“You are blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” Matthew 5:3 (MSG)

Let me introduce myself. I am a survivor of twenty-two years of end of rope scenarios from raising three children all born within three and a half years. My cup doth runneth over with the blessings of the first Beatitude.

Just last week I received a telegram from Mr. God. He said although my rope holding abilities are superior, I’ve yet to satisfy several other important requirements for Sainthood – specifically every other qualification.

Hmf. The Creator of all obviously doesn’t know me.

According to God’s memo, the real reason my offspring survived my parenting over the past two decades has little to do with second-hand blessings. But rather with the less of me means more of God promise of the scripture.

All my bemoaning and hair pulling over living on my last nerve had a greater purpose. Turns out my wimpy grip on life’s challenges stockpiled manna from heaven because the strength of the Maker of the rope consumed the vintner of the whine.

Good think God is strong like bull, because the intoxicant a la crabby came in several varietals during each age and stage of my motherhood melodrama.

Think two year-old and five month-old both infected with chickenpox, hubby working out of town for a week, and mom sick with a bad cold. One will never find enough pink in the world to lessen the irritation. Sanity and rope bottoms communicate on a first name basis.

Imagine a postpartum emotional time bomb nursing her infant daughter while two and four year-old boys run around the house fighting, whimpering, and asking mommy to intervene. Consider said boys save their worst behavior for nursing time on repeat. A mom’s heart sways on the end of a tether.

Picture a family of five trying to get to Church on time every Sunday. Mom makes a habit of being ready to leave 10-15 minutes early, while kids alternate which one will spend the same amount of time being late. Patience clings to a cord.

Contemplate the intensity of housing three teenagers under your roof at the same time. Remember the scientific evidence about the underdevelopment of a teen’s frontal lobe. Translation: The chance of an adolescent taking into account the consequences of their actions, i.e. “if I do this, that will happen”, hovers around none percent. Fun? I’m a frayed knot.

“You are blessed when you are at the end of your rope.”

Blessed, blessed, and blessed some more.

Blessed was me spitting phlegm and dabbing cotton ball paint on itching kids around the clock.

Blessed was me reduced to tears over my inability to give attention to my boys while partaking in the miracle of breastfeeding.

Blessed was me tea potting blistering steam into the universe on the way to Mass (which quickly dissipated upon walking into church; replaced by a wax museum smile signifying my prowess as matriarch over God’s perfect family).

Blessed was me, staking claim to the exasperated mama living on the lunatic fringe of teenagerdom.

The preceding examples represent only a smidgen of my rope hanging repertoire. And the godsends fail to take into account the expert status attained in false projecting my vine swinging abilities.

“With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”

Pretending me, myself, and I contained enough power to withstand the spitfire of raising kids teetered on insanity. What a waste to aggrandize and flex superwoman genes when God’s grace and mercy are available in an all-day IV drip.

The smugness venerated me to noble steed, Shrek style, until I understood less of me paved the way for more of He.

Looking back across the pond, I recognize the futile nature of my independent attempts to keep calm and carry on. Having matured and dissected my pride, I now see my stubborn investment as nothing more than a child rearing Ponzi scheme.

Raising kids is h.a.r.d. Dot at the end of sentence.

And the faster we learn to let God rule the mule, the easier our journey through the pressures of parenting.

Blessed indeed are parents at the end of their rope. And even more blessed are those who realize the grandeur of becoming small so God can loom large.

Even though the profound grace of this Beatitude didn’t crack my outer shell until sweeping out my nest, the wisdom is not lost on me.

My kids have left, but two of them still come home for the summer. Daughter has yet to cross into the twenty zone – meaning plenty of opportunity remains to let go and let God shower his bountiful mom blessings upon me.

So, fellow moms, here’s to living at the end of our rope! I’ll pray for you and I would be honored if you pray for me. But I have to give you fair warning: If we ever meet face to face, try not to let my halo blind you.

Shelby Spear

A self-described sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and love enthusiast, Shelby is a mom of 3 Millennials writing about motherhood and life from her empty nest. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") , and you can find her stories in print at Guideposts, around the web at sites like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Parenting Teens & Tweens and on her blog shelbyspear.com.