The other day, I met with a small group of fellow young moms from my church. Running through a list of discussion questions, one of the women asked, “If you could sum up this season of motherhood in one word, what would it be?” Around the circle, the women tossed out several different descriptions: Chaotic, beautiful, messy.
Yes and amen. But as I racked my brain when my turn rolled around, only one word jumped to the forefront of my mind: humbling. My oldest just turned two and my youngest is eight months old. I’ve learned over and over again that I simply do not have the strength, energy, or patience to raise two under two gracefully by my own power. Add in the comparison trap of seeing perfectly color-coordinated tots on Instagram, and it’s easy to assume you are the only one who is struggling.
While I was pregnant with our second child, my husband and I met for dinner with some friends who were expecting their third. My husband asked what the greatest thing they’ve learned through parenthood so far was. The wife laughed and said, “How conditional my love is compared to the love of Jesus.” How refreshingly honest!
I don’t think any of us would like to admit that our love for our children comes with strings attached, but I thank God that He doesn’t love me as I love my children. It’s so much deeper and more steadfast.
When my oldest was just a newborn, I have such vivid memories of crying out to God in the middle of the tear-filled nights. “Lord, give me grace and patience to make it through this next hour.” And again the next hour. And again the hour after that.
While we are no longer surviving hour to hour (praise be), I still find myself circling back to that prayer most days: “Lord, give me grace and patience to make it through this day.”
When my toddler is on his umpteenth tantrum of the day or my baby girl refuses to nap, I find myself crying out to God in humility. In His grace, He provides just enough for the day.
I find myself looking back to the story of the Israelites wandering through the desert as they gathered just enough manna from God to survive another day. Why did God only provide them with enough for a day? Why not allow them to build a stockpile for a rainy day?
This literal daily bread forced God’s people to trust Him. There is nothing that they could do in their own power to provide for themselves in this way. For 40 years, they physically relied on Him to sustain them for the day. Sure, they still whined in the wandering. Undoubtedly, they wished for something other than manna as the novelty wore off. But they saw the beautiful miracle of God showing up for them day after day after day.
Maybe, just maybe, God is trying to teach us the same lesson on a smaller scale. He doesn’t want us to white-knuckle our way through motherhood. Rather, He is inviting us to lay our daily worries, stresses, and frustrations at the foot of the cross. He assures us that “His yoke is easy, and His burden is light,” and that promise is rest for this weary mama.
Speaking to the early years of motherhood, I’ve heard time and time again that the days are long, but the years are short. When you’re in the thick of that season, however, it’s easy to forget the second part of that adage. But with each day that passes, consider it an invitation to lean on the Lord for whatever “daily bread” you may need.
He will always provide enough for the day.