I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
On one of my visits with my mom over the summer she returned the big brown scrapbook I made for her years and years ago. By now, photos and hand-written captions and notes are slipping out, the pages dotted with water stains. It’s seen better days. She handed it to me reluctantly, knowing my plate is pretty full, but hoping I might find a little time to put the big brown spiral back together.
I have it sitting on the bookshelf behind my desk. I keep it right on top in hopes that one of these days I’ll pick it up and start to glue and paste the pages back together.
Of course the few times I have picked it up, I’ve found myself lost in the photographs. The house I grew up in has much the same feel of Woodlawn. Big, old, beautiful. But always something wanting to be fixed. I’m hopeful that my kids are getting at least a sliver of the experiences we had growing up. (Though I’m seriously lacking in the canning and gigantic vegetable garden.)
When I flip through the pages of gardens and sheep shows, and tubing trips down the stream, beautifully set Thanksgiving tables, music lessons and Volkswagen buses, I’m left with nothing less than awe for mother.
Man, she had her hands full. Four kids. A barn full of animals. Sports practices. 4-H meetings. Burst pipes above the kitchen ceiling and escaped steers running up the road. I know it must have been stressful and overwhelming and just too much at times. But the thing that stands out is grace.
As I stand in the midst of four kids and farm animals and soccer practices and school runs and homeschool lessons plans, and laundry and messy houses and broken sinks and chores, grace is not the word that comes to mind to describe myself.
One of my mother’s most commonly passed out words of wisdom is “this too shall pass.” I would say those words to myself while sitting in the chair of the baby’s room–rocking a crying, sick child that just wouldn’t sleep. Or when someone decided to suddenly give up naps. Or adopt a less-than-enjoyable attitude.
But this year, I find myself grabbing on to that mantra once again. This new pace we’re finding ourselves in kinda has me out of sorts. I like down time. Home time. And it takes work to find those moments right now. A family dinner that isn’t hemmed in by soccer practice, church meetings or homework? An afternoon to blow off work and take the long way home? The moments aren’t as frequent as they used to be.
But I also know that this too shall pass. The schedule will soon slow down for the winter. We’ll all adjust to the new pace. I’ll learn to do a better job of recognizing those simpler, quieter moments and relish them.
I’m not sure how my mom did it. But she managed to balance so much, so much hard stuff with such grace and calm. I love the quote below…that grace is an outpouring of what’s on the inside. I’m pretty confident that’s the key right there. And I’m praying for just a portion of that in my days, as well. That grace might overflow.
Thanks for listening, friends. More soon.
The makers of Children’s MOTRIN are inspired by all the things moms do. Moms may not always realize it, but they are amazing in so many ways. Moms are on call day and night have have so much unique knowledge that can really help other moms. That’s why the makers of Children’s MOTRIN are asking moms to share this knowledge in the form of tips and tricks that help keep them going. They are asking moms to post their tips to the MOTRIN facebook page and for every post, Children’s MOTRIN will donate $1 to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit that provides moms with the tips they need to keep their children safe.