The Gift of Children.

do you ever feel like you`d step in front of a bus for your children.

but you`d also give them away for a nickel?

sometimes?

i feel really bad saying that

because i love them with all of my being.

i cannot ever imagine

my mom,

or mother in law,

saying or thinking such a thing.

(they both raised 6, and seemed to never lose their cool.)

sometimes i wish i was more perfect.

that i would just adore reading stories 24/7 and never rely on the trashed playroom for babysitting…

every day i lose patience with them at some point.

i just thought it would be so much easier.

sometimes i feel like i was just blind-sided by having two, and i haven`t been the same since.

elle is till 2- she is starting to ask me questions i have no idea how to answer.

she also deals with irrational fears at times,  and i just wish my praying over her would help instantly.

laila wants to cling to my skirt all the time. i understand now what moms meant when they said,

“i just cannot stand one more person touching me!!”

i NEVER used to get that.

before i had either of my girls. i lost 2.

i wanted a baby more than LIFE. when we finally had elle- it was so easy and so fun.

i wanted more of this good stuff. we were just plumb in love with her.

18 months later i was sitting on a hospital bed holding 2 “babies”. elle and laila.

i had a c-section and a great recovery.

i felt so blessed. we were.

times went on.

now?

i really struggle with guilt that i don`t feel jubilant and cheery at all times with my 2 miracle girls.

after all- didn`t God “give” me what i “wanted”?

don`t i at least owe God a proverbs 31 attitude at all times?

shouldn`t i spend the rest of my life being “perfect” to repay him for the gift He gave me?

can i just share with you that God is using these 2 precious little girls to teach me so much about myself?

i am learning to rest in God.

to face my imperfections and see them as a part of human-me, that good can come from seeing  it.

that i can impact more people, being humble and human, than “perfect”.

that my girls will never have a perfect mother– it`s a joke to think they could.

it`s a journey.

funny how momma saying sorry, melts the heart of even a little 2 year old.

it`s funny how when i get behind her eyes, i often find her bad behavior started with me.

and my bad behavior.

i didn`t wake up with God that morning. i woke up thinking of me and how tired i was, and how everything in this house needs me

my sister in law said on facebook the other day- that she was talking with a group of older mothers and she asked them,

“what was the best time of your lives?”

[vacation? date nights? time out alone? girls nights? watching a movie?]

they all said,

“when all the children were still at home”.

wow.

wow.

it`s a journey… and i am trying, with God watching over my shoulder, to savor my girls, and my husband, and our life,

here,

today.

i`d love to hear your story, too.


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21 Comments

  1. Crystal says:

    Right with you today. Thanks for sharing and encouraging me to keep on plugging away. We’ve been praying for lots of patience today!

    God bless!

  2. Di says:

    Wow Jenny, GOOD stuff. Every mother feels worn and torn it seems these days. I feel like the devil KNOWS all the damage he can do in families when “get’s” to the mother. That ol’ sucker! But every good attitude, every right choice we make….it so beautiful to. God bless us. (I can say that, right?)

    Cheers to mothers! 🙂
    Great post! ~ Di

  3. My story… sounds like your story! I lost a baby, waited for what seemed forever, had 2 girls and finally after 4 more years of waiting, had my baby boy! 8 months later, I am stressed, crying with him, and feel like snapping someone’s head off… all the while feeling bad because isn’t this what I wanted, isn’t this what I asked God for? I sooo know what you are feeling right now.

    One thing I thought of, we don’t seem to remember our moms “loosing it” with us, I’m praying that my children forget those moments too and remember the good times. 🙂

    ~Here’s to much grace for your day!!

  4. Amber says:

    Right there with you. I was thinking the same as Shannon…I remember so little of my early years, praying my littles don’t remember my frustratig days, either. 🙂

    My MIL says, “Do your best and let God do the rest”.

  5. Rachel says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I really enjoy your blog, especially today’s post.

    On a side note, I know you don’t live in PA and I was wondering if there is a “Mennonite Store” in your area similar to Goods or Weavers in Lancaster, PA. You can email me with any info you have and I can explain further. Thanks so much!

    Blessings, Rachel

  6. Andrea Esh says:

    I can relate to so many things you wrote here. Especially ” just thought it would be so much easier.”
    and
    “she also deals with irrational fears at times, and i just wish my praying over her would help instantly.”
    and
    “i often find her bad behavior started with me.” Yes yes and yes.

