Faith for long mothering days

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do you ever feel exhausted in the middle of the day because your kids just won't listen?!?

{I do.}

Have you ever flopped on your bed and shed a few tears because, wow, you try so hard and THAT is how they behave?
{I have.}

Have you ever thrown up your hands, yelled, and then hated the way you sounded?
{Yep, me too.}

Defeated Bear

Summer, with all its delights and daylight, can also bring some long mothering days. All this together time, all this heat, all this humanity under one roof. It can be rough.

Fortunately, I've had a little jingle in my head this summer, thanks to VBS. It goes like this:

If you have faith like a mustard seed,
A teeny tiny, itty bitty mustard seed,
If you have faith like a mustard seed,
You can do great things!

Hmm. All I need is a little bit of faith . . .

When the days started feeling long recently, I took my little seed of faith, I planted it, and I prayed: Lord, help me to be patient, kind and good. Help me to be the calm one, the rational one. Give me creative ideas. Give me joy. Give me strength. I prayed this over, and over, and over again. I didn't just wish for it once. I became dedicated, purposeful in my prayer.

Guess what? It worked. With God's help, I have been able to:

~ Think, in the midst of chaos, and devise a new solution for the same-old behavior problems.
~ Love, really love, a fit-throwing two year old, with reserves of patience I did not know I had.
~ Speak softly, and turn won't-share tears into best friends laughter.
~ Let go of some battles, and pick the right ones.

Victorious Bear

I'm not saying it is all cherries and roses over here, but I am yelling less and the long days don't feel quite so defeating. I am encouraged, because I can see the fruit of my tiny seed of faith - we are happier.

Certainly, I can now see why my stubborn persistence, my "But why can't I do this?!" attitude, wasn't working before:

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:19-21

Nothing. Not even long mothering days.

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23 Responses to “Faith for long mothering days”

  1. Nice post!  We have all been there, haven't we?

  2. This is so encouraging. Though I'm not a mother, my days are spent losing patience with academics and university staff. My patience is in short supply. Thank you.

  3. Love you, sweetie!  Proud of you too!

  4. Love how you shared this struggle and victory.  Your illustration using the bear was perfect!  Blessings, Debbie

  5. Thanks for the practical step you took to invite the Lord into your parenting. What a difference this will make in your summer.


  6. Hi Courtney.  I love this post and the bear.  Excellent actor that bear!  Its true what you say, we have to be persistent in prayer.  Hope you have some awesome summer days with some awesome memories.
    God bless

  7. Thanks for this post...I am having one of those long mothering days and it is only 9:30am!

  8. How well I remember some of those days.  But now that I'm on the end of small-child mothering I can see the results of the consistent creative teaching.  Your kids will certainly be happier for you growing your faith.


  9. Boy, these days are long aren't they.  I finally had to be stern about a bedtime of 9 no matter what.  So I could have some peace.  I am afraid of praying for patience, lol,  so I pray that by the fruit of the Spirit I have patience.  After 13 years of mothering I still have a 10, 8, and 4 yr old too.  Thanks for your encouragement.  Blessings and Love, Mindy

  10. Very relatable post! And isn't it so amazing how faith as small as a mustard seed can grow so great?

  11. I have been having a few of these long, very hot & humid mothering days too especially since I have an opinionated two and a half year old & a baby that just can't shake these ear infections.  Thank you for your words of encouragement. :) 

  12. Just what I needed to read.  Thank you.  Part of me dreads our summer travel plans because I know that there will be long days involved.  But faith should inform my attitude instead.

  13. Faith for LONG Mothering Days...oh, I love that. I really liked your bear, as well. My faith should definitely make me Mother differently, and MOST does. Thank you for posting, Following now :)

  14. Oh my - can't imagine having that job.  Good luck!

  15. I'm so proud of the bear.  He worked hard, and it paid off :)

  16. I sure hope it got better!  Obviously, I've been there, and will be there again, no doubt.  Sometimes it just helps to know that you aren't the first or the last mother to feel stressed before 10am.

  17. You know, this is one of those posts that I got nervous about . . . did I say too much?  Share too much?  And then it turns out that you all comment and say, "Me too!" - so thanks for your encouragement.  It helps!  

    So sorry about continuing ear infections.  So tough for you and her.  

  18. Michelle DeRushaJuly 14, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    A big fat YES to the first three questions. I'm grateful for your simply, prayful approach. You know, I think where I go wrong is that I utter one prayer and think everything will be magically fixed. I think that you prayed it constantly and continually was key, so that it became a mantra, full present and top of mind in your own head. Thanks, Courtney -- I'm going to try this.

  19. It's an intentional step every day, a renewing of faith, and yet we'll be the better for it.

  20. Great post! I hate when the kids are misbehaving and then I find myself "misbehaving" too--yelling or being angry instead of setting the example and showing patience, mercy, and love. That's a great verse to apply for motherhood! :)

  21. Hey Courtney, thank you for writing this ;)  I was just looking at my calendar and thinking, "God. Help me. One more month to go!"  I started focusing on myself more than my kids, too. Because it didn't seem they were changing anytime today, so the only person I could change was myself. Correction: the only person GOD can change... :) *hugs*

  22. Welcomed encouragement today...
    Thank you!