May 7, 2010
Ariel Allison Lawhon, She Reads Co-Director
"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." Proverbs 8:34 (NIV)
Life wouldn't be so hard if it wasn't so daily. As I sit here surrounded by laundry and dishes piled high in the sink, I see more than ever how life wears us down one day at a time.
Crumbs litter the floor and dirty smudges cover the windows. And I have yet to discover where that smell is coming from. For this mother of four, a simple trip to the grocery store requires an act of God and Congress - attempted only when we are down to powdered milk and Ramen noodles. Not thirty minutes ago a little one-year-old boy clung to my legs, belting out that scream - you know the one, bats can hear it. And I felt my coping skills slipping away. Not because he was crying but because he cries every day.
The job of motherhood feels so vast, and frightening, and unending. I am called to raise these children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and yet there are days that I can't seem to get out of my pajamas much less lead them in a time of prayer. I think anyone could endure the temper tantrums of a small child or the rebellion of a teenager or the constant needs of another if they lasted just one day. But the truth is that these things are the stuff of daily life. And when I am honest with myself, they grind down the rough edges of this woman. Because parenting can not be all about me when diapers must be changed, noses wiped and beds made.
In those moments I force myself to take a deep breath and thank God for this season of life. These children. The privilege of wiping noses and bottoms and countertops. A privilege many women would love to have, but don't. I remind myself that the days are long but the years are short. And one day I will look in the rear-view mirror and see empty seats. The cup that is overflowing right now will slowly drain. The stretch marks will fade. And I will find that a new set of daily struggles has overtaken me. When that day comes I will find the strength to face them as well because God gives the grace, daily.
As C.S. Lewis once said, "The thing is to rely on God… Meanwhile, the trouble is that relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done."
Your daily-ness is probably different than mine, but it is nonetheless God-ordained. It is exactly what we need to live dependent on His grace instead of our own strength. The One who knows us best, who knit us together in our mother's womb, has allotted these days that are equal parts trial and triumph. And He knows that we will see Him most clearly from a place of dependence.
So today I embrace the normal things. The daily things. Another round of laundry. The ring in my toilet. The dust on my dresser so thick a child could write his name. But even more than that I want to celebrate the important things. A child slowly learning to read. A husband that finds his comfort in my arms. A baby who learns to walk and talk. Because all these are the things of life: some mundane and some holy. And all of them must be received daily.
Dear Lord, sometimes daily life is just hard. And we're tired. And overwhelmed. But You promised to be our strength and our hope and our comfort. So today we look to You for what we need. Would You meet us in this, our daily-ness, and help us receive Your grace? In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Click here to visit the She Reads blog where we've got a special Mother's Day book giveaway including Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers, So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore, and Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes!
P31 Resources for all stages of the daily-ness of kids:
Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose by Rebecca Ingram Powell
Blue Like Play Dough: The Shape of Motherhood in the Grip of God by Tricia Goyer
Pray that God will help you embrace your daily-ness, whether it be young children, a physical ailment, or financial difficulties.
Make an effort to honor God with an attitude of trust during this season of life.
How can trusting God with my daily struggles point others to Him?
How would my life be different if I started each day thanking God for this season and the struggles it contains?
Matthew 6:11, "Give us today our daily bread." (NIV)
Luke 9:23, "Then He said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" (NIV)
Titus 3:14, "Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessitates and not live unproductive lives." (NIV)
© 2010 by Ariel Allison Lawhon. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 07 May 2010.