amazon matcha green tea powder

Tindell Baldwin »

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpgAs the dust of Mother’s day settles I keep thinking that the real kill joy of being a mom is that you constantly feel under appreciated. It can be so easy to believe that there will be a time when you might feel the real enormity of your job as a mom. I really think the true tyrant of motherhood isn’t the time, intensity, or exhaustion, it’s the belief that it could all somehow seem as important as it really is. However, the truly important things can never accurately be measured, just like happiness and joy have no gauge, life change is accomplished one day at a time, one choice at a time. Rinse and repeat that is the rhythm of motherhood and it begins anew each morning.

The trap has been set and the bait is the belief that you could feel as valuable as you really are. Your husband will never show quite enough gratitude even if he does everything you hoped he would. Your friends with or without kids can only really experience their own journey and society will never pay enough tribute to make you feel known.

Is it perhaps because our real reward for these sweet sacrifices are waiting on the other end of earth? Our gift is being grown in the lives of children and in the lives of the children our children will encounter. Could it be that what God wants you to see in the whole of this journey that greatest reward may not come for quite a while. There will be so many selfless acts we do every day to show love to people who may never say an unprompted thank you. The best thing we can do is make our peace with that now.

Isn’t that what Jesus did for us? Didn’t he sacrificially lay down his life to prove his love to a people who always had the option to say no? Didn’t God cross barriers by serving that mere words could never breach? Didn’t Jesus change lives by the fact that he considered the ones he loved as more important than himself. And he asks us to do the same. (Galatians 5:13)

Don’t buy into the rhetoric that to be a mother somehow has you in a position to experience less of life. Maybe more exhausted but you are not without help. Slightly more isolated but never alone. Let’s believe instead that God gave us this life and these people to love so we could experience a better understanding of love, patience, and service. Ben spent most of this weekend making me feel so loved and special but Monday came and the kids fights ensued and tantrums were thrown and sleep was cut short. Rinse and repeat, I thought. New day, same lessons.

Will the hard work ever pay off? I’d like to think so, there’s always a kid with a story of a mom who changed the course of their life. We are not victims, we are fighters on the front line of life change, waking up each day and getting people fed and dressed and teaching them just how the world works. You are appreciated, seen, understood, and valued even when those words feel like the farthest thing from the truth. So if the mother’s day passed and you felt slightly deflated remember there is a God who sees all you do, every nose wipe, every long talk, every sleepless night, and every battle you feel you have lost. He sees, he knows, and he will give you the strength to keep going.

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

Hebrews 6:10 NLT

Jesus is dead. The stone has been rolled over the grave. Every year Easter rolls around and I think this day in-between is really the most desperate day of the whole story. There must have been shreds of hope hanging thin as Jesus was on that cross and maybe even as they lowered him down but today he has been placed inside of the tomb. The stone has sealed shut a grave that holds the hopes and dreams of all the people who called him teacher, rabbi, friend. Today he has been in there without a rumble of return. Today is the pregnant pause not full of hope but of questions. Where do we go from here?

I wonder how many of us are in our day in-between. Death in our life has occurred and we don’t know if the rising is coming. We’ve laid our hopes and dreams and pain in the tomb and we just don’t know if God will breathe life back into it. It might simply be dead. It might be that we lay it or them down and we mourn and we ache and we pray and we wonder but we feel no hope. The sky is dark, the tomb is quiet, and our tears are many.

You see we all know what to do with despair and we know what to do with joy but what do we do on the in-between good Fridays and Easters of life? What do we do when we are simply waiting? Simply hoping. Simply watching. Simply praying. We look ahead and the prodigal isn’t on the hill. We watch a relationship crumble and we don’t see repair coming. We see death coming in close and we feel no miracle being handed in our direction. Jesus seems to simply have died and now we are left. Our in-between days can make it feel like Easter never happened.  The tomb is full and we see no rising coming.

