Blessings in the Interruptions

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My husband snapped this picture in the morning before he left for a special assignment… said it was too cute to miss.  Recently, our beautiful girl has decided waking up VERY early is just the thing to do 😉 and I’ve been letting her stay up with me so I can continue with some time to read the Bible and pray.

What I would have considered an interruption has become such a beautiful blessing of extra time to cuddle with her and enjoy alone time with her.  I usually get her some chocolate milk, and coffee for myself, and sit back down where she stays quietly reading one of her books or her little Christmas story Bible (sooo cute!!!) and gives me another 30 minutes to an hour to read and pray.  Our boys were a little too rough and rowdy to have done this (and I tried LOL) so having a sweet, gentle girl is a nice change 😀 !  I love how different they are.

In the book, The Mission of Motherhood, this quote recently stood out,

“How do we make the commitment to give the area of motherhood over to God as a sacrifice of worship to him?

We yield our personal rights into his hands.  We give up our time and expectations to him – and also our fears and worries about how we will manage.  We trust him to take care of us and our family.  We let him redirect our thinking and expectations and adjust our dreams.  And we wait in faith to see the fruit of our hard labor in the lives of our children, knowing that he will be faithful to honor our commitment to him.”

I consider that early morning time – a time of peace and a rare stillness that falls over the house when everyone else is asleep – my time to replenish and really focus on God and His Word.  I can see how it could be called my “Me-Time,” or be something a friend would say I have a “right” to.  And I get it – having that time not go as I planned due to a fussy baby means mentally or emotionally giving up this “right.”

We’re all about “rights” as women in this day and age.  Whether it’s the “right” to some alone time, the “right” to some pampering, or even the “right” to complain (yes, I’ve heard this!), it seems we live a chronic state of feeling we deserve certain circumstances or treatment.  Since mothers usually do spend a lot of time serving, I think we have this expectation that we should receive a form of “payment” in return for all our efforts.  But that’s just it – a real sacrificial love doesn’t demand (or even expect) payment or retribution for things lost like time and energy.  Is alone time or being pampered inherently bad?  Of course not 🙂 but it can be if we view them as though they’re owed to us because we “sacrifice so much.”

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Loving our children in such a way that we try to re-frame these interruptions, or messes… or accidents… into opportunities for blessings or “divine appointments,” as Clarkson calls them, is such a dramatic difference in perspective.  I admit this is something I have to routinely call myself back to in keeping in focus.

*

“Greater love has no one than this,

that one lay down his life for his friends.”

*

Clarkson goes on to describe God’s design for motherhood as comparable to what Jesus described in John 15:13.  Mother’s in many ways, are called to figuratively “lay down their lives” for their children.

This means that even when we don’t feel like it, we choose to “serve” them by getting up with them or helping them get back to sleep. ❤

It means that even when it’s the millionth time that week that we’re cleaning the kitchen floors because babies and toddlers eat so messy, that we choose to do it anyway.  ❤

It may mean SO many different changes and sacrifices made toward goals, careers, dreams, or life plans in ensuring they’re getting what they all need from us.

Something I’ve been thinking about, and something that has been brought to the forefront as we’ve had more children, is the “cost” of motherhood.  How deep is that cost I don’t know.  I’m sure it differs for each family, and certainly when considering how many children a mother has, but it is a topic very interesting to me when thinking about how much a woman gives up (yet also gains) when living out the role of a mother?

If anyone has any ideas on this topic I’d love to hear them!

Stephanie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Blessings in the Interruptions

  1. You raise a vital point, a question I have been trying to answer as a decade of stay-at-home motherhood has whittled me down to a cranky, confused, resentful mess.
    Raising children is SO important, and they show me daily how much they need my care and direction. My question is more of ‘how can I give so much to them, and still keep myself?’

  2. @Mothertherealist I love that you’ve been able to be a stay at home mom for a decade, wow! I do understand how it can wear on you, if you want to check it out, this book is in my opinion, very good at addressing that issue of “burn-out” or falling into those attitudes (it basically teaches you how NOT to fall into those attitudes 😉 ).

    It is hard, just like with any kind of longterm venture I think (men experience those feelings, too, they honestly just complain less about it). But it can be hard for men and women to stick with it through the ups and downs, and being a mother is a marathon journey, so it makes sense there would be harder times and then easier times and then maybe harder (ebbs and flows).

