Most mornings start the same way at my house. One of the girls jars me out of my sleep, I scowl at the clock, and then I wonder how long I can ignore my children before the 3-yr-old wants breakfast or the 18-month-old’s sweet jibber-jabber turns into, “GET ME OUT OF THIS CRIB, WOMAN!” screams. Sometimes I can get away with lying lifeless in bed for as long as 10 minutes. So I use that time like most of you would – to feel the full weight of my bad mood. I soak in my grumpiness until my attitude hits rock bottom. I know I am fully marinated when I think to myself, “I do not want ANY PART OF THIS DAY!” Ding – I’m ready!
Ready for what, you ask?
Ready to bring my selfish outlook to the Lord. By this point, I usually have about 2 more minutes left before I HAVE to get up and go be the best mom ever for 14 hours straight (no pressure, right?). I know I can’t do that while in such a stellar frame of mind, so I do the only thing I can do and tell God that truth. My confession usually goes something like this, “Lord, I do not have the energy to do today. I am sleepy and grumpy and ‘servant-hearted’ is the last phrase anyone would use to describe me right now. I cannot do this. If I am going to reflect you in any kind of way today, You are going to have to make it happen.”
And you know what happens? I get out of my warm bed and stumble across the hall to my baby. And she never fails to greet me with a sweet smile, arms extended toward me, and, “Hi! Hold you!” And before I can even pick her up, 90% of my crap mood has faded. Don’t get me wrong, I could go back to bed and not think twice about it. But that’s not an option. So I take her downstairs, where her older sister is consumed with cartoons, and we begin our day together. And by the time I finish a cup of coffee, I am generally free of pessimistic thoughts.
I believe the only reason I can come to a place of enjoying my stay-at-home-mom routine, with all of its drudgery, is not because I have amazingly sweet, bright, and cute children (which I do, by the way), and not because I consume an average of 3 caffeinated beverages a day (which I do, by the way), and not because I have a wonderful husband who provides for us AND helps me with the domestic duties when he is home (which I do, by the way), and not because I sneak M&Ms all day while my children aren’t looking (which I do…sigh). I know me too well, and ALL those great things combined are not enough to tame the twin lions of pessimism and selfishness within me.
No, I believe the ONLY reason a glass-half-empty kind of woman like myself can ever have a day where she brings the Lord honor in at least a few of her words and actions is because she ASKS HIM TO DO IT (Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 4:15-16).
Last year I studied Angela Thomas‘ A Beautiful Offering, and the main idea is we are broken people who are UNABLE to do good things for the Lord in our own strength. When we come before Him, acknowledging our downfalls, and offer ourselves JUST AS WE ARE to Him, He LOVES to swoop in and do grand things through us (See Romans 7:18-25). It is in this manner that He displays His power and love for all to see.
Even in the life of a stay-at-home mom.