For some reason I thought when I became a believer that life would just be good and honestly for the most part it has been. I have healthy kids and a husband who loves me so well but, we all have the fringe parts of our life that can make even the middle feel frayed. It is the fringe that has caused me to wonder when my Easter was coming. When does God show up in this story and breathe the life and answer a prayer I have prayed many nights…for many years? Will he answer at all?

Maybe not, but I have decided that it doesn’t mean God isn’t good.

I have decided that even though I have laid things in the grave with Jesus when he comes out no matter what he is holding he still came out. Therefor he is good. He conquered the things I couldn’t so and chose to love me when he shouldn’t so I can praise him. When my fringe circumstances don’t change I can cling to Easter and know the rising was all I need. We sing it all the time on Sundays, “he is enough for me.” Do we believe it though, if he comes out with open arms but no hint that things will get better can you still trust him? The sun is coming, he will rise but will you linger at the tomb waiting for what might never come back to life?

Luke 24:5-8

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words. 

  • Dianne Baldwin - As always you remind me of the truths of the faith that I sometimes forget. Another great post!ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - Thanks! That’s a very high compliment.ReplyCancel

Dear mom with your first baby,

I see you, at nursery pick up, in the target line looking burned out, at the park feeling lonely. I see you. I understand you. I’ve been you. I know this is the hardest thing you have ever done. I know it feels like your whole world just got flipped upside down and you don’t know which way is up. I know you wonder if your jeans will ever fit the same or if you will ever enjoy your husband again. I see you looking at me, you are asking how I manage three. You look at my load and think, one overtakes me how will I ever have more? You’re wondering if you will ever be ready for another baby or ever love another one this much?

I see your shell shocked face when I pick up gold fish off the floor and hand it to my screaming two year old because, have I never heard of germs? I know you think my son’s hair looks like it got cut by an edger instead of scissors and I don’t seem bothered by my daughter’s shirt being buttoned up the wrong way and with pants that don’t match. You wonder how I keep talking while the baby is yelling and the four year old is pelting questions at me. You think you have finally seen insanity in motion.

Oh Friend, if together was part of the equation women would have stopped having kids a long time ago. If polished was in the cards we would give birth to 20 year olds halotestin not newborns. You feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t have her act together? Well let me give you the secret recipe that all us moms of more than one know and you will too. Not one of us has it together we have just learned that, the mountains are really mole hills when it comes to life with littles and perfection is something to lay down not aim for. Just enjoy them. Breathe in the baby scent every time you hold them close and know someday soon it will turn into unbrushed teeth and stinky feet.  Hold them when you want to and let them cry when they need to. We are all here to tell you not only that they survive but so do you.  It’s OK to forget perfect behavior and adorable outfits both of those things only happen a fraction of the time. Expect them to put on their best behavior when no one is looking and act like the spawn of Satan in front of anyone you respect. And the fastest way to get them to each ketchup is to put them in white. Embrace the hard and don’t feel guilty that you “just” have one and are overwhelmed. Here’s another secret, we were once where you were and looked at the moms one stage ahead of us in awe and wonder like they were gorillas at the zoo.

The thing is, each child takes up 100% of you, you just add 100% more every child that comes along. I didn’t know I had 300% to give until I had three kids. God gives you another pint of that powerful love every time you bring another baby home.

Here’s what I wish I knew when I was you, one is hard and I won’t say “oh you just wait” because its hard today. That’s real. It’s also a wonderful season where you can focus on just one baby. Have fun, don’t stress if they aren’t eating anything but bananas, they will come around. Let the trivial go and lean into whatever God is trying to teach you in this season. Please remember busy is an idol not to be fooled with, enjoy being home, bond as a family, and keep your marriage as the highest priority. Get good friends and weather the weary together, listen and encourage through each trial, and have girl’s nights out where you laugh about the dumb stuff you hope your kids don’t remember.

Most of all, I promise you will make it. It all will pass hard and fast like a rainstorm that blows in strong and leaves the sun behind as it goes. And if you ever need a good pick me up go to target, get a Starbucks, and cruise the aisles listening to kids have meltdowns and feel good that it isn’t your kid….today.

