18 September 2014

In the thick of it

It was a sobering thought I thought last night, but a true one:

If parenting was a marriage, I would be divorced already.

Not because I don't love my kids, but because it is so hard. And if I could get out of it somehow (without anyone getting hurt, you know), I totally would. Right now, as Ezra adjusts to a new normal (that is also constantly changing, since infants never stay the same for long), and Judah adjusts to life on the outside, I am trying to remember how to be underwater and not drown.

I lost myself for a while with Ezra. I don't think it was a hormonal depression; I think it was the new levels of grace required to be a mom. I am fine with accepting grace and mercy for the things I do to me, because it's my life my sin screws up. Even when I sin against my friends and family, they're adults; they can take it to me and/or the Lord. I may reopen old wounds, but it's unlikely I can hurt a grown up in a way they've never been hurt before.

With my kids, it's so different. I make wounds where there was wholeness. And, while I know there is so much mercy and grace available to me as a mother to my boys, I don't want to take it because I deserve to be miserable for hurting them. So self-condemnation is my food, and despair clothes my days, because how can I undo what I have done?

This root goes so deep into my life that I don't think it will come up with one firm tug. But I don't want dreading every tomorrow to be what I look back and remember from this season. Instead, I'm trying to memorize Psalm 134:

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
Lift your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

God (and every mom of a newborn) knows I am ministering by night, and our house may not be a temple, but it is a house of the Lord. I need to remind myself that I am:
(1) a servant of the Lord, and not of my children. God is my master, and I look to him for direction and affirmation.
(2) ministering to the Lord. It is hard, so hard for me to remember that it matters to God that I make Judah's wipe solution or help Ezra put his underwear back on. It ministers to his heart when I do the thousand mundane tasks that make up my whole life right now. I need to remind myself to wear my invisible ephod (and tassels!), because these hands that wipe bottoms all day are holy.

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