Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Little Mommy That Could

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

That little engine from my favorite childhood storybook had an important load to carry over the mountain. And it was a big mountain.

But the size of it didn't stop her. With the encouragement of the toys on board, the little blue engine chugged happily over the mountain, successfully delivering the load of toys and food to the boys and girls who waited on the other side.

My life feels a bit like that right now. I have the important load of managing my home and caring for my children, and some days I feel like I'm carrying that load alone.

But I'm not.

I've got Jesus on my side. And I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Here's a glimpse of life right now:

This morning, I awoke to the alarm. I thought I'd snooze another ten minutes, but my bladder had other ideas. So I rose out of my warm, snuggly bed and sauntered into the bathroom. After my morning routine of showering and getting ready for school, I went to wake my four sleeping children.

Only two were already stirring. My daughter sat at my desk, awaiting my instruction to get dressed, as she usually does. My oldest son lay half asleep on the couch.

The scent of fresh-brewed coffee drifted into the room, and my morning senses came to life. So did the urgency to get out the door. I had to substitute, and I wanted to be there at least fifteen minutes early to read over the lesson plans for the day and acquaint myself with the classroom I'd be in.

But my children had other plans for my morning. One couldn't find his sweatshirt, so he went to school in 30 degree weather in a t-shirt. Because he didn't want to wear his winter coat. And his long-sleeved shirts were becoming too short in the sleeve, so when he held his arms up in front of him, his sleeves pulled up above his wrists. So he would rather freeze.

And my oldest decided he needed to shower at ten minutes to seven. "You know I take a quick shower, Mom." Which he usually does. But this morning "quick" dragged out an extra ten minutes. So when I wanted to be at the school, he was pulling on his jeans. For thirty seconds, I considered leaving him behind, but that wouldn't prove my point. He never wants to go to school in the first place. It would only be cause for him to celebrate if I walked out and made it to school on time, without him. So I prodded. And he moved like a cow on its way to the slaughterhouse. Dragging his feet.

I walked into the classroom not two minutes before my class. Not how I like to start my day. I've discovered something. Substitute teaching is like babysitting. You are a substitute for the real thing, teacher or parent. And kids don't do well with a disruption to routine. And they like to "help." Only they usually are "helping" to their own benefit, not to aid the sub. Because they're kids. I still love it. Because I understand where they're at. I might be in my 30's, but I haven't forgotten what it was like to be 13 or 9 or even 7. But that's about as far back as my memory of childhood goes. And I hope to impact them in positive ways, encouraging them to do their absolute best. Encouraging them to remember that they are each special and unique. They have talents and dreams to pursue. And I want to help them discover those things through providing their education when their teacher can't be there.

It was a rough day. I had a lot of "help."

So I looked forward to the afternoon and some peace and quiet at home.

I didn't get it, though. My kids were arguing when they left the house this morning. And they were arguing the moment we stepped foot inside the house this afternoon. And they didn't stop.

Middle son slammed dear daughter into my air bed because she stepped backward onto his Lego structure as she tried to get away from her younger brother's punching motions that were aimed in her direction. While I'm on the phone with their father.

I had to hang up and deal with the situation. And it didn't stop there.

Middle son has decided he doesn't like being a part of our family, because he's different. He wants to play outside while everyone else wants to play inside. He wants to run around while everyone else wants to play video games. He wants to hang out while everyone else is in their own world. So he's now the oddball. He doesn't feel like one of us anymore. He feels "lost."

So he antagonizes his siblings for the next few hours and then screams and cries out when he gets spoken to and corrected.

My head is now pounding. I'm about to lose all control (if I truly have any left) of myself. My patience is as thin as the ice my son is skating on. I'm about to crack.

But I have to hold myself together. I have to suck it up and dig my heals in and keep keeping on. So I start to chant.

"I think I can. I think I can." Tears are welling in my eyes.

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." My nose is running. So are the tears. I've hidden in the bathroom now.

"I think I can. I think I can. No, I can't. I'm too tired. I'm too stressed. I feel so all alone." Okay. The dam has broken free.

"You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." I give myself a pep talk.

Then I call Daddy for some reinforcement. He gives me all kinds of advice. And reminds me it's a blip in our lifetime. This season will pass sooner than I think it will right this minute.

"I think I can."

I hang up. I cry a little more.

"I think I can." 

"I know you can." It's a whisper to my heart.

"I think I can."

"I know you can." It's my Father's voice.

"I think I can."

"You can do all things. I give you the strength. I give you the authority. I give you the victory. You will endure. You will stand. You will make it through this tunnel and over this mountain. For you are mine."

"I know I can."

I'm quite certain I'm not alone in having days like today. I hope you can find encouragement to continue in your own struggle to overcome that mountain in your life today. Because we have Jesus Christ on our side, and even when we feel all alone in our "day," He will never leave us nor forsake us. And we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. When we are weak, He shows Himself strong. Lean on Jesus. I know you can...

1 comment:

  1. Oh, thanks for the honest post.. some days are SO UPHILL. Praying for you and smiling at the ways Jesus is going to push you up this hill!


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