I took this picture because I want to remember these days of a messy living room, cartoon on the tv and the kids each doing their thing. I absolutely LOVE my life and job as a stay at home mommy. Callie always on the move, Eli taking in the movie and Jack just being a baby. Pretty much every day our floor is littered with toys, cheezit crumbs, and sippy cups. I have given up on having a tidy house...its not worth the stress. I would much rather enjoy these little ones while their still little and want to be with me all the time.
I have always wanted to be a mom. For as long as I can remember I would humor the idea of different jobs that could be fun but ultimately just wanted to be a stay at home mom. I still dream of being the kind of mom that has awesome snacks ready for when my kids get home from school! In all my dreaming I think I overlooked the amount of stress that can be involved. The reality of my life is that it takes Eli 20 minutes to get ready for anything because he always has a story he's trying to tell and hasn't learned that you can actually tell a story while you are getting dressed for the day. I didn't think about how I would have a daughter that LOVES chapstick and anytime she finds some she smears it all over her cheeks and chin and seems to miss her lips entirely. Some how I missed the memo that I would have a baby who hated being in the car and typically crying for the duration of any drive we take. Or Callie saying No to everything you ask her unless it has the word cookie in the question. Or Callie playing on my phone and calling random people from my contacts on a regular basis. Or Eli at almost 5 years old still calling me dad first "Dad, I mean Mom..." Or the one where I prepared myself for Eli to ask me about 10 times a day, "mom, what should be do today?" Don't get me wrong, most days I am overjoyed by all the little quirks and moments I have with my kids. I love to listen to Eli tell stories and I think Callie is the cutest person there ever will be. Jack is my precious one who only wants to be held by me and even though it is overwhelming at times, I secretly love it.
Having 3 is such a crazy adventure. I am completely outnumbered all of the time and not nearly enough hands to fulfill all the requests that come at me in a given hour. I often tell people that the soundtrack to my life is the sound of someone crying. Jack wants to be held or is crying that he's not (if he's awake), Callie crying or whining because she wants to be held or wants to watch Veggie Tales. Eli asking a million questions and telling long winded stories about his favorite movies, and getting frustrated with me if I'm not given all my attention to listening. Sometimes I want to escape to a land where no one depends on me and I can go where the wind blows...or just sit for an entire day and not have to get up and serve anyone or listen to anyone talking. In those moments of mild stress/insanity I am training my mind to savor the moment. Before I know it all these kids will be off taking mountains for Jesus and I will have all the time I want. I won't have Eli's little feet kicking me under the table at dinner because his legs are swinging. Callie won't be on my right hip (never the left) digging her fingernails under my fingernails or pinching the skin under my arm. Jack will be running around and no longer craving my touch. When I have the moments where I need to walk outside and try not to scream just to keep from saying something harsh to one of them
I remind myself of four things.
1. your gonna miss this...yes even the stressful moments
2. They are just kids and kids are needy sometimes
3. Laughing at the situation makes the stress go away
4. The most important thing they need right now is me
to be present and be loving despite their attitudes or demands.
We live in such a Me-centered world where we feel so entitled to be able to live our lives the way we want to, schedule our days around what seems most convenient to us, drag our kids around town so we can feel better that we didn't just stay at home. Insist that dad provides "time off" so we can go do whatever we want. Don't get me wrong, personal time is vital in this season of caring for little ones. I just find in myself that I have to let go of me. On a regular basis my opinion is trumped by people who can't even spell their own names and my schedule is disrupted by people who aren't even toilet trained. And I have a choice. Let go of "me" and "my" and just be present, or allow my own desires to breed discontentment and frustration that inevitably gets misdirected at the precious little ones I'm choosing to stay home with. Jack is teaching me whole new levels of letting go of me. I rarely wear makeup or fix my hair but I really don't care. I get one shot at loving these 3 munchins with all that I have and setting them up to take on the world and not be taken by it. Any sacrifice that fuels that cause is worth it. I wake up each day ready to take on the task of running my home in such a way that everyone in it grows in their passion for Jesus and love for one another.
In my journey of motherhood my children have taught and are still teaching me treasured life lessons. I am learning that laying my life down, my goals, my dreams, my wish-lists to be more in their world is a true delight and easy sacrifice. They are teaching me new depths of what it means to love. Those that really know me know that my kids are my true delight and greatest joy in life. I could tell their stories all day long and my heart overflows with amazingness towards them. Because of them I am learning how to tap into God's presence on a given moment and receive His peace so I can give out of my spirit and not my flesh. I actually wouldn't trade the stressful or difficult moments.
If it was always easy I wouldn't need as much Jesus.