Much love,

A mom one small step ahead.

  • anna - Loved it, wouldn’t trade it, miss it…. sort of. Maybe like for an hour… or 30 minutes 😉ReplyCancel

  • Stacey - 3 is madness and I learn more about myself everyday.ReplyCancel

Want to know what I do at the end of most long days of raising three kids 4 and under? I sit down with a glass of wine (yes, wine)  and run through how I failed them. I replay the good and sometimes leave the bad on repeat and tell myself I’ll do better next time. I sit down with my husband bone tired and we wonder if we are doing enough. Are we raising kids who will become adults who will one day add good to the world? It causes deep angst because this my job but unlike a job there is no formula. There is no progress report. Parenting is often one step forward and two toddler steps back. It’s almost too much to bear and I stay up late at night wondering if I’m too hard on my daughter, too lenient on my son, or if I’m missing it all with our angel baby of a third child.

My striving exhausts me and I end up praying God will forgive me for failing at such an important task. Because this is important. Then I remember how God loved us, how what was most monumental about his time on earth was how well he loved the people in the middle of this mess we call life and then he died so we might all be clean enough to stand before God. He hung on that cross and told us there was no line now, no distance we could run, no scale we could tip that would push us out of his grace. That seems unfair, too easy, but we don’t want fair we want grace and the two can’t live in the same land.

Then as clear as day I know what my kids need, more than clean clothes and perfectly healthy meals (because lets be real that’s a pipe dream at this point anyway) they need to know I choose them. They need to know that there’s no line that they can cross that will cost them a relationship with me.

Ben and I decided long ago, maybe a month after Claire was born, that there was nothing our kids could do that would cost them us. We choose them. That’s what our kids need. They need to know that the line doesn’t exist because choosing them doesn’t mean we don’t also choose God. Our culture is an alluring mess full of temptations so decide now, while they are still toddling around in diapers and drooling out “MAMA” what you will choose. Decide now because you don’t know what lies ahead. Decide now and prepare them for the world. Equip them, teach them, and encourage them but when they get too old to hold please have already made up your mind that you will love them no matter what they come home and tell you.

Gay. Abortion. Alcoholic. Drugs. Sleeping around. Dropping out. Moving out. Atheist. The list could go on.

Or maybe it’s just something little like you always dreamed of playing football with your son and he likes singing.  Maybe your daughter love princesses and you wanted her to play softball. Maybe you had dreams and they may seem silly to some but when your child turned another way it crushed you.

Decide now. Decide what will die, your dreams or your relationship with the son or daughter God gave you.

Decide, do you have higher standards than Jesus?

To the woman at the well Jesus said come to me and have life. (John 4)

To the tax collector in the tree, come eat dinner with me. (Luke 19)

To the adulterer king, I will birth Gods son through your lineage. (2 Samuel 7:16)

To the prostitute, let me give you a future. (Joshua 2)

You know what our kids need, a home that tells them they are loved. Parents that say, if God forgives you then of course I do too. Here’s what they really need, more than great educations and wonderful sports programs and the latest and greatest toys and clothes. To believe that they are loveable no matter what quirk you or the world says they have.

Here’s the best part about the God who saved my wreck of a life at 19, he never asks us to choose him or people, when he died for us he choose all people. When I came home you know who was waiting, my family. The people who had every reason to turn their back on me were miraculously the ones who never left and nothing besides the blood of Jesus has changed me more than that love. Somehow though in the middle of intense political tensions Christians have forgotten that to convey truth we don’t have to withhold love. If sin wasn’t a good enough reason to keep Jesus from me then it certainly isn’t a good enough reason to keep me from my kids.

