It was just one of those mornings. I’m sure you are so familiar with this scenario.
Woke up late, my hair wasn’t working with me; kids were whining and taking their sweetest of time to get ready. And of course, I have an enormous pimple on my chin because WHY NOT.
I wasn’t feeling it this morning, but I kept telling myself to CHOOSE JOY. Choose it. Don’t choose to sit in the muddy mess that is the circumstances of this morning.
I was about to take my eldest daughter out to catch her ride to school when my “spirited” middle child decided this was the perfect time to be defiant. It was so right on time that I am pretty sure she scheduled this the night before.
She took out her calendar and penciled in “ferocious tantrum” at 7:42AM. I’m pretty certain this happened.
I asked her to just keep it together until momma got back inside. Apparently, I said the secret word of the day because as soon as the period at the end of my sentence came out, she did the stop, drop and flail…in front of the door.
Just right there.
I felt really hot.
I was a big boiling kettle (with an unsightly blemish) that could not contain any longer. I completely flipped. I screamed, hollered, and threatened consequences.
I was TOTALLY calling Daddy!
Pretty sure I even told her if she didn’t quit her head would pop off from screeching!
She eventually moved out of the way with a smile on her face. Apparently she won the hidden camera game show I had no clue I was on. I lost so bad.
Frazzled and wide eyed, my eldest daughter and I went outside and waited on her ride to school.
Now, every morning I pray with my kids for each family member as they go about their day. After my fun filled morning, I thought it was best to pray for help with grace and compassion.
When we finished, my daughter asked what compassion meant. I said that instead of giving her the definition, I would tell her the reason.
I told her I wanted the Lord to help me not get as angry as I wanted to because I love my children. To be understanding of where they are coming from in each situation. To be quick to forgive even when they were misbehaving, because Mommy messes up sometimes too but God still loves and forgives me.
I was immediately overwhelmed with mommy guilt when I realized how I reacted not 5 minutes earlier.
The kettle began spilling over with regret and self-loathing.
My daughter just smiled. She came over to me and gave me a big hug.
She showed me compassion and gentleness right when I needed it most.
Isaiah 40:11 tells us:
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. (NLT)
I don’t know about you, but this verse speaks soothing balm over my weary momma soul. I just soak it in. I want to bask in its great healing each time I beat myself up for not reacting the way I think I should.
I just love the last line, “He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” What an absolute relief it is to know I follow a Shepherd who leads me gently in this season. I certainly need gentleness- but it also makes me feel nurtured. As the one in my home who dispenses support, care and attention generously to my family, I so need nurturing as well- more than I am aware of sometimes.
The business of raising littles heightens so many emotions. Love, frustrations, awe, exhaustion, fear, devotion. It really brings you to the brink and back on either side of the spectrum, sometimes on the daily.
But, oh, what a comforting blanket it is to put on the knowledge that Jesus is there to not only lead, but lead gently. He knows how fragile we can be at times, and how much we try to keep it together.
But with Him, we don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to hide how overwhelmed or tired we are. We can just go before Him, be in His presence, and let go. Let go of that mentality that we need to be strong at all times, we need to keep it together. Have it together. Well behaved children, the right reactions each and every time, a well maintained home.
There is no need to pretend with our Creator.
I just picture Him guiding me to greener pasture with a warm smile and understanding eyes. He knows. He knows what’s in my tired heart at the end of the day. He knows the guilt I try to pin on myself for not making more of an effort to make a healthy dinner, or not being able to make that school function, or losing my temper and cussing when I stepped on a lego.
He knows the last thing I need is someone guilt tripping me because I have beat myself to a pulp already. He offers exactly what we need in this season, gentleness. Calm, kind, mild, tender. All the things my tired and beat down heart need.
As beautiful as all of this is, there’s more!
He also reassures that He carries our little lambs in His arms, and He holds them close to His heart. I seriously fall in love with anyone who loves my kids. He knows just what to say to get me every time!
I adore the HCSB version that says,
“He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in the fold of His garment.”
What a beautiful picture! The Savior of the world scooping up my littles in His mighty arms and tucking them in under the fold of His garment. Safe, cozy, warm, well loved.
So sweet Momma of little lambs, take heart. You serve a beautiful God who guides you perfectly in this season. Follow His leading to greener pastures and refreshing waters. And give yourself what He so generously gives you…
Gentleness in the journey.