Monday, May 9, 2016

Being 'Mommy'

I got extra rest and extra hugs and extra special coffee. They gave me handmade cards and hand-drawn pictures and hand-crafted books. I was let off the hook for meal planning and diaper duty and housework.

It was all I wanted for Mother’s Day. I am so spoiled and blessed by my amazing husband and wonderful little rascals.

This morning I got to thinking about what it means to be ‘Mommy.’ We all laugh about how this role means we no longer sleep, we have no privacy and we are on duty at all hours. All those things are true, but I’m adding to the list.

Being ‘Mommy’ means I can’t take a day off because I would miss them growing. Even if that growth is a quivering ball of tears because they’re having trouble at school. I can’t miss that. That’s what I’m here for.

Being ‘Mommy’ means that sometimes I want to drop everything and cry because I’m so very aware of my shortcomings.

Being ‘Mommy’ means remembering that Adaleine doesn’t like macaroni & cheese, Judah doesn’t like hot dogs, and Eden doesn’t like milk in her cereal. These are important things to them, and if I forget that I’ve forgotten something that matters.

Being ‘Mommy’ means being ‘Brittany’ first to my husband. I have made it clear to my kids that they are not at the top of my list. As shocking as it was for them to hear at first, there is a security in knowing that of all the people on this earth, I love their daddy the best.

Being ‘Mommy’ means that I have a voice in the lives of four little people that can never be replaced or replicated. These children have been entrusted to me for such a short time, and I must pray to God that He will guide my steps and use me so that these amazing little humans might one day call Him ‘Lord.’

It’s knowing that I will still get irritated and frustrated and angry and I’ll be selfish. I will forget to pick up my mess and I will neglect the dishes and I will ignore the laundry. I will continue to fail. They need to see me fail so that they can see me ask for forgiveness, lean on God, and learn to love Him better.

It’s snuggles on the sofa even though their hands are sticky and picking up used tissues. It’s clearing the cereal bowls time and again and wondering why they can’t remember. It’s letting little hands crack the eggs even though it takes so much longer.

It’s giving up on my pictures of ideal, and delighting in the ministry of being ‘Mommy.’

This is not where I thought I’d be. This is where God has me. It’s not perfect, and I’m not perfect in it, but I am learning so much from all of it.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

               Psalm 127:3

Monday, April 11, 2016

Trusting Like Adaleine

I haven’t felt like I had too much to write about for a while now, but Sissy Belle said something the other day that I just had to share. But first, a little background.

Adaleine broke her wrist last week :( It was a complete accident and really nobody’s fault, but the poor thing rode a zip-line straight into a tree. Both bones in her wrist/arm are broken.

As heartbreaking as it was to see my little girl in pain and distress, I could not have been more proud of this girl. The x-ray tech, the nurses, the receptionists, the doctors…everyone was so impressed with this little seven-year-old girl walking around holding her mangled wrist and bearing the pain without complaint.

Now don’t get me wrong—she cried. She was in a great amount of pain and if she had let herself she could have screamed and wailed with the best of them. But this girl is the toughest kid I have ever encountered when it comes to handling pain. Her resilience and strength the whole afternoon and evening after it happened took me back four years to when she got burned and never complained about the pain. Seriously.

But what was more striking to me was not her toughness, it was her composure. Like I said, she didn’t wail and moan. She was calm when they were looking her over, quiet even in the pain of moving her arm around for x-rays, and relaxed even when the anesthesiologist inserted the IV in the back of her little hand (complete with chippy sparkle nail polish.) Even when they wheeled her off in her bed to put her to sleep so they could set the bones, she smiled back at us. Time and again there were comments, “I have adults that don’t handle this as well as you!” and “I wish all my patients were this calm” and “My kids would be having a FIT right now!”

 There was a brief window in there where pride started to rear its ugly head and I thought, That’s right, she’s tough! We’re raising such a strong girl! Go us‼ How silly of me.

We asked her the day after it happened why she was able to be so calm. Her response without hesitation was, “Because I knew God could take care of me.”

Wow. My little Adaleine has such a grasp of God’s sovereignty that even when her little bones are snapped and she’s scared in a hospital, she can still cling to God’s peace and power. It brought tears to my eyes to know that in the moments when I couldn’t be with her—in the OR when they started the meds that would put her to sleep—in those moments she was relying on her heavenly Father to protect and comfort her.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
               Psalm 105:4

Every once in a while, my kids teach me a lesson or two.