by Tracy Lane
Tired toddler midday meltdown ensued. At the same time, baby diaper blow out covered my shirt, her entire body, and the rocking chair. The rocking chair that I needed to coax my toddler to sleep in—immediately. Well, that is if any of us were going to make it through the next five minutes.
I decided to let my toddler lay squalling on the floor, hoping that lying down would put her to sleep. Not likely, considering the ear-piercing volume of her afternoon fit. But I left her and rushed the baby to the changing table. I stormed through five wipes and two diapers and had her clean faster than a raceway pit stop.
My mind sped to how I could entertain her to tend to my still awake, still crying 2-year-old. I set the baby in her crib beneath twirling bright pinks, oranges, and blues and clicked the Mozart switch. Maybe soft, calming music could drown out the tantrum next door. I prayed, God, please just five minutes. And ran to pick up the tired screamer.
Three sips of milk and four rocks later, my toddler stopped short in her humming along of “Jesus Loves Me.” Just as I laid her gently in her big girl bed, I heard the baby start to fuss. I did it! I thought. I whispered a secret victory cheer in my head, applauding myself that I got my toddler to sleep in time to tend to the baby’s next needs. I bounced the baby to the kitchen and texted my husband, “I should be somebody’s hero.”
Doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? A seemingly short, half-an-hour motherly challenge requires such patience, such strategy, such precision that it seems we could surely earn a medal of honor. Or at least a quiet coffee break.
And our days are made up of hundreds of those equally short, yet equally exhausting motherly challenges. I’ve found the way to press on through the tired seconds is to enjoy each one by realizing the sacredness that lies within it.
On a recent road trip to admit our 3-month-old baby for her second open-heart surgery, we stopped at consecutive I-40 rest stops: the first for a flood of spit up, the next for a poop explosion (maybe it’s time for the next size diaper with the frequency of these), and the last for mixing up more formula without spraying it all over the backseat. Even in the frustration and “inconvenience” of these moments, I begged God for the continued privilege of rest stop sink laundering and roadside bottle mixing because it meant my baby girl would be healthy and alive and heading home with us soon.
So in the days of motherhood frenzy, God has been reminding me lately that I shouldn’t be and I’m not the real hero. I didn’t get myself through those challenging moments last month and I can’t get myself through the ones I’ll encounter tomorrow. I need help!
The My Shield plaque by Ever Thine Home® is a practical reminder that God is there to offer that help. “The Lord is my strength and my shield, in him my heart trusts and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7) is declared in espresso on a gray and cream weathered wood, neutral enough to adorn any living room wall with a reminder of truth.
So with a quick glance at the plaque and encouraged by His strength, I remember how much I’d really hate a silent afternoon of no rocking. I’d be bored without Barbies to dress. Our driveway would be neatly swept instead of decorated in family chalk art. And I’ve even grown to like the familiar stench of lingering diapers, because it means there are bottoms to wipe, faces to clean, and littles to love.
Thank You, Jesus, for this gift of motherhood. And thank You for getting me through every tired, but sacred, moment.