Parenting With the End in Mind -- Guest Post
Parenting is a long, terrifying, rewarding, heart-breaking journey, one we won't see truly see the fruit of for years to come. In this journey, as we chase after naked babies, clean vomit from furniture, and bruise our knees--literally--through the teen years, it's easy to get bogged down in the tedium of it all. To lose sight of our end goal, and maybe even to worry we'll never quite get there.
If that's you, I hope you find comfort in Meredith Carr's guest post, and may you rest in God's promise found in Galatians 6:9.
Waiting for the Harvest
Guest post by Meredith Houston Carr
I promised them I’d be right back. I just needed to step into the pantry to look for that box of much-desired Teddy Grahams.
Alone. And behind the thin layer of protection afforded by the pantry door.
As tiny fists pounded the pressed wood separating me from my 1- and 2-year-old toddlers, my ears absorbed the millionth whiny cries of the day. Without warning, hot tears filled my eyes and made their way down my flushed cheeks.
I’m so tired! The inaudible scream left my heart and shot up to God.
Tired of the whining. Tired of the crying. Tired of the sheer volume of epic neediness two toddlers can exhibit!
Yes, I needed to duck into my pantry to look for my children’s snack … but more than anything, I needed a good old-fashioned time out.
Inside that small space, in a brief moment alone, I felt the gentle hand of my Heavenly Father on my shoulder as He whispered, be still.
The words of Matthew 11:28 resonated with my fatigued soul: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (NIV).
Breathing in the truth of these words, I wiped my tears, whispered to Jesus how worn out I felt, and timidly emerged from the pantry—Teddy Grahams in hand—to see smiling, happy faces.
Motherhood is hard. That sounds obvious, but oftentimes the world makes us forget the truth that this high and holy work we’re doing is about so much more than simply feeding hungry mouths and clothing precious bodies. We are nurturing souls, sculpting human hearts and minds in the midst of the mundane, everyday tasks we do.
It is all at once boring and chaotic. Routine and unpredictable. Filled with incredible highs and wrenching lows.
In the exhausting hyper-vigilance created by mothering young ones, I am reminded of the words of Galatians 6:9:
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (NIV, emphasis added).
These early years of motherhood are all about laying the hard, laborious groundwork. Sowing, planting, watering, pulling weeds, shooing away birds, endlessly tending to tender, young shoots. The harvest appears very far off at times, and it’s easy to lose your way in the midst of all the work. This I understand, and all too well.
Dear mama, I know you are weary—I am too. But let us cling to the beautiful promise in this verse. All that hard work and sacrifice? It matters, and you and I will see the harvest … one day … if we will only not give up!
So keep on loving those little ones. Keep on showing patience and grace and forgiveness and kindness and joy in the midst of these intense, chaotic days. Keep on keeping on.
Your babies are watching, and their little senses are taking it all in—taking in all the love and sacrifice and grace you’re offering, day after weary, beautiful day.
And one fine day, you will emerge from the pantry, or wherever your hiding place happens to be, and look up to see the beginnings of a golden, bountiful harvest. Born of love and tears and perseverance, this harvest will make all these sowing and cultivating days worth the effort.
And you and I will feast with joy.
Meredith Carr is a Georgia Peach but now calls the hills of Northern California home, where she lives with her husband, energetic son and precocious daughter, and two crazy Chihuahuas. An attorney in her former life, she now enjoys the thrilling and slightly crazy stay-at-home mom life. You can find her writing (semi) regularly during naptime and in between loads of laundry at meredithhcarr.com.
Mamas, I hope Meredith's post encouraged you. The mother-daughter relationship is so precious. But it can be challenging and ocnfusing as well. We all long to love one another well, and Wholly Loved Ministries wants to help! For those in challenging or tense relationships, we want to help equip you and your mother or daughter to heal and deepen your bond with one another. For those with healthy and thriving mother-daughter interactions, we want to celebrate with you and create a special, memorable space for you to connect with one another further. We're super excited about our upcoming online mother daughter conference!
April 16-17, 2021
Make sure to sign up for Jennifer's free quarterly e-mailing, which releases soon. Each edition contains a short devotional, fictional excerpt, recipe, and more. You can sign up HERE. As an added bonus, all subscribers receive a free 36-lesson Bible study (in ebook form, link to download sent separately) on 1 Timothy. She also invites you to visit WhollyLoved.com where you'll find additional faith-building resources.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.
As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women experience Christ’s freedom in all areas of their lives. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.