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When Motherhood is Not Easy


Tears streamed down my face as I texted by best friend about the catastrophic freak show that was my life the day before.

In an attempt to “get ahead of the game” I was preparing some freezer meals. Pinterest puffed up my ego pretty good and I was going for it.

That was until the oven caught on fire. That’s right, FIRE! I put the meatballs on the wrong pan and the grease spilled over in my gas oven and caught fire. I was so blessed my husband Donald was in the kitchen at the time. He rushed to get the fire extinguisher and put out the flames successfully. No one was hurt and no property was damaged. The only loss was to all the food in the oven and on the counter top. Oh, and my pride of course.

I had a big pot of about 12 cups of rice on the stove, which was now dirty from the event. In my efforts to clean up I poured it all down the garbage disposal to get rid of it. Are you cringing as much as my husband did when he found out? Apparently garbage disposals are not built for mass removal of food. Like enough rice for an elementary school cafeteria.

I also proceeded to destroy about 5lbs of chicken that was not affected by the fire fiasco, but that story is too long to share right now.

Just trust me; it was like an episode of “I Love Lucy” up in here.

The night went on. Finally, I made it to every mother’s Promised Land: bed time. However, tonight of all nights, the toddler did not want to go to bed. Think complete MELTDOWN! When I finally got her to bed the 3 month old woke up for his feeding and every 2 hours after that. The toddler and the 3 month old proceeded to play tag team; when one went to sleep, the other woke up in distress.

The next day, dazed and sleep deprived, I finally had some time to process what happened the night before and it hit me. I was not cut out for this. See, I never, ever imagined myself as a mom and especially not a stay-at-home mom.

My plans were to go to college, get a corporate job and start my own business along the way. This plan had me on the fast track to success. I could not understand why God would place me in this position when I felt I would be making much less mistakes if I were a sassy career woman on her way up the corporate latter. That’s what I got my degree for anyways. Needless to say, the past three years as a stay-at-home mom have humbled me in ways I’ve never imagined.

My friend texted me back and reminded me of 2 Corinthians 2:9 which reads:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

I may not be the best but I don’t need to be. My very weaknesses, that I so often despise, are positioning me to experience God’s strength and power in ways I would otherwise not experience. I was also encouraged by Isaiah 40:29 which tell us that God:

… gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

According to this verse God is granting strength and power, not to the already strong and powerful, but to those who are weary and weak. That makes me a prime candidate and probably you too. That’s good news. It means success is not found in being perfect, and failure is not determined by how many losses you have. Success is facing the God-sized calling on your life, with the strength and power only He can provide.

Sometimes that call looks a lot like loading the dishwasher, correcting that child for the millionth time, or picking your pride off the floor, dusting off the fire extinguisher residue and placing that pride where it really belongs: in Christ.

We don’t need to be perfect. We need to place our faith in our perfect God. When my children look at me, they will never see perfection. They will see a tired mom who makes lots of mistakes as I limp through motherhood.

But after that, I want them to see and know that I did so with complete faith in God; a God who will fill in all the gaps that my weaknesses create. My desire is that in my weakness, my children will see His strength and be drawn to Him.

For the tired mama who feels like a complete failure, who stares at the ceiling each night wondering where you went wrong; our God is enough. Our success is in persevering in our faith in Him. It’s choosing to trust Him and not the chaos.

Success is found in letting God finish what He has started in us. It’s trusting that if He has called us, He is faithful to make us worthy of that very call.

By the way, I was determined not to give up on those freezer meals. Lord knows they are a lifesaver. I got back in that kitchen and tried again. I finished cooking with no fire, cleaning with no clogged drain, and no pride was harmed in the process.

Christina Patterson
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