Spring brings renewal- a renaissance of nature, life, and dreams. Death was frozen in winter, but some things must die in order to be reborn. So often I rush into spring, recklessly charging through January and February letting my vision lay dormant like a fallow garden.
Then I wake up.
And I remember the vision- this task to be faithful now. Not tomorrow, anxiously clamoring for a fresh vision, but now. Today. Not looking over my shoulder to yesterday’s regret, but digging my hands deep right here in the earth beneath me. Some days I want different soil- quiet spaces, well-behaved kids, a housekeeper, the ocean, productivity…but I have the soil I am given, the soil for which I prayed for. Everyone wants a garden, but few can tend it well.
Tending the Garden of Motherhood
I honestly have said on more than one occasion to myself, and to the Lord, “I just don’t want to be a mom today.”
When I was a student I could skip class if I didn’t feel up to it. As a classroom teacher I had the summers off. And there were always sick days. But as a mom there are no days off. We know this, and we chuckle. Motherhood is a garden. It requires constant attention, pruning, watering with the Word, and time to flourish.
Moms and the Three Stages of Fatigue
Moms with littles are physically exhausted. As the kids grow older and discipline becomes more complex, moms are mentally exhausted. When the kids enter adolescence and adulthood, moms are emotionally exhausted. And in some cases, moms are exhausted in all three ways. I am entering the mentally exhausted stage with one of my kids while remaining physically exhausted with the other two, particularly with my two-year old boy. I wish I had all the answers and quick fixes. All the books will tell you to just do A-B and C, and for some kids A-B- or C work, but more often than not each child will require his or her own patient love, care, attentiveness, and correction where needed. I pray different prayers for each of my children, already seeing their uniqueness with certain strengths and challenges.
A Vision for Our Homes
In Colossians 4:2, Paul writes, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” He does not say that we need a fresh vision, a new idea, or a different direction, but that we need to continue in what we know- to be steadfast and watchful in prayer with thanksgiving. It is so easy to look to some other thing when we as moms are in the trenches laboring through difficult seasons at home. We just want to get through. I’ve talked with grandmothers who remind me that they are still moms- not moms of littles anymore, but moms of grown children who may not wake them up at all hours of the night and yet their moms pray for them at all hours of the night. I saw my own grandmother up late at night in her study, under lamplight, bent over her Bible with her hands to her face. Moms are always moms no matter their age.
If we are to have a vision for our homes it begins and continues in prayer, watching and waiting day by day for our homes to flourish. We give thanks to God in every season- through the celebrations and through the storms. We don’t need a new idea, method, gadget, app, or plan. We need the foundation of God’s Word, the power of His Spirit, and the commitment to the gardens of our homes. I wish we could see what is sown at planting, but gardeners can only trust that what is sown will produce a harvest. Moms, let’s sow in every season waiting on God to make our gardens grow in due time.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9