Each day I get with my girls holds a handful of near-Nirvana moments. My 10-month-old takes a wobbly step forward and her big blue eyes find mine and light up so wide and so fast it knocks her over. My five-year-old labors over her life plan because she can’t decide whether she wants to get married, have two baby girls, be a writer, and have my exact wardrobe and hair style (and I quote), or not get married or have babies and just live with Mommy and Daddy forever. Every day, I’m trying to memorize their faces because they are precious and they keep changing and I don’t want to lose these perfect moments.
Each day I get with my girls ALSO holds a handful of moments when I feel overwhelmed. I step on a cookie cutter and destroy the most tender part of my foot as I scramble toward the 10-month-old as she chokes on a pomegranate puff. The five-year-old loses her marbles after spilling her actual marbles just as I get to the no-turning-back moment of a diaper that is not even coming close to doing its job. Oh, and I have a headache that I realize, mid-diaper change, is directly related to the cup of coffee I wanted to drink but had to reheat three times, because it got cold three times while I steered my girls away from death and/or emotional breakdowns.
Listen, I know. People are finding a cure for cancer and operating on brains and running corporations. My degree of “overwhelmedness” sounds laughable. Diapers? Poorly placed cookie cutters? What is it that is making me crazy?
Is it the chaos? Sure.
But it is also the weight of what is coming from the chaos. This is important.
I’m not important. But raising humans is. I’m trying to help my daughters learn to live. I’m trying to influence them to whatever degree I can to be ready to cry out “YES” to Jesus when the time comes. I want to do it well. And what if I don’t? What if my selfishness causes me to waste the important moments today? What about yesterday? Will my five-year-old remember the face I made when she spilled her Sprite by accident? Will my girls draw conclusions from the chaos that might keep them from loving life and knowing God?
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self discipline…”
Why do I forget that truth so often and so easily?
In Matthew 11:30, Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The gravity of the Christian life and the massiveness of momness can feel impossible until I look at Jesus. Raising girls to know they are treasured by God and made to enjoy Him IS impossible if I’m by myself. But, JESUS. The burden is light because Jesus did the hard part. Jesus does the hard part.
If I’m directing my daughters’ eyes to the flawless Jesus, even while they live with a flawed me, then the burden really will be light. Jesus is the One who gave me this often overwhelming mom-mission in the first place and truly, all I’m responsible for is pointing upward and going, “Hey, look girls! There He is!” That’s it.
If I can keep from stepping on a cookie cutter long enough to preach that to myself, I don’t have to live one single day feeling overwhelmed or living in fear that I’m doing it wrong.
Jesus is the calm in the chaos. And He does everything right.