January 24, 2015

Bees are buzzing furiously in my brain these days. So much going on up there, and yet when I sit myself down to write, BLANKNESS descends amidst the constant droning. Why is it so difficult to get going on the one thing that brings me the most personal satisfaction in life? Do I secretly enjoy dissatisfaction and frustration more than their opposites? Does my ever vigilant reality-based conscious mind want to thwart my sweet little creative subconscious by squashing it down like a sumo wrestler? Oooooh, I hope I don’t have that disturbing business going on up there! Maybe I’m just lazy. Aha! Could be. Possibly all of that jumbled heap of weirdness is at the core of this perplexing dilemma.

That brings me to my topic for January, which came to me out of nowhere just a few minutes ago. I’ve been contemplating all month what in the holy world to talk about in this first Doodle of 2015. Suddenly the weak voice of my squashed wrestler cried out, “Help me, Jesus!” and BAM! Jesus took hold of that scrawny arm sticking out from under the blubber of reality and lifted my gasping subconscious into the light of day. And then he gave me a vision of my three lovely daughters, one of whom is now a mother of two little ones herself. It took my breath away for a bit, and that’s not because the big fat wrestler in my head was suffocating me. No, it is simply the realization that these three young women were not ruined by having me as a mother. I have confessions to make that I hope will encourage any young mothers out there who might be reading this.

Confession #1–I had no idea what I was doing as a mother–ever. My word for 2015 is PLANS. I generally have a plan for every moment of the day, to-do lists out the wazooty, agendas and schedules for every area of life. And yet, I never really had a plan for mothering my girls, no real goals or strategies for disciplining them. Nothing. Every day was a new ballgame full of unplanned poopy pants or vomits, sleepless nights, trying to keep them fed and clothed and somewhat happy. As they grew up it took everything I had to get them off to school and me to work, and then run the after-school activities treadmill until time to come home to get supper on the table, homework done and everyone to bed. It all just happened and I did my best to keep everyone from flying off the roller coaster. We lived far away from family, so I had no one except my just as clueless husband to give me advice or direction or the occasional break. And it all passed so quickly (except for all the individual days that could be endless at times) I never seemed to have a moment to figure out a plan of attack.

Confession #2–I nearly lost my sanity during the 14 years I was home with pre-schoolers, mine as well as some that I watched for other moms over the years. My children and husband witnessed many crazy fits brought on by pure exhaustion and the dailyness of dealing with those precious hard-headed wonders of procreation. I think if I had stayed home with children one more week I would not be writing this now. I would be locked up somewhere muttering at a wall.

Confession #3–I loved all that chaos even as I longed for some peace and quiet. My girls were and are so much fun! Now that I have no trouble finding plenty of peace and quiet, I miss the chaos and goofiness and laughter so much. How ironic life can be!

Confession #4–The one thing I remember doing with regularity, which must be the only possible explanation for how my daughters grew into such beautiful people, is that I prayed that God would cover my mistakes and ignorance with His grace. I knew my ineptness. I knew I had no clue how to be a mother. But I also knew my God was bigger than all my mess. That’s the only thing that saved my girls from the MOMMY MANIAC!

At the beginning of this new year, I want to tell all you young mommies out there, whether you are at home full time, work full time or live the combo lifestyle, hang in there and enjoy your children, even when they’re driving you right up the fruit tree. Pray for God’s grace to cover your children and be ready to be awestruck by the results!

My verse for this year is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That’s a good one for all of us to remember, but especially for those in the trenches of parenting. God has GOOD PLANS for each child and each parent!

And may the best wrestler win next month!