    I’ve heard twice now in the past month, from older (but not grandma-older) women that the stage we’re in is about as hard as it gets. So that always makes me feel a little better.

    I just had no idea how selfish I was until I had kids.

  7. Heidi says:

    Jenny, this brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for being so real, and sharing your true emotions and struggles with all of us. I feel so alone in my feelings of despair and guilt and less than godly attitudes at time, it is so heartwarming to hear your story and see that there are others out there that struggle with some of the same issues. It doesn’t mean we love our children any less, just that we are human.
    Blessings to you!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good post Jenny. I try to remind myself not to complain all the time about my stage in life – time will go fast. Very hard at times. There are some things I don’t think I will ever wish back, but I know some things I will. I want to enjoy them. A lot of my problem comes back to me being selfish. So good and true what u said about how they act reflecting us too. Maybe the impatient complaining voice actually came from me. Anyhow, thanks for being honest……I’d rather know someones human than perfect.
    Brenda

  9. lynnelle says:

    good post, Jenny. Right there in the same stage with you feeling those very same feelings. Thanks for sharing your feelings. Makes me want to be a better mom today.

  10. Cindy says:

    I wonder…what I’ll remember as the best time…

    I can’t, like you wrote, imagine my mom or mil thinking or saying that either. But I sure have. And often.

    Did I really think that this Mom-thing would work out for me because I wanted to be a mother more than anything else ever on this planet?!!! Oh the guilt and the despair and the 150 ways I am reminded of my failures…and that’s usually all before breakfast.

    So. Worse. I wonder what THEY’LL remember… sigh.

    Thanks for your honesty. I get it. I get this post. And feel encouraged, especially by,

    “i am learning to rest in God.
    to face my imperfections and see them as a part of human-me, that good can come from seeing it.
    that i can impact more people, being humble and human, than “perfect”.

    It’s a journey all right. And Us Moms can cheer each other on!
    And pray really doggone hard for God to fill all the gaps!

  11. Gloria says:

    You.are.so.not.alone. Anyone who has ever been a good mom has been in these shoes. In fact, I’ve heard it said that if you haven’t questioned your parenting skills at one time or another….you better start now….there may be a problem!

    We all started out with the very best of intentions! We saw things that we WERE’NT going to do….only to find ourselves doing them, we had grand expectaions of the warm, cozy, safe environment we were going to provide for these precious little people….only to be the very ones throwing darts with our words.

    The one positive thing about all of this, is that it has given me grace to better understand my parents and in-laws. They were doing their best too, and while there is still some pain there, they were doing their best with the tools they were or weren’t given!

    May all of our mistakes be the instrument that pulls the hearts of our children to their Maker! Then and only then will we be able to rest in our inability to be their everything!

  12. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for sharing your testimony. I needed to read this today. I’m encouraged by your thoughts about resting in Him. I’ve been overwhelmed by the whole mom-thing (only six weeks into it!) and I needed to be reminded that I can’t do it alone, anyway. Thanks a lot!

  13. Anna says:

    Great post!

  14. Melissa says:

    Soooooooooo good. I really needed to read this and remember I am not alone. It’s been ONE. OF. THOSE. DAYS!!!!!!!!!! Can I just be alone for an hour or two? Is that too much to ask?

  15. Juanita says:

    Thanks for sharing. I haven’t had the same experiences as you. I’ve never lost a child. My first (and so far only) pregnancy went very well, and I was blessed with the most charming little boy I could imagine. He is 20 months old now, and there are moments when I just can hardly believe he is really “mine”…moments when I can hardly stop hugging him and kissing his sweet little cheeks. But all too often, there are moments [not too far behind those surges of love] that I become exasperated. Loose my patience. Speak in tones that make me shudder, even as the words are tumbling out.

    It’s hard for me to accept that a Mom could ever feel this way. It’s like I had this grand illusion that giving birth to a child somehow supernaturally changes who you are. That all is bliss and love and unending patience …YEAH RIGHT!

    Thank you [and all those others who have posted their thoughts] for your honesty. It’s so good to know I’m not alone.

    And as for that supernatural change – I know that comes from God. And I also know it’s a constant work-in-progress!

