I have to confess, I am feeling completely overwhelmed these days by being a mom.
For the last almost two months, I have been with my kids every waking moment. The main adult interaction I have is with my husband, meetings on zoom, or saying hello to neighbors we pass while out on walks and bike rides. I haven’t written anything for this page in a month. I really wanted to write a great Mother’s Day message. But all I can think of right now is to tell you just how overwhelmed I am, and wonder if you are feeling it too? If what I am seeing on facebook posts, and in texts from my other mom friends is true, I think that there is a good chance that you are.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
First, I am overwhelmed by love…the love of God, and the love of my family. All day long I am bombarded by my little boys with hugs and kisses, drawings of stick figures, hearts and simple writing, and the words, “I love you, mommy.” Just when I feel like it isn’t possible to love my children any more, I do! And when I think I have a good idea of God’s love towards His children, I realize I can’t even imagine or comprehend the true magnitude.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
I John 4:7
Next, I am overwhelmed by the joy in my home. Children are so full of joy. Watching my sons over the past two months, I have seen them rejoice over every little thing that we do together. They find wonder in life’s simple moments, like playing a game together, blowing bubbles, or singing a song. We only have to open our eyes like children to see the beauty all around us, and let it fill our hearts with joy.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
And then there is peace. You might think that being together 24/7 for all of these days on end would result in bickering and fighting, driving each other crazy, but it hasn’t been that way at all.
I try to explain the word “peace” to my boys by telling them it means, “when no one is fighting,” also “the feeling of being calm and happy, not worried or scared.” I tell them that real peace can only come from God.
How can there be peace in the middle of a pandemic?? Outside there is sadness, fear, panic, loss, and sorrow…but in our home and in our hearts, there is peace…the kind that truly defies understanding, and comes only from trusting that God is in control.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
These days, we have more patience, it seems, with one another. One reason for that could be because we don’t have to follow a strict schedule, or hurry to be at a certain place on time. My biggest stress as a mom used to be feeling like I was always “running late.” Now, that is not even an issue.
I have also seen my kids be more patient with each other. And they have been patient with this whole situation we are in together. They haven’t complained or grumbled about any of the things they can’t do. When they ask when the parks will open or when we will go to the zoo again, my answer is usually just, “another day, buddy.” And that has been enough for them.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
1 Corinthians 13:4
I am also overwhelmed by the kindness I have been witnessing in our home. I watch my two sons, just 3 and 5 years old, and how they interact. I am seeing them grow more and more kind to each other every day that we are home together. Of course there are occasional moments of fighting and selfishness. But they are so quickly followed by apologies and forgiveness. When one brother feels sad, the other does whatever he can to lift his brother’s spirit. They encourage and help one another. They call each other best friend and say, “you are the best brother God ever made me!”
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
Next there is goodness. In the midst of so much bad news, God is still GOOD! In a world struggling with hardship and sickness, He has given the unexpected blessing of allowing families to slow down, be together, eliminate distractions, and really focus on what is important in life. Many people are building bonds and making memories within their own families that will last a lifetime.
We can also see God’s kindness and goodness displayed in the actions of others: medical professionals, first responders, neighbors helping each other, people sharing food and supplies, or friends just reaching out to one another through a phone call, text, or note. There is goodness to see all around!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
And through it all, He is forever faithful. He is still with us. He sees every situation and every family. In my own life, I look around at my home, and our back yard where my children can play. I think about the fact that we are healthy and strong, we have never gone hungry or without anything we need. I walk around our neighborhood and I see families outside, smiling and laughing together. God’s faithfulness overwhelms me.
This season at home has also had a sense of gentleness to me. I feel prompted more often to just be still. The snuggles feel more sweet lately. Maybe it is a result of the “extra” time and not rushing around that I can stop more often and just look deeply at my children. I think about who they are as unique little creations of God. I think about my Savior, whose gentle hand has always held me. He still holds on and continues to guide me, even as I hold the hands of my children and seek to lead them always closer to Him.
“He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”
And finally, there is self-control, not always the most noticeable of the fruits of the spirit, but valuable nonetheless. Self-control is evident as people are trying their best to follow regulations and care for their families. It shows when we count blessings instead of complaining. It shows when we choose to kind. Self-control grows as we use this time to dig deeper into God’s Word, and to pray more earnestly for family, friends, our communities, and the world.
More than anything today, I am overwhelmed by thankfulness. I thank God for His grace, for salvation, that He gave me the precious gift of my children and allowed me to wear the title of “mother.” I am grateful for the lessons I learn about life and love every day from my two little boys.
This Mother’s Day, I hope you are just as overwhelmed as I am…with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May the fruits of the spirit continue to grow in all of our hearts and in our homes as we fix our eyes on Jesus. I thank God today and every day, for all of the reasons why motherhood is overwhelming me!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”