    In motherhood, Clarkson talks about how there are just so many things that need to be done, and then done again, and then done again and done again… I think it can be easy to feel like you have little value, or are just a house-cleaner/dish washer/cook, etc. I think it can be even harder when you may have been raised to want/desire a career, or to believe that if you don’t have those things that your life was wasted or purposeless. When you have kids, unless somehow one is able to juggle work life and family life (which most women admit they hate doing) then choosing which to pursue and which to sacrifice is crucial for one’s happiness 🙂

    That’s a really long way of saying that when you choose to sacrifice other pursuits, I think there is less crankiness, resentment, and confusion because you know that every time you do something mundane, you’re doing something from sacrificial love and being like Christ to your kids and family. For me this really turns my attitude around when I view cleaning/cooking/dealing with accidents or correcting their attitudes as a form of a ministry to my family. The purpose of keeping love and grace and discipline and forgiveness in a family is VERY important, and they won’t be able to learn those things if my own attitude doesn’t teach them how to react/respond, etc. If that makes sense. I have to model that myself (which IS hard, that’s why I really want that quiet time in the morning to kind of mentally prepare for the day so I hopefully choose to do the right things)!

    Having older women to go to when you’re wanting to vent or question things (or your purpose) has been wonderful for me personally. They often have a MUCH better sense of the big picture and just bring a lot of perspective to the “problems” that I don’t tend to see since I haven’t lived all the way through seeing children raised. It really does make a difference when you look back that far, to see what *truly* mattered, compared to the annoyances that maybe a grandmother would realize she should have had more patience with when she was younger.

    And that question is so hard to answer right? I think the “cost” of motherhood (which I dare say could include “losing yourself” in your kids?) is probably different in each family, especially in regard to how many kids they have, whether she has to work or is able to stay home. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to “lose” your life for the pursuit of somethign that furthers the Kingdom of God… and motherhood – raising kids who you want to become mature, good Christian men and women is definitely something divine (even though it doesn’t look divine LOL). So… for me… losing myself in pursuit of what God wants me to do, I think that would be a good thing.

  3. That is beautiful. Thank you.

    Yes, I feel I need to find my motivation and the source of my negative feelings. It’s a long search, for sure.

  4. Beautiful post, Stephanie!
    You brightened my morning. 🙂
    Hope you had a good Halloween….no trick or treaters up on this mountain. LOL
    First time in at least 20 years that I didn’t hand out candy or shuffle kiddos door to door.
    It’s our next season in life! But I do miss the times when our boys were wee. Even then, tired as I was, I knew those days were numbered. Looking forward to grand kiddos someday.

  5. Just to add, I can relate to “losing oneself”. Things I liked to do before kiddos (these were simple things….reading, sleeping, exercising, taking a shower, just being able to sit on the toilet uninterrupted for that matter) kind of went by the wayside…not just for weeks or months, but years. I missed being able to converse with actual adults about matters other than childcare too. It helped back in the day they had some interesting debate forums so I could talk to people around the world from time to time about politics, et al. But I don’t know of any such places now (where actual debate takes place between reasonable people who might disagree).

  6. Aww Liz!!!! That is hilarious trying to imagine kids getting up and down the mountain! Glad they didn’t try… would have been interesting LOL! (side note: I have all comments in mod since we’re so busy and I never really know when I’ll get to them)

    And aw yea, that must be strange not doing the whole candy and kid-shuffling thing, I’m certain I’ll miss these times, too. We had a lot of fun last night 😀 we usually do a little party with family and some of our son’s friends and then all go out trick or treating together. It was sooo much fun!!

    We’re in the middle of making ancient flat-bread right now, hopefully will be ready in time for lunch!

  7. “(these were simple things….reading, sleeping, exercising, taking a shower, just being able to sit on the toilet uninterrupted for that matte”

    ^LOL!!!!! I can TOTALLY relate! And how crazy right that just sleeping and showering or exercising can be not even met! Definitely in that phase of life right now…

  8. Thank you, Major Styles 🙂 And aw your daughter! 3 is the make-believe stage I think – we haven’t experienced that with girls, but looking forward to what she’ll play.

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