Have you ever heard the phrase “in the trenches of motherhood?” Perhaps because I’m raising a little one, I’ve used this phrase to describe the phase of motherhood where you are up to your elbows in snot, diapers, and toddler tantrums. Truly, I think this phrase can apply to most stages of motherhood though.
Whether you’re up in the wee hours of the nights making bottles, potty training, helping your kids through mountains of home work, shuffling them to and from activities, confronting teen attitudes, scraping every last penny so they can go to college and eat too, helping them when they become parents…do we ever really climb out of the trenches of motherhood? I’m not so sure we ever do. It seems to me that there is work to be done in every season.
I say this not to complain, however!
For surely we know that every season has its joys and burdens. It is much more lovely to think about the joys. Sweet cuddles with babies, the excitement in the eyes of discovering tots and preschoolers, the enjoyment that comes from family game nights or summer days at the pool when the kids get older, and the exciting adventures you can take as kids enter the young adult years. Yes, these are times of life worth remembering.
But perhaps today was hard. Perhaps the burdens are screaming much more loudly than the soft and gentle joys. What then? I’m actually asking myself this question right now as my two-and-a-half year old is in the other room resisting bedtime. As often as we hear that we should be focusing on the good, sometimes it’s just really hard.
I came across a beautiful quote the other day from Charles Dickens:
“I love these little people and it is not a slight thing when they who are fresh from God love us.”
Our children love us and need us–and oh, how significant that is! Jesus thought children were pretty special too. You might recall Matthew 18:1-5:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child over and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth , unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”
To welcome a child is to welcome Christ.
Think about that for a moment. Does it change anything to think that as you:
wipe your little one’s nose for the 20th time,
patiently respond to your child’s whining,
venture to the park together in the hot summer sun,
or really listen to your teenager’s thoughts….
you might be welcoming Christ?
As we do our best to love and raise our children might we be welcoming Christ? Yes, I believe so, IF we do as scripture says and welcome them in HIS name. So, sweet momma, keep it up! Keep on loving and serving your kiddos in the name of Jesus. This work we do is not in vain.
Remember, it is not a slight thing when those little hearts love us so.