I know with deep shame the cracks that fall into place with who I am, how I love, and how I serve others. And perhaps that is why, when people tell me they are amazed at my dedication to mothering my girls, especially little Micaela who needs so much, I feel confused. I look at the day spent, the hair-breaths I was from losing my cool with all the little things, the way my heart rebelled against the constant demands, and the way my mind kept trying to slip away into a daydream so I could forget it all for a moment.
The honest truth is that what my girls need from me and what my husband deserves are far beyond what I am capable of. If I wasn't doing this with Jesus, I wouldn't be doing this at all.
Today we started week two of Micaela's weaning from the G-tube. She was cranky and on strike. I kept her hydrated but the 2 & 1/2 meals she got from the machine was significantly less than what she wanted. The mom in me tried to rebel, you truly hate to see your kid hungry when a simple syringe of food would fix it. But, God helped me stick to my guns. God kept my heart from delving into worry and coming up with at hundred excuses to abandon our fight to help Micaela eat on her own. Oh, if I wasn't doing this with Jesus I wouldn't even be attempting such a heart-wounding challenge.
Adela's speech has started to explode into our lives. Our quiet little girl is quiet no longer. In her Spanish/English jargon she asks a thousand questions and tells a hundred stories. On and on the dialogue goes. About midday today, with my nerves stained to breaking, I turned to my little girl and started to tell her she needed to be quiet for a little while so I could think. Mid-sentence my voice stilled because I felt that nudge, God's Spirit, telling me to look at my child with my heart instead of my pounding head. I pulled her confused face into a hug and asked her if she would like to read a book. The next half-hour soothed me more than a bubble bath with her little warm body squeezed next to me and her fly-away hair tickling my cheeks as we read story after story. Oh, if I wasn't dong this with Jesus I would never have got those moments.
Motherhood is hard. I am too battered and jumbled to do this on my own. A little pressure and I can feel myself breaking. A sudden storm and I know I will be blown away in the wind and hail. God not only ensures that I am anchored and given armor to weather the pressure, He guides my hands and my words and sees that my family and I arrive safely to the end of each day. I would be such a mess without Jesus.
Sometimes the lives of my two girls that I have been entrusted with feels like too big a task for me to ever be part of. But, then I watch Micaela learn something new or watch Adela's gentle hands pet the head of a sick lamb, and I remember the wonders of Our God. The God that parted waters, the God that quieted the storm, the God who defeated death--that God, my God, is right beside me.
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"...and God was already there with me."