“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Psalm 139: 1-7
If there is one thing I’m learning about motherhood, it is the lesson of finding joy in whatever state you are in. It is seeking to be joyful and cultivating patience as you embrace a state of dying to self. Motherhood is absolutely a gift and I wouldn’t trade my role in life for anything, but it is not always easy. There are those hard days, hard times. Today I’m writing about raw motherhood. You know those days. The days when all the books are pulled off the shelves, the food from the pantry is scattered all over the house, the children are in a constant state of whining, someone pooped in the tub, something stinks in the trashcan, and it isn’t even 10:00 AM yet!
The other day, I was having one of those days. I felt the weight of so much need. The laundry, the dishes, the dirty floors, the messes, were calling my name and I didn’t have the gumption or the pain tolerance (in my 8 month pregnant state) to bend over the hundreds of times that were required in order to clean everything up. On top of that, the little people seemed to be continually disobeying and getting into trouble, and were constantly clamoring with a chorus of:
“Mom, can I help you stir?”
“Mom, I wanted to crack that egg.”
“Mom, I wanna help you plant the plant.”
“Mommy, poo,” (Translates to diaper change.)
“Mommy, ice, ice, ICE!” (Translates to I want ice in my water NOW.)
“Mom, I need you to wipe me!”
“Mom, we wanna snack.”
“Mom, I don’t want my water in THAT cup!!!!”
“Mom, can you unbutton my pants!” Etc, etc, you get the idea…
The dear husband helps out when he’s home, but he has needs too (thankfully not as dramatic), but that day I just felt too needed, like I wasn’t adequate enough to fulfill all of the need. And all I wanted was 10 solid minutes of “me” time, vegging somewhere in a little corner with no interruptions! I felt overspent, so needed by everyone, tired, and there seemed to be no end in sight. Suddenly, something a dear friend had shared with me some time ago came to mind. She simply shared that Jesus knows, He understands, He can identify with you in this state of mothering young children because He realizes what it is like to feel so incredibly needed all day long. The thought was precious to me. Jesus knows, He understands what I’m feeling right now. He can relate.
Jesus knows the feeling of caring for needy people. (See the first three chapters of Mark and how much Jesus was called upon to help people.) He had throngs of people surrounding him, needing him all day long. He knows what it is like to be spent, poured out completely. He knows how you are dying to yourself numerous times throughout the day. He knows what it is like to lay down your life, to suffer countless aches and go through extreme pain, so that others might have life. (Truly pregnancy and labor is a picture of this.) He understands the unpraised sacrifices, the non accoladed duties, and the unthanked tasks you do every single day. In other words, He gets it, this stage you are in. This is one way we can identify with Him, we can relate to Him, by choosing to respond as He would have even in the most mundane, menial tasks of life. It can be done with joy through His power and it can be done for His glory. As Elisabeth Elliott said, “Anything, if offered to God can and will become your gateway to joy.”
To the overwhelmed mother: we can pour out our hearts to the Lord and take our complaint to Him because He understands. He was in all points tempted as we are. He can identify with you. You can take your burdens to Him. He can give you joy in the mundane, and peace where you are.
To the woman grieving the sudden tragic death of her child, He is the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knows the deep pain of your heart in a way no other person knows. He holds all of your tears in a bottle – Psalm 56:8. You can take your tears to Him. He understands your heartbreaking trial, this excruciatingly painful valley you are walking through.
To the woman longing for a baby, He knows your heart. He feels your pain. He feels your longing. And though it might not yet be His timing or His will to grant that desire in the way you are looking for (because we can’t always understand His ways or His plan) rest assured that He knows your heart’s cry. You can take your aching desire to Him.
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17
To the woman longing to be married, He knows the loneliness of your heart. He knows what it feels like to be completely alone. He can identify with you. He went through being separated from the Father on the cross for us, so that we would never have to be alone. He has promised, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” You can take your loneliness to Him. He loves you and cares for you.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7