Sometimes I wish Jesus had said, “In this life you will have plenty of chocolate, rainbows, and nine hours of sleep each night.” But He didn’t. He said we’d have trouble. He guaranteed it. These past couple of weeks have reminded me that not only will problems arise, but my race is not finished yet. As Robert Frost once said, I have, “miles and miles before I sleep.”
The miles have loomed longer and vaster before me lately.
This routine called motherhood can wear on a tired soul, and much of the work done day in and day out goes unseen. I shrink the pile of laundry that is taller than my oldest son only to find another pile waiting for me the next morning. The stack of papers in my kindergartner’s take home folder is large enough to make my head spin and I’m sure that I forgot to sign something that was supposed to be returned to school yesterday.
Monotony is often my companion.
There are days I want to throw in the towel, along with sock whose mate is nowhere to be found and the t-shirt with the grease stain that refuses to budge.
On days when the tediousness of motherhood is overwhelming, God often supplies a miracle delivered by tiny hands.
Out of nowhere, my toddler grabs me and gives me a kiss on the cheek.
I give him his twentieth snack for the day and he says, “thank you,” repeatedly, taking pleasure in each time I utter the words, “you’re welcome. And when I pause before saying it a third or fourth time, he keeps mouthing the words until I oblige him.
Thank you. The refrain of a toddler who has not yet learned what it looks like to think about tomorrow or the next day or the week after that. He is fully in the moment between him and his chocolate chip cookie. And that is all that matters.
As I watch him savor each bite, I realize I don’t want this all to be over.
These boys have stretched me in ways I didn’t know existed. They’ve shown me how self-centered I once was. They’ve given me a tiny window of what my Heavenly Father gave up when his own son cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
On the days when the terrain stretches out farther into the distance than I can see with my naked eye, I will follow my son’s lead and say, “thank you.”
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which god has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
*Pictures courtesy of Derek & Diane Photography