I finally sat down tonight to process what feels like an increasingly panicked state. I would say it borders on “somewhat panicky” and “soon to be a real problem panicky.” Here’s the culprit: In regards to motherhood, I have this overwhelming feeling that I am missing it. I’m sure of it, actually. I’m sure of it because I am acutely aware that I have been in this season of parenting where I feel like I am just going through the motions. Not really digging in and squeezing the life out of this experience that is as profound as it is confounding. And that makes me a little afraid. Afraid that I am not enjoying my kids enough or savoring the sweetness of this little girl stage enough. I am afraid that I am missing all the teachable moments, that I am blowing off the cuddly moments too often, and that I’m surviving parenthood instead of taking it all in and recognizing the unbelievable blessing it is. Oh, I know, it all sounds so self-deprecating and humble pie ala mode (this is a new expression that I am gonna use when someone is acting humble, but there is something sweet in it for them…it’s good right?…just thought I’d let you know.). It’s not. It’s just the truth and I am thankful that it makes me panic.
Before I sat down and processed all of this, I had to put Hopie to bed and, uncharacteristically for me, I decided to break with routine tonight. We played for a full hour in her bed. We were “supposed to” sing, pray, and then, lights out. That’s the way bed time usually goes in our house. Instead, we read a book. (By the way, Hope sounded out the following words all by herself: big, in, at, has, no, and bed. This is a brand new thing for her and I am astounded at how she is picking up reading.) After that we did sing-though instead of the traditional bedtime hymns, it was a bunch of silly songs that we made up and that didn’t make any sense, but made us laugh our heads off. I even shot some video of it. Then, because I have been asked to memorize Isaiah 26:3 for our small group, we talked some about peace and what it means. I loved Hope’s definition. “It means that Jesus will give you everything you need.” Of course, this came only after the sillier definition which was, “It means you get a ham sandwich.” Hmmm…not quite as profound. Then, lots more silliness…more silly songs, making up silly words, silly faces, etc. Finally, we did pray and Hope prayed that “God would peace the bugs out of her room so she wouldn’t be scared of them.” (Grammatically, not correct and also I think we are still a little fuzzy on the definition, but I liked the sentiment and I even kind of liked her use of it as a verb. I’m a big fan of mixing it up when it comes to language.)
Here’s my take on tonight. I think the Lord knew that he was about to confront me with my recent failures and he, kind of, moved me to have this special hour with Hope to take the edge off a bit. He knows I don’t do well with confronting my failures. But, a cushioned blow to the ego is still just that, a blow. And so I am sad. But, I think sad is better than panicky. I know what is wrong now and I have some idea of how to make it right…not enough, but some. More than that, I have a deepened understanding of my need for Jesus because when I think of where the energy is gonna come from to live life and to parent out of more than just survival mode, I know he is my only hope. Praise God that his very nature is hope.