It’s been raining here… a lot. And, it’s been really cold. Not really what one hopes for near the end of June! Being a mom of two little kids, I treasure all of those outdoor activities that promise to exhaust the kiddos while also providing endless entertainment and lots of good old Vitamin D for Momma. I’m sure I’m just preaching to the choir here on this one, am I right? So, with the every other day rainstorms, pools that are too cold to be swum in, and cancelled activities, my children and I are going a little stir crazy at this point.
In addition, my kids have also entered the phase where they fight about pretty much everything. My daughter, who may be quite petite and only 16 months old, has already discovered the unique buttons to push that will set her almost 4 year-old-brother into a tizzy. In return, Lucas, her brother, knows exactly which animals and books to confiscate that will turn that seemingly, innocent, little darling into a fiery breathing dragon. While all of this interaction was entertaining the first few times, all of you Moms and Dads out there know how quickly it grows old. I can’t even give you the number of times a day that “Momma!!!” is screamed out from either one of them. So, this is the scene set: one Mom, two small kids, all indoors, and lots of fighting. Sound familiar?
Here is the big question: what in the world do I do with this? I know that I am not the first person to sit with her head in her hands behind a closed pantry door because that is the only place I can find a little quiet! Even as I sit here writing this, both kids are at my feet – one yelling because the other is touching his leg and laughing about it. There are many things that I feel like I could write about: humility in early parenting, lessons the Lord is teaching me through my children’s interactions, happiness through the journey. I would like to briefly share what I’ve been doing to find peace in those scarce moments of solitude that help get me through the day.
- Listen to uplifting music– If I only have a few moments to myself, they need to count. I have a playlist on my music app that has some of my favorite, go-to praise and worship songs. These quickly help me get recalibrated and refocused on my mission. With lots of screaming happening, it’s very easy for me to forget that there is a bigger purpose for me other than playing referee. Some of my favorite artists are:
- Vertical Worship
- Lauren Daigle
- Kari Jobe
- Hillsong Worship
- Pray and ask for help – This is an area I am weak. Instead of going immediately to the only One who is able to help me in my lack of patience, strength, grace, forgiveness, you-name-it, I try to go at it alone until I’m at my wit’s end and wind up just yelling at the kids about whatever fiasco is currently happening. This is certainly not the kind of mom I want to be, nor the kind of mom I want my children to remember. I want them to see me hit the floor on my knees and ask the Spirit for His help, guidance, wisdom, and growth. I have been trying to remember to do this more publicly, even though it is something I would tend to do in those rare moments of quiet. Regardless of whether it is public or private, this is always the one thing that immediately resolves any internal anguish, frustration, and anger for me.
- Get into the Word – I’ve been finding that God has a very tender heart towards parents with little children. He knows how physically tiring, emotionally exhausting, and spiritually draining it is to raise little ones. In His love and compassion, I have seen how much He wants to fill me back up and connect with me, so I don’t feel alone during the long days. This is what I mean – I will be doing Bible time with Lucas, and there is always something, even in the simple children’s Bible, storybook, or one-line memory verse, that has a direct message for me. Although I treasure doing my own Bible studies, even in those moments of silence where the kids are listening to me read a Bible story, God is speaking to me and ministering to my spirit. Trust me, I know how hard it is trying to find a personal quiet time during the day, but, if I make Bible time a group activity, the kids are listening to Bible stories, learning about God, and God is connecting with us in the ways we need. It is really incredible!
I know that may not be as simple as 1, 2, 3 for you, and there are circumstances that may require more action, but those three activities help me find true peace during the long, lonely days more than anything else I have tried. For me, it’s about more than just getting through and moving on to the next phase. I truly want to enjoy this season of life, even if it comes with all of the rain and cold weather right now! And if I can keep learning how to be peaceful in the storm (metaphorically), then being at peace when things are all sunshine and rainbows will be so much easier.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:16, ESV).
Much love, Brothers and Sisters,