I take a deep breath and turn the pillow over - this side is soaked. Soaked with tears shed after yet another day of failed mothering.
I want so badly to train them well; love them well. But sometimes they just...get in the way.
Then it gets in the way.
The steel-lined satchel that finds itself lashed to my back nearly every minute of everyday.
Shouted at the baby.
Snapped at my daughter.
Gave the mom's-gone-postal-speech when the five year old accidentally knocked her milk over at lunch.
Oh, God! I cry in the depths of my heart, they hate me. All they are going to remember are the days like these. Full of failure. And when did days like these become the norm rather than the exception? I can't do this!!
The warmth of His whisper is so gentle I almost miss it.
You can't do it, sweet one. But I can. So rest now, listen to the beat of My Heart in the night. Be loved. So you can love.
The baby's cry pierces the darkness and I stumble to reach him before other bleary eyes appear throughout the house. I scoop him in my arms and we begin the dance. Sway, pat, pat. Sway, pat, pat. As I reach to lay him back in his bed, two pudgy and dimpled hands cup my cheeks as a sleepy, slobbery kiss brushes my nose.
The tears fall again, as the reality of grace washes over this weary mama once more, and I find rest.
Dawn breaks and I creep downstairs in the silvery-blue light of a fresh day. Curled up on my favorite corner of the couch, time-worn leather book layed across my lap, I feast on the Words of Grace. A hearty breakfast for the soul. Why did I avoid this so much?
Children wake. Husband dresses, drinks coffee. Cheerios spill, baby cries, sisters fight.
Mama breathes and walks in victory because she can't do it. But she knows the One who can.