Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Cup Overflows - the sacred joy of motherhood

My Cup Overflows


This morning was one of those times that I want locked away in my memory forever.

It was simply ordinary. Perfectly ordinary.

I sat down in a flood of light on my couch, warm coffee in hand, intending to go through my bible study for the day. My boys played on the floor in front of me. I went through some of my study, but my gaze was continually pulled to my boys. Asa was playing intently with some Legos. His little face was seriously concentrated on fitting them together. His chubby little baby fingers wrapped around each brick perfectly. Light was streaming in through our large front window, highlighting every once of chub perfectly. Levi was inside a tent right next to Asa playing with Legos as well, humming a delightful tune joyfully. Then Asa began handing Levi legos, and Levi in his best imitation "mommy voice" would say, "Thank you, Ace!" 

My heart was full. I was absolutely memorized watching and listening to my babies play. This is really my life. It's beautiful! The fullness of joy I was experiencing in this moment cannot be justified through mere words. I was teary, as any nursing mother would be. A warm lump rose in my throat, but receded when watching the boys brought me to laughter. I remember thinking "I hope heaven is like this." I felt both completely content, yet I was inwardly begging God for the safe arrival of more children at the same time. This was bliss! This was joy! This was true thankfulness!


As I watched Asa in particular, my heart was drawn into praise. 

Lord, thank you for this beautiful child! Thank that he is here, and healthy, and chubby! Thank you for bringing him through all that you have! Thank you that his open heart surgery was a success, complicated as it was! Thank you that he recovered like a rock star! Thank you that he is a ferociously active little child! Thank you for the inexpressible joy that he brings to our lives! Thank you, Lord, for the gift of this sweet one's beautiful, precious existence!

As I watched Asa join in play with Levi, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for the brotherhood that was unfolding before my eyes. Asa LOVES Levi. Levi LOVES Asa. When Asa wakes up from a nap crying, he does not stop crying when I pick him up. He stops crying when he sees Levi! They absolutely have their share of fights and their interactions do not always look like love, but in this moment there was no trace of tension and their love for one another was shining through. 

I watched Levi and thought about how He has proven himself to be Asa's protector over and over again. He keeps a close eye on them when they are playing and alerts me to any foreign object that Asa puts in his mouth before I can even say a word. I can see that our prayer for the boys to be close was definitely being answered with a resounding "yes!" Levi loves Asa and he is an extremely protective older brother. It's probably for the best that Asa was not a girl for that very reason. *wink* 

I continued to watch unable to do anything but smile. These are the moments that fill up a mother's heart. These are the moments that fuel our willingness to sacrifice for our children over and over again. These are the moments that build us. Stopping. Appreciating. Savoring. Praising.

This moment of bliss came and went, and then regular life ensued again. I find an unflushed toilet full of toddler droppings, and hand towel soaking in the bathroom sink filled with water and hand soap, a poopy diaper to change, and a crabby baby who is ready for his nap but refuses to give into sleep. Oh yeah! The crazy came right back just as it always does. But i noticed that my heart was more calm when I was faced with a challenge. And when I am clam, they tend to reflect that quality. I was more prone to lovingly respond to my child, then snap at them. There was just a larger sense of peace in my heart and a stronger sense of purpose to my job as a mother. I felt so much more engaged in loving my children. I felt joyful obedience.

There is no doubt in my mind that our heavenly Father stops and enjoys watching his children as I did this morning with my children. He takes joy in watching us explore life and try new things. He is pleased when we enjoy one another and watch out for each other. As I was experiencing the weight of my unbridled love for my children, I realized that this is how God loves me. But it's even more radical because He is the author of love! I am his child that he bought with the blood of his flesh, and that drives me to obedience and service in his kingdom. Joyful obedience and joyful service. When I love my children and show them the love of Christ, I am furthering God's kingdom right in my own home. That is amazing!

To all other Mommy's in my stage of life: don't forget to stop doing and soak in the childhood that is playing out before us in our homes all day long. Leave the dishes in the dishwasher or the dirty toddler underwear on the floor, and just watch them play. Through the grace of God, we are giving our children the gift of childhood. Give yourself the gift of watching it take place. As you watch, let your heart relax and let your anxieties go and just enjoy. Rest. Thank God for these beautiful lives that he has given to your care. These children call us Mommy. Though the name may be yelled at us many times throughout the day, demanding our attention, it is a sacred name. A high calling, indeed. We have been anointed and crowned by the King into motherhood. We are blessed beyond measure to be the mommies of these children who are only ours because God choose us for them. 

I feel as though I simply stumbled upon this peaceful moment today, but I challenge myself and all other mommies to intentionally stop our busyness on a regular basis, be still, and simply watch our children be children.Then turn your heart upward and bless the Lord for these precious little gifts. 

Here is a glimpse into our morning today:














You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Psalm 23:5b-6






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