I took deep breaths, you know the kind, the kind where you exhale a thousand worries and inhale His peace. The kind that you stop and breathe because you are about to tear someone down, or tear something apart, or tear-up. The kind you take when you are too close to the edge for comfort.
Today was one of those days. It began rushed and frantic. I handed kids bags of fruit loops and put the toddler in her car seat with a mess of uncombed hair. It began with me skipping breakfast because coffee seemed more important. It began with a hundred chores on my plate and not nearly enough time to attempt any of it. It was one of "those days" before it even began.
Micaela's tonsils are still swollen which makes over three weeks with them being at a "plus four" i.e. huge. At the end of her appointment today we added another specialist to our growing collection: Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor. But that didn't seem to frustrate me as much as coming home to dishes and toys scattered simply everywhere. Life today felt cracked and smattered to bits with peanut butter holding everything together. But, though rushed and frazzled, I still felt whole.
On the radio a few weeks ago a man announced that a recent study shows mothers to be more stressed than ever. He said that in the study mothers were confessing to feeling unsatisfied with their life and their roles in their families. These women were often turning to unhealthy habits to cope such as drugs and sex outside of marriage. My heart shuddered at the statistics, not with anger or condemnation, but with a deep sadness. I know, I totally know where these women are coming from and they could be me, could have been me, if I didn't have God.
God is Who calms me in my storms. God is Who holds me so I don't fall apart. God is Who lifts me out of the mess and sets me on a rock. God is Who quiets my worries and forces away my fears. God is Who fills me with love over and over so that I can give back and give to others without being emptied.
I understand those women, I do. I understand the aches, the pains, the deep hurts of not just our feet and backs but of our hearts and spirits. I know that by the end of our hardest day we have been beaten down to our last ounce of self-will and it is so easy to simply give in to whatever will provide a little comfort.
That is where the victory is, though, for us women of faith. At the end of the day we can see our aches and pains through the light of God's will and God's works. We can give over to Him the desperate struggles of our hearts. We have hope for every day to come and faith in a gentle Father who walks beside us. And we are never lonely or needy with His love filling us to over-flowing.
My heart aches for those mothers out there, the ones so desperate for relief, strength, and comfort. May not one of us pass you sweet mothers by. We are praying for you and loving you. We are.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
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"...and God was already there with me."