  16. Ashadee says:

    This was amazing display of God’s grace and true honesty is action! Thank you for sharing! I am for the most part LOVING being a mommy and enjoying just having ONE right now! I seriously look at moms with more than one as superheros! I know God gives us the grace in each situation, so “the other side” looks daunting at times for me.
    May God continue to give you grace as you enjoy each moment, each stage, each blessing, and even each “crazy time”, each day!
    HEAPS OF BLESSINGS ON YOU!!!
    Ash

  17. Audrey says:

    I think that just because you really, really wanted kids doesn’t excuse you from having those days where you feel like you would sell them for a nickel.

    I never really had high expectations of myself as a Mom, and still I have managed to be less of the perfect Mom than I hoped I would be!

  18. Shelly N says:

    I like your honesty and the way you write. Telling the truth about something that many of us moms feel on many days of the year, but not leaving it “in despair” . . . bringing it around to what is good and true. I’ve got 2 with number 3 on the way, so I can relate! I am always “helped” and encouraged as I remember God’s thoughts on children and not allowing myself to get bogged down in the world’s ideal and expectations of a woman. God is so gracious and merciful and loving us through it all (was just reading about that this morning). Sometimes I forget to REST in that and ON HIM. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Heather says:

    Loved your post as well as reading through others comments.

    I think we all have such feelings of frustration at times and in the next moment feel like we have the most wonderful kids in the world. I sure do.

    I was SO challenged on Sunday while listening to Brents message and the difference prayer makes. A parents prayers is the single most powerful thing EVER and so often I fail to utilize it. If I ask, God can give me the wisdom and words to deal with every situation and also change my child/childrens hearts. Why, oh why, don’t I spend more time in prayer??

  20. Anna says:

    Oh my word… I think you and I very alike in alot of ways. My kids are 8, 5, and 20 mos. Some days (like today), I feel Satan attacking me all day long- he tells me things like, “you don’t have what it takes to be a mom, or- you’re just not cut out for this”. It is alot harder than what I ever dreamed of- I had my first child at age 23 and I was so excited to have a baby because all my life I dreamed of having babies!

    Sometimes I wonder if it really was this tough for our mothers- does the pressure of our society and our lifestyles have anything to do with how hard it is?? These are questions I have asked myself a 100x- do I make it harder for myself?

    Anyway- it’s good to know I’m not alone in this… I have to ask forgiveness nearly everyday from my children for losing it in front of them! I wonder what issues they’re gonna have later in life cause their mom was emotionally unstable and was low on patience most of the time??

    One thing I do know- if parenting were easy, we wouldn’t need God’s help- he WANTS us to cry out to Him for wisdom and grace! He wants us to NEED Him! He cares “…He shall gently lead those that are with young”. Is 40:11 (or) I have heard this interpreted as those that “have young”.

    Blessings…

  21. Wow, this is such a beautiful post. I so love your honesty, and I think every single mother reading this could relate so much. There were so many things you wrote that I would go, “OMW, I KNOW!!”

    1) Thinking it would be easier than this. Man, yes, a hundred times, yes. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and one big difference with mothering as opposed to any other career is that you’re never “off”. There isn’t a time that work starts or stops, and sometimes that demand is overwhelming. 2) Cannot handle one more person touching me comment. Yes, totally get that too. I stay up later than I used to, after everyone else has gone to bed, and I think it’s often because I just seek a little time when it’s quiet, and no one needs me. A little time to refuel. Be un-touched for 2.5 seconds. 3) Losing patience with them everyday. I’m with you there too. I don’t know how often I apologize to Zoe, and tell her I’m sorry, and mommy doesn’t want to be upset and frustrated… I often fall soooo short of the mother I thought I would be, and desire to be, and want to be.

    Honestly, I’ve never needed God so desperately as I do in this thing of parenting. There is nothing else that requires so much of me that I simply cannot do it alone. And perhaps that is what it is all about, you think? Needing God, just as much as our children need us. And somehow, for Him, it’s not exhausting. It’s what He loves. That always AMAZES me. Like, doesn’t He get tired of me coming back soooo many times, telling Him day after day after day that I NEED HIM SO MUCH?? But no, I don’t think so. I think He loves it. I know I need it, and can’t live without Him.

    And I know I don’t want to live without my darling, naughty exasperating angel children either. :))

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