Do I have dreams for my kids? Of course. Do I want them to take the path less traveled toward a God who loves them? Always. Will they know my heart when sin entangles them? Without a doubt. More importantly though, they will know that my door stands open, prayers will be lifted on their behalf, and I will believe God can rescue them even when they don’t think they need to be rescued. I will be waiting, not when they clean up their life but when they come home covered in filth. I will be waiting to be the kind of love I know this world will never show them.

Truth and love can live in the same home. Sin will cost the ones we love a lot but it should never cost them a relationship with us.

Romans 13:8

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

  • Lisa Taylor - LVE you and your heart TSB!!!!
    I have sweet memories of getting to know each other during walks at Hershey Park! You are one heck of a Wife, Mom and mentor to many!! I love what the Lord has taught you and seeing the woman of God you are!!! Press on Sister and Seize the Day! ❤❤❤❤❤❤ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - Thank you Lisa! You are so kind! I remember those days fondly.ReplyCancel

“What do you do to ensure your kids have a deep relationship with God?” she asked her and we all sat on pins and needles because as Christian parents this is what we want. We want to ensure our kids flourish in their growth with God and we will buy cute scripture cards, pretty bibles, and any book that mentions Jesus to get it. It has pretty much been my standard question to any mom who has kids who are older and love Jesus. Give me the formula I ask. I want fire insurance (get it).

To be completely frank (because you’re on the other side of the screen and I can’t see you) sometimes I just want the behavior by products that come with Christianity. I don’t want them to drink or do drugs or sleep around. So, I want them to be Christians because, when I was younger the good Christian kids didn’t do that. I want results. I want protection. I want to hold on to their innocence more than I want world peace sometimes. Christianity seems to do this. I can throw verses and conviction at all that stuff. I can bible beat them into behaving just the way I want.

But where does that leave their heart?

If performance is what I teach them about Christianity then what will they do when their pride grows large and they look down on Susie sleeps around? If behavior modification is all I am after then I don’t really need Jesus. I can take away enough stuff to make bad decisions hurt but I can’t make their heart ache when they do the wrong thing. What do I want more than all the right answers? A heart humbly turned towards a God who can save them. What’s more important than knowing how to act the right way is for them love the right way. I want them to be changed because of what they know not just perform well because they know how to play a part. I want life change not simply behavior change.

So what was her answer? With 7 eager moms looking on, “oh honey you got to let that go, that’s between them and God.” Not exactly what we were hoping for. She went on to say that modeling a relationship with God was far more effective than simply telling them about God.

For the longest time I thought I had to be Jesus to my kids and every time I screwed up I scolded myself for failing them and God. Then it was almost like the heavens parted and God spoke to me (not really but it felt that monumental) “you aren’t Jesus.” I know this should not have been new to me but sometimes we simply swallow information and forget to weed out the lies and somewhere along the way I thought I had to be Jesus. I don’t though. I’m miserable at it. However, I can model an authentic relationship with Jesus which is much more appealing anyway. Who wants to come to the mom who seems perfect and confess they are struggling with…. (fill in your favorite sin)? Instead I think we will make God far more accessible if they see us struggle through a relationship with him, asking forgiveness all along the way when we fall short.

Let’s ask for grace alongside them. Pray alongside them. Beg for forgiveness alongside them. We do not need God any less just because we are farther down the path.

Psalms 78:4

We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.

God is wondrous. Let’s not diminish all that he is in the hopes of behavior change. It’s wonderful but it’s a byproduct of a God who is greater than earthly pleasure. Let’s tell great stories alongside our kids about a God who placed the stars in the sky and still cares greatly about their tiny hearts. Let’s pray without fear that God would do whatever it takes to draw them into his story.

  • Stacy parker - Tindall : thank you for the incredible reminder that I can’t make my children love and want to put Jesus at the center of their lives only He can! I was reminded that I do have an incredible job that the lord wants me to do… Live him out in the day to day! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blog! I’m a mom of 4 and this is the desire of my heart. It’s a challenge that has frustrated and discouraged me over the years as I’ve watched my children many a time walk a different path. Your message has given me a renewed hope. God bless you.ReplyCancel

A letter to the mean girls,

I see you. I know you. I was you. I know that insecurity is deep and if you hurt others then you hurt less. I know you think if you stay in charge you get to decide who could possibly wound you. I know you think that mean and strong are synonymous. I know you worry someone else will take your place in the precious social circle that you think gives your life. I know you are scared.

