deal with something that looks a little like this:
Boundaries are tested and mischief is usually chosen over common sense.
Oh wait, children aren't born with common sense. They have to do things like color on the wall to learn that we aren't actually suppose to color on the wall.
And at these moments when I find myself most frustrated and wanting to loose my temper, I have to take a time out and remember what my purpose is in this calling of motherhood, and how to discipline in love and patience instead of out of frustration and anger.
In Mission of Motherhood, Sally Clarkson writes that
The purpose of training our children is not to force them to do what we want. The purpose is not to produce guilt or shame but to free our children to enjoy the fruit of mature living. This means that training should always be exercised in gentleness, along with love and patience.
The wise mother takes the time to correct her children over and over again so they can experience the peace and freedom of knowing how to govern their lives in such a way as to be mature, wise, and at peace with God.
Ahhh, yes. Good words to hear.
Words in a book that I've read about four times already, but somehow still forget to apply in my daily walk as a mother.
Accountability and Community are so so very important in this season of life.
Somehow the craziness that comes with never getting a full nights' sleep and the responsilibty of raising a selfish little person into a loving responsible adult is a little easier to endure when you have friends to walk alongside who can completely relate to your situation.
"Oh, honey, locking yourself in the bathroom isn't crazy. Did I ever tell you about the time I forgot my son at Publix and didn't realize it until I got home?"
"Sarah Mae went through the same phase when she was two and now you would never know that she used to sneak dog food for a snack."
"I can't carry on a coherent conversation with another adult either unless it involves nursing schedules, teething, and diaper rash cream."
We need a wiser voice training us, encouraging us, and reminding us of the beauty in this responsibility that the Lord has placed in our hands.
This past year, I have had the privilege of working alongside some incredibly amazing women who share a joy in mothering their little ones. On Wednesday mornings, we gather together with about forty other moms for a little something called Time Out. The whys and hows of how God brought this ministry into being are not important right now, although it is something I'd love to share if I can find the right words, because it makes me smile every time I think about His goodness and grace in bringing us together.
Each Wednesday morning we get together for a couple of hours to fellowship and listen to a sweet friend share some encouragement that the Lord has laid on her heart. We then get to break out into small groups to share life with each other, sharing our struggles as we encourage and pray for one another.
I share all of this with you because this semester, we have been able to record Brenda's talks from Wednesday morning's Time Out sessions. She is like our very own Beth Moore (hehe..she'd die if she knew I said that!) but she is blessed with the talent of teaching and her words encourage me each week. If you find yourself in need of a mommy time out of your own, you can click on the picture below and it will take you to the talks she has given so far this semester.
But I have to warn you... they are good! Really good and you'll find yourself challenged to grow to be a better wife and mom.
This picture is from our first session in January, and yes, she is wearing a fruit loop necklace and a bandoleer of string cheese. You'll just have to listen to the talk to find out why!
Hope her words will lift you up and encourage you as you move through your days as a mama!