I have a confession to make tonight…ok, maybe a few. I’m scared. As we approach our travel dates, just two weeks from today, I am a ball of emotions that will wilt into tears at any moment. Don’t get me wrong, a good portion of those tears are tears of absolute pure joy and I cannot even imagine what it will be like to see my sweet boy face to face for the first time. But the other part of me is so scared that I can’t do this. I remember feeling this way (well, different, but kinda the same) when I was pregnant with Eden since she’s so close in age to Judah (11 months, 2 weeks…yup, I know what causes that. No we didn’t plan it, but God did, so there). These evil thoughts have been haunting me for two years, now. When I lose my patience with the kids and raise my voice, when I’m so tired that the house is falling apart and I just can’t pick up after the kids are finally asleep, when I drag myself to work after a 45 minute nap while the kids watched Kipper. I can hear it, “If you can’t even hold your temper with your biological kids how will you ever with an adopted child?!” “You can’t keep up with all your stuff with just two kids, you’re never going to make it with three…especially when one of them may be difficult and unpredictable for an undetermined amount of time.” “Brace yourself, because if you think you’re sleep deprived now, OH! JUST WAIT!” I work so hard to dismiss them, I know they are from who Revelation 12:10 calls “the accuser of our brothers”, and I push on, striving to trust in the Lord who has called us on this journey. But, man oh man, has this week been a doozy.
Yesterday was my sweet Eden Elizabeth’s fourth birthday! I have NO IDEA how that happened…how my sweet Sunshine baby girl is four years old. I knew it was going to be a busy week, but man, was I a Super Mom planning and organizing machine! My work schedule was pretty grueling this past weekend, just out of necessity around other things in our life. I worked Thursday and Friday night, had Saturday off and then back for Sunday and Monday….so I had to be strategic! I was determined to find a special birthday treat to take to Eden’s school that fit the bill of gluten, egg, dairy, and nut free so that all the kids in her class could have some (ahem, NOT EASY!), so I pushed through my tiredness on Saturday night after the kids went to bed and did our weekly shopping at 9 pm and gathered all the ingredients for said treat. On Tuesday morning, I came home and baked up this special treat, all ready to take to her class that afternoon….I was doing it! I was Super Mom-ing! So, I ran upstairs for a quick 3 1/2 hour nap before I had to throw on some clothes and head out the door to her class. Woke up once and saw I still had a half hour, so I stretched and rolled over. Next thing I knew, I looked at the clock in ABSOLUTE PANIC. It was 2:05, and I was supposed to BE IN HER CLASS at 2:00! Now, our kiddos have the amazing opportunity to go to a special school in Austin, but we live in Kyle…a good 30 minutes south of their school on a good day with no traffic.
I called Colby hysterical and asked if there was ANY way he could rush over and pick up some fresh fruit for all those allergic sweetie pies. He said he didn’t have time for that, but could make it there on time for regular pick up at 2:30. Through frustrated tears, I threw the cookie cake in the front seat and raced towards Austin (maybe or maybe not) going 90 miles per hour bawling my eyes out. I didn’t make it, not by a long shot, and my heart just about broke in two. And all of those doubts about my mothering? Yeah, they hit me like a brick wall. I was on and off the phone with Colby who was continually encouraging me that it really was ok. I texted a handful of my dearest friends here in Texas for support and called my sweet friend in California, and it was the most beautiful thing. I was immediately surrounded by love and support and encouragement.
And then I heard the words or the prophet Zechariah come with such gentleness, “Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” And it rushed over me like the warmth of a summer tide: no matter how much planning, how many lists, no amount of “super mom-ing” will ever be enough to accomplish this mission of motherhood. It is His Spirit alone that can strengthen me for this task. And He has sent so many into my path that are cheering me on, picking me up when I fall, spurring me on to keep running this race of life.
I met up with Colby and the kids and we played at a park for awhile before heading home. On the drive home, we were listening to what the kids call “Jesus music” and I heard the sweet voice of my beautiful birthday girl (who, by the way, forgave me instantaneously. Or maybe didn’t even really notice?!), and she was singing along. “We sing Hallelujah! We sing Hallelujah! We sing Hallelujah! The Lamb has overcome!” Gluten free classroom treats weren’t the stuff that being a “successful” mom was made of! It’s sweet moments like these, when you see how much they’re growing day by day.
I know this “mom fail” was exactly what I needed heading into the next season of being a mom. I needed to know that I’m dependent on the Lord for strength. I needed to know that when I stretch out my arms for help, I have a whole “village” around me in the form of an amazing husband who strengthens me, and women who love God and love me and can help hold me up, listen to the hard things and wipe away my tears. We are in this together and we are fighting those daily battles with the Accuser.
As I put Judah in his carseat this morning for Colby to take them to school, I reminded him that this morning, he had a second chance! (It was a rough bedtime for him last night, if you catch my drift). I told him, “Every single morning when the sun comes up, it is a new day for a second chance! You know who gives you that second chance?” “Umm, Momma?” “Nope! It’s God! Every single day, He gives you a new chance to make the right choices and trust in Him!” As I waved to them driving away, I realized I had a second chance today, too. I don’t have to live with the guilt and fear of past, present and future “mom fails”, because His grace will cover them all. And that “Village” I’m in? Yeah, it’s huge and reaches across the country and the oceans…and we are in this together.
Oh, and Eden just had one more day of celebrating her birthday when I brought the treat to school today