In middle school I was scared of you. In high school I became one of you. In college I ran from you. And now here I am raising two girls and praying they don’t become one of you. Then today my precious little four year old tells me a girl told her she couldn’t be her friend today and that her favorite color couldn’t be pink anymore because it was already that other girls. And she cried. And I held her. And I cried too. Quietly, so she wouldn’t know. I wept because the road ahead is hard and her tender heart will be battered and bruised along the way no matter how much I protect her. I cried for you because the world is mean and you are kind. I cried because anger and hate seem to scream at us from every angle. Take control they scream, be meaner than the meanest girl and you can be safe.

It isn’t true though.

My girl,

Be you, be the kind girl who turns her back and walks away when the world is cruel. Walk to the people who love you, get comfort and truth, and walk back into the world and be the light it needs.  Don’t run and hide, make a difference by being different. There is always another hurting person who needs love so when the world of girls are cruel then find another person who needs a friend.

You will be tempted to join in, because it easier to be a mocker than to be mocked. It is easier to throw insults than to absorb them. It is easier to join the fight than it is to stand alone. Don’t give in. Don’t believe the lies that feeling good at others expense is anything but downright evil. Hate doesn’t solve hate and anger only feeds anger. Feed anger with kindness and it wilts. You my girl, can do this. You are already kinder than most of the world.

Be the salve this world needs. Stand up for the oppressed. Care more about others than yourself. Let Gods love for you infect the way you treat other people.

I don’t care how you do in school as long as you do your best. I don’t care how your perform in sports or on stages, as long as you follow your God given gifts, and I don’t care if you have a big group of friends or just one good one.

However, I do care that you treat others with kindness. I care that you love those who seem unlovable. I care that you bring joy to others and not sorrow. I care that you don’t whisper lies or look down on people because they are different. I care that you see your need for God just like the next girl. So my dearly loved daughter, you can always come to me. I’ll rub your back and tell you I love you until you don’t need me to anymore. I’ll encourage you to keep going when the hurt is raw and you want to give up. We can face the mean together and come out the other side. You are never alone, and your favorite color can be whatever the hell you want it to be.

  • Beth Brown - You are wise and a beautiful wordsmith! Keep using your gifts: of being great Momma and exceptional writer. Exceptional and real!ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - Thank you so much! What a kind complimentReplyCancel

  • Mandi - These are wise and well-written letters. I especially love the one to “my girl”. Mean girls have been a difficult part of this school year for my sweet 13 year old, so this hits home for us. May I use your letter to pass on to her?ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - Of course! Thats what it is there for!ReplyCancel

  • Taylor Stanfill - So so good but also hard. It breaks your heart to think what they will go through as they grow up. But thank Jesus He has them in his hands.ReplyCancel

Right now I need one of those good pep talks, you know the kind that reminds you that the housework isn’t as important as your kids heart or that you will indeed sleep again. I wish 40 year old me could come back and tell myself I survive, that motherhood of three did not in fact take me down. I wish I could be like George Baily or whoever that guy is in it’s a wonderful life and see all that I have instead of the exhaustion I feel. Because what I feel like is the big bad wolf, huffing and puffing and blowing all the joy out of my kid’s childhood. I feel like the monster in yoga pants who breaks up games that my 2 and 3 year old deem perfectly acceptable but I see it as our first trip to the ER. I need 40 year old me to let me know we made it out of this hard season and my kids do in fact still love me and I did eventually find the time to shower and fit back into my jeans.

The truth is sometimes motherhood feels like drowning and the things taking you down are somewhat ridiculous, like the sheer mountains of laundry, or the exhaustion that settles into your bones, or the constant fear that you are missing moments to teach your kids the really important things about faith and life because of said laundry and the exhaustion.

