We are now almost four months in with baby number five, and there are definitely days when I feel like we are still trying to find a routine and get a groove back. Then I need to remind myself that routine is subjective when it comes to babies and children.
Lately naptime and bedtime have been an epic marathon with the youngest ones, of course, only wanting Mom to come to their aid. The other night, after finally getting them to sleep for what seemed like the fifth time, I came out of their room grumbling, frustrated and upset that nothing I had on my to-do list for the evening would get done.
Feeling on edge to say the least, I complained to my husband how the past three hours were a complete waste of time. He replied with one simple statement, “If you offered it up, they were the most important and powerful three hours of your day.” Pierced by the truth of what he said, I couldn’t argue or even give another word to my pity party.
My list of menial tasks didn’t compare to the sacrificial love that could have been made for a soul in that time. Yes, hours I would never get back, but hours that were spent fulfilling my vocation, caring for those entrusted to me. Instead of allowing myself to become agitated they were also hours that could have been spent building the Kingdom without ever having to leave the children’s bedrooms.
The longer I parent the more I realize the true meaning of sacrifice. The calling, the vocation, the love, the heartache, the joy, the endless giving. Motherhood; not just happen stance, but something we were made for, called to and given the grace to live out. Even on the most difficult days and in the most trying moments, his grace is sufficient.
When we first adopted our sons, I thought it meant more dishes, more laundry, and more cleaning. When my daughter was born, I thought it was simply defined as a lack of sleep and waking up in the middle of the night. Now having a van and house maxed to capacity with five children I am daily realizing the depth I am called to. It is more than just the physical acts I do during the day to keep everyone, fed, clothed, and functioning.
Loving when it is hard to show love. Being patient when we are on our last thread. Showing joy when the feeling of exhaustion and frustration has set in. Striving to set a spiritual example when we find it difficult to find the time to nourish our own prayer life.
Motherhood is totally and completely giving of ourselves, our energy, time, sleep, and bodies to another soul. I wish I could say I was good at it, always willing and always doing it joyfully. The truth is I fail often. I fall to selfishness, grumbling and complaining. My patience wears thin, my joy dissipates.
I lose sight, getting wrapped up in the loads of unfolded clothes, the piles yet to be washed, and the toys I find scattered in every corner of our house. Placing value on my day by what gets accomplished rather than how well I loved and served modeling Christ in every action.
One glance at the Crucifix and I am reminded our call to motherhood is perfected in the cross. We are perfected through each trial, each sacrifice, every diaper change, each sleepless night, every stretch mark. Through it all we are being made holy. We find ourselves in the cross of Christ who gave the ultimate sacrifice. A sacrifice made with no grumbling, no complaining, but with complete joy and love. A sacrifice made freely, so we could have life.
With Lent approaching it is a good time to gaze at the cross, to see the complete outpouring of love given by Christ. To still our hearts and place our motherhood before him. It is there we will find our strength.
“This is my body, which will be given for you.” (Luke 22:19)
Copyright 2020 Cassie Everts