This post is part of a series called “Motherhood Mantras.” To read more about the series, and the full list of writers, click here.
Even as I am sitting down to type I have just had to remind my four year-old the “rules” of quiet/nap time. These rules haven’t changed. Go to your room, quietly play or read or sleep until I come get you. Simple. The soon-to-be three year-old gets it. He actually quite enjoys this time and sometimes isn’t ready to come out of his room when I go to retrieve him. He is a more laid-back fella and cherishes his time with his blanket and thumb in mouth. Enter in my headstrong, alpha-female preschooler and incessantly, loopholes are found, boundaries pushed, and outright rebelliousness comes into play. Out of my lips come tumbling the three words I have been trying to reinforce since my little ones had the discernment to know what yes and no means.
Listen and obey!
So simple. So true. I want to beat my head on a wall every time I say it! I do not impose on my babies an unattainable, meaningless standard of behavior, rather I desperately want them to trust my words and know there is love dripping from them (most of the time). I want them to believe they have the power to make choices that will give them true life and true joy. I am not as concerned with their behavior as the heart they are cultivating through their thoughts and actions.
I am convinced that this mama gig has a whole lot to do with my sanctification and less to do with getting a job done. The words I speak to my kiddos all day seem to echo what God is saying to my own heart.
That we would trust the goodness and sweetness of His Word and obey Him! What a profound truth that we are loving the God of the Universe when we obey Him. Jesus explicitly says so in John. But there is a catch; we need to be listening to His voice in order to even know how to obey. We gotta soak up His soul changing words of life and desperately cling to the truth found there. The most frustrating parts of my day as a stay at home mama are when I can tell my little ones are only half-listening to me, if at all! I ask them to pick up toys and their selective hearing kicks in. I tell them not to throw sand out of the sandbox and their muscles seem to involuntarily spasm. I tell them we are not getting sno-cones at the park and they seek to find the “yes” they so desire by asking more loudly and with a nasally whine. They want what they want and they simply don’t understand why I am such a mean mommy who doesn’t want to give them good things.
Oh, isn’t the enemy a good liar? Isn’t that exactly what I start to believe when God hasn’t quite answered my prayers the way I envisioned…Don’t I throw tantrums in my heart when I realize God’s Word isn’t going to change and He is still calling me to submit my will to His will? That He wants me to love my husband regardless of what I receive back? That I am to patiently speak out of love and respect to my children instead of screaming like a howler monkey when they have pushed that final button? Our calling as a wife and/or mama is not for wimps, but the “way” is simple; certainly not easy, but simple in its objective. Listen and obey and see how God shows up in mighty ways. Obey His call to love without abandon and reap the rewards of His loving kindess and faithfulness.
I love how God renews my mind daily as I choose to look upon Him. It is a beautiful thing to watch your child face temptation and stand up to it! There is such a swelling in my heart when I see Emmy choose kindness over selfishness. I am so thankful when Boone stops at the end of our driveway and waits for a hand to hold as he crosses the street. These are emotions that bubble forth from adoration and love for my kiddos. As I hear God command me to listen and obey, I praise Him that He does so out of LOVE! Oh that we would have the courage to obey Him joyfully despite our circumstances!
Katie lives in Austin with her handsome hubby, two ridiculously fun children and aging brown Labrador. She loves chocolate, running with no stroller, and conversations about important things (which is very subjective).