Then today I was walking into preschool and I see a mom pull up to the curb, a middle school girl hops out throws her long hair back, puts her back pack on and hurries away, a flurry of converse shoes and eye rolls. Her mom is yelling after her, “you can do it babe, be strong, I’m proud of you.” I see her laugh a little, I don’t even think she heard the last part before she made it through the door. I look down at the two tiny hands clutching the stroller and the tiny baby asleep inside it and a pang of guilt hits me. How I have wished for that freedom, the drop them off at the curb kind of freedom? The shopping uninterrupted kind of freedom. The have coffee with a friend just cause its Wednesday kind of freedom. I have been dreaming of the days when Ben I can walk the neighborhood without a stroller, talk without a toddler climbing us like a jungle gym, or spend the better part of my day doing anything besides cleaning up plastic toys.

That’s not where we are though and I think the pep talk that 40 year old me would say over a large Starbucks dark roast (or maybe I drink tea at this point because I don’t need an IV drip of strong coffee to survive) is this.

Today they need you… today they need to ask 1000 questions about why trees are green and why babies cry. Today they need you to hold their hand when they cross the street and sing them songs when they are scared. Today they need you to cut their sandwiches in triangles and wipe their snotty noses and play silly games. Today they need you to let them be little. Today they need you to snuggle for an extra minute and pray for their stuffed cat and pretend they are a princess. Today they need you to dry their tears when they fall and rub their back when they are sleepy and put band aids on boo boos that don’t really exist. Today they need you to let them be little.

Because the truth is we can’t outrun the clock and each day they are one step closer to not needing my hand or wanting my full attention… and I’ll miss it. So the pep talk I really need is simply this… don’t miss it, lean in, and learn to love it.

One day I’ll be that mom in the drop off line and they will bound out the door and hardly listen as I yell my encouragement after them. One day they will roll their eyes when I answer questions and close their door when I want to be let in. One day they will cry over broken hearts and harsh words instead of a skinned knee.  The freedom will roll in strong and blow away these little years and I’ll wish I hadn’t worried so much about the state of my bathroom or the cleanliness of my kitchen. One day I’ll be looking longingly at an exhausted mom in line at target with three small kids and turn to Ben and say “weren’t those the days.”

Yes they are hard, exhausting, and draining but most of our problems are as pint sized as their little bodies. I know where everyone is at 9pm every night. My son’s belly laughs could grow even the Grinch’s tiny heart. My daughter’s imagination always astonishes and there’s nothing better than the ear piercing squeal we hear around 5:30 when dad walks into the door. There is always joy to be found when you are willing to look. So I will seek it out when my body wants to quit and I don’t know what’s for dinner and if one more person says mom I might explode.  I will listen to my baby girl coo and wonder if I am closer to the breath of God than I’ll ever be in my whole life. I’ll forgo to do lists for laying on the floor with my girls and trying to get Colbie to laugh. I’ll skip the shower and put my hair in a ponytail so I can make them pancakes just because the sheer joy on their face when it’s not another morning of oatmeal. I will lean into the hard days and let it grow me and mold me, knowing that hard is the marinade in the making of motherhood. I will not breeze by questions that are the gentle knocks of God on my impressionable daughter’s heart. I will tell myself I am doing the best I can and I will believe it. I will read one more book when I want to shut the door. I will lay in bed with them one extra minute when I want to be done and at the end of the day I will look over pictures and videos and marvel at how much has changed.

Then 40 year old me will smile over her decaf tea and say… and they all lived happily ever after.

Proverbs 14:1 

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. 

