The Motherhood Marathon
So here we are...Mother's Day Weekend! As usual, Mother's Day has crept up on me again.....and at the tail end of a particularly challenging week too. I have to be transparent when I say that I haven't really been feeling all that celebratory in regards to motherhood of late. In fact, I have had moments when I was just frustrated with motherhood. I've wanted to walk right out of the front door and into the sunset over a Hobby Lobby parking lot. In these past few weeks I have seriously cried out to God, fed my feelings with lots of chocolate and looked up local therapists! I'm just being honest here....sometimes we are not okay. You ever dread someone asking you how you are doing? You purse your lips and try to come up with an answer that sounds like you're still full of thankfulness, but deep down inside you know you're just trying to fly above the chaos. Yea....it's like that sometimes.
In this season of high kid behaviors, nonstop sibling infighting, long nights (that are really just daytime minus the sun) with the baby, kids falling down and running in to stuff left and right, endless crying, hyenas in the Pridelands and poop for days; I keep reminding myself that motherhood truly is a marathon. Parenthood is a marathon.
Let me explain. We often talk about parenthood in seasons. Oh it's just a season, we say. And its true! There are seasons in parenthood. Seasons when your kids are cool, calm and collected. Seasons of joy. Seasons of hardship. Seasons of pure chaos. Seasons of growth. Harvest seasons. But sometimes I think we forget that even though we may be in a certain season, that season is a part of the overall journey of parenthood. We're running heats in a day-long track meet...the individual laps in a marathon.
When we think about the big picture, we see that one bad day is just one bad day. A couple tough hours in an interaction with a defiant child doesn't mean the entire day needs to be tough. Shucks, a couple hard weeks doesn't define what motherhood in its entirety is. I often look at my mother, my grandparents, aunts and uncles and in-laws and think of how much they still support their grown children and little grandchildren. Yes their seasons of raising children are over for the most part, but they have just entered into new seasons of parenting I would say.
It never ends.
The marathon never ends.
And once you realize this my friend, you start to look at your journey differently. You start thinking about your endurance (Hebrews 10:36), what you need to do to condition yourself for the long haul. Who do you need running alongside you? I don't know about you, but I want Jesus to be my running buddy. I need Him to be with me as I run this Momma Marathon. And you need Him too!
The Bible often urges us to think of our Christian lives as a race or marathon.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."
~1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do the things you need to do to keep yourself in the game Mama. Take care of yourself, keep your health, give yourself breaks and monitor your mental health. Treat yourself like an athlete...these kids aren't going anywhere and you have to be strong for them. Most importantly, keep coming back to the Word of God. Condition your "Spirit Lady". Don't be afraid to open your Bible when times get hard, and don't forget to bow your head in prayer in times of plenty as well (we all get a little cocky when the good times are rolling, amiright?). Keep checking in with your Running Buddy. Consider Philippians 2:16:
"...holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain."
God has given you this ministry. Think about what Luke says in Acts:
"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."
A popular scripture and one of my personal favorites is Isaiah 40:31 (Big Isaiah Fan Here!):
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
I know you're tired Mama. I know you're stretched thin. I know because I am too. But guess what? It's not on us. We aren't doing this alone. We have someone willing to go the distance with us. Reach out to Him daily. Ask Him to renew your strength, to give you the gear you need to stay the course and come in for the big "W".
I wasn't excited about this Mother's Day weekend. I almost let the Enemy win this week. I was ready to make a nest, crawl in it and give up. But God took my hand today, and reminded me that I don't need to do it all on my own. The marathon isn't lost just because I got behind on a few laps. I don't have to be weary, because God is lifting me up.
This Mother's Day, I pray that mothers all over the world can reclaim their mama marathons in the name of Jesus Christ! If you're feeling exhausted, hopeless and lost in the journey turn to God and let the truths of His Word revitalize you. Say yes to Jesus this weekend, pray as you keep moving forward (Phil. 3:13-14) and reclaim your motherhood. Tell the Enemy to beat it, and watch God work in your life!
Thank God for your families this weekend Mamas...and for the marathon that is motherhood.