Certain seasons in this life can feel more chaotic than others. There are times when you get to embrace rest, routine, and “normal.” But then there are times when it feels like the snow globe you live in just got turned upside down, shaken up, and set back down like nothing happened. And now you’re left waiting for the world to stop spinning and the glitter to stop swirling around, smacking you in the face.
For someone who craves normal, routine, and the familiar, the last nine months have been anything but that. They’ve included having a new baby, going from one child to two, a job change for my husband, buying a new house, a move to a new city, and a fair share of travel.
Now, all of these have been wonderful things. Huge blessings, in fact. But it was so easy for my eyes to slip from the blessing to watching my routines and the peace I had manufactured crumble.
A friend recently reminded me that the enemy likes to lie to us and tell us, “It’s going to be like this forever. You’re always going to be the one stuck at home; changing diapers; having to spoon feed babies; having a toddler banging at the bathroom door; being yelled at by hungry/tired/bored little ones. This is how it’s going to be now. You’re never going to get out of this.”
But those are lies.
It won’t be like this forever. And that fact makes me excited to see what’s next (and excited to get to stop changing poopy diapers), but it also makes me want to pause where things are right now, to reflect on all that is unique about this moment in my life. Because the truth is, it isn’t going to be like this forever. And I am so thankful for all the little things that make this stage different.
It can be so easy to fill my head with all the hard things, things I have to do (“Great, I have to do another load of laundry.”) or things I can’t do (“I can never sleep in. Ever.”)
When my focus is on me and what I have to do or can’t do, I’m choosing selfishness over thankfulness.
One of my favorite passages of scripture speaks to the importance of being thankful. Philippians 4:4-6 says:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God. Not my own peace that I manufacture with my routines and feelings of normal, not something I can drum up by myself, but His peace. That’s what I need. When I’m in the middle of my own pity party and struggling to finish the day strong, I need His peace to guard my heart and my mind (and often my words).
And what does it say is one of the key parts of having His peace? Thankfulness. “…by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When we do this, we aren’t promised our problems will go away, our situations will change, or our struggles with anxiety will end. But He does promise that His peace will guard us.
So what do you have to be thankful for?
Write it out. Whether it is a quick list of one or two words each or whole paragraphs, practice thanking God for the season you are in right now.
Although there is much more to my life than being a mom, most of my time is spent with my kids. So to wrap up this post, I’m going to share a few of the reasons I’m thankful for this season of motherhood:
- Baby Girl is so interactive right now, smiling and laughing when you talk to her.
- Little Man is able to carry on somewhat longer conversations. This is huge for this mom who stays home and sometimes doesn’t talk to anyone outside the house all day.
- My kids are playing together. They are making each other laugh, making each other mad, and working on their conflict resolution and sharing skills.
- Little Man remembers things now. He’ll ask to sing certain songs, he asks for specific foods, and he remembers if you’ve told him he can play with Play Dough once Dad gets home.
- Baby Girl is easy to travel with. She may prefer napping in her room, but she’ll still take the occasional nap in her car seat or in my arms while we’re out. She’s also mostly content to ride around in the stroller while running errands.
- Baby Girl is on the move (and curious about whatever is just out of her reach).
- My kids have both learned how to play by themselves (shout out to my sweet friend who suggested instituting ‘“room time”). But…
- They still love snuggling and reading with me. Although I may get tired of reading certain books over and over, I’ll never get tired of my children asking me to read to them.