  • K W - I needed this more than you will ever know! Reading this has tears streaming down my face bc I do feel like I am drowning! Thank you so much for the perspective change and the pep talk I need to hear!ReplyCancel

  • Sal - So good!!! You are doing a great work and cannot come down! I’m so proud of you!ReplyCancel

I’m sure no one can relate to this but I tend to fall into a black hole when I have a newborn. I teeter on the edge until about six weeks when the sleep deprivation wears me down and I thought things would be easier but the end is nowhere in sight. I fall down into the black hole almost willingly, I let the weight of every ones wants, needs, and expectations land heavy on me and I stop trying to fight the lies that I can’t do this. Knowing my tendency to sink into this black hole, I vowed the third time around would be different. I decided from the start I’d get more help, let housework go, and just accept that life was hard for this season. I decided not to fight the hard and just let it settle in like a marinade that was just part of the making of motherhood.

I decided early on I would do two things. 1. I would count the little wins. Like when Colbie slept a 6 hour stretch…win. When Briggs didn’t poke Colbie’s eye out when he was trying to jam the paci in her mouth…win. When Claire played sweetly with her brother…Win. When Netflix added another season of bubble guppies…TRIPLE WIN. I would count the little wins and let the little loses go. Secondly, I would remind myself every day that we were one step closer to things being easier. I would trek on, one bedtime at a time.

My vow to make the third time around different didn’t take into account the very real emotions that take over after giving birth and the unforeseen health problem with Claire that left us with a lot of questions and having to patiently wait for answers. Then the six weeks hit and I was diving into the darkness myself, tears flowing and wondering if it would ever get easier.

With Briggs when the darkness hit I had a lot of people tell me God was walking with me in the sleepless nights, sickness, and marital spats that come with overwhelmdom. I laughed. I really believed God had bigger priorities that my petty sleeplessness and roller coaster of hormones. After all newborns are a gift, children are a gift, why would God listen or care that I was overwhelmed by responsibilities and underwhelmed by life? I just couldn’t believe he cared and my constant inability to handle the life that I had created left me feeling like a failure in both the eyes of God and onlookers.

This time though I thought, what if he did care? What if he wanted to hear my battles and fears no matter how small? What if he wasn’t mocking my inability but patiently waiting for me to come to him with all of it? So I just prayed and asked for encouragement because I’ve done this enough to know that you can’t change circumstances but you can keep going simply by being told you can. Soon I was on the phone with an older mom who had a similar health issue with her youngest daughter who is now grown. It didn’t mean Claire would have the same journey but it gave me hope that it could be far better than we were expecting which is all we can really cling to when the unknown lingers ahead. I had family loving on us, my sisters praying, my mom checking in, in-laws helping with the kids and I realized it was God’s hands reaching down to pull me up.

So what if God had cared all along? What if my cynicism had deflected his invitation to come to him? What if I had missed the opportunity to experience God like never before simply because I assumed he didn’t care? As all this sank in Claire came to me upset about something disappointing her little heart. It was small in comparison to the breadth of my world but of course I turned to her and listened intently. As I held her close I was struck by my love for her even in the small things. Over the past four years God has often used my response to my kids to teach me more about his response to me. I could almost hear God say, if you don’t turn her away why would I turn you away? I care for you like you care for her. I knew it was true, like you know grass is green and the sky is blue. In my worst days I don’t turn my back on my kids when they come to me for comfort. Do I indulge every emotion or treat every little incident like it’s the end of their world? No, but I always do my best to help them through it even if that means helping them see that it’s going to be OK.

So I decided to believe that God cared, that he was walking with me through sleepless nights and unknown outcomes. I decided to take him at his word and simply ask for him to keep picking me up when the darkness felt like it would overtake my heart.

Psalms 55:22

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

  • Amanda Sumrall - Thanks, Tindell. I think at some point someone led me to believe God wasn’t concerned with our petty problems. We are just ants in perspective. It’s nice to think God cares even when we make our problems seem insignificant. Our life is made up of the small things. If we spend too much time on the big moments, we miss life. I am thinking about having another baby, and it will be my third as well. I’ve heard so many things about having another one, but it’s good to have another mama sharing her moments and places where God is there and cares. Again, thanks!ReplyCancel

S u b s c r i b e
S e a r c h