Recently, Josiah woke up in the middle of the terrible 2s and hasn't stopped reminding us why 2 year olds are often branded as such. After spending the last 2 years trudging through his big brother's own season of power struggles, I am weary to begin this particular stage again. I can give you an update of countless praises of Josiah's life and they are all amazing and encouraging. He is developing wonderfully. He is smart and beautiful and curious and adventurous. We love him and are beyond grateful to call him our son. But, honestly, staring down the tunnel of this season feels daunting.
Yesterday, after a day filled with many temper tantrums and quests for independence, I sat down to look up an article online I had read a couple of years ago encouraging stay-at-home moms in their important, but often wearying call and as I searched for the article, a couple of very discouraging articles popped up as well. I did not read them, but just their titles alone told of the distain for stay-at-home moms who struggle. There is this idea out there that says that since we likely chose this route, we need to either act happy or be quiet. But sometimes I don't feel happy. I feel exhausted. I feel like a failure. I feel alone. Defeated. Frustrated. Angry. Inadequate. Miserable.
During the summer of 2013, I journaled a letter of encouragement to stay-at-home moms and I want to remind you and me of the encouragement in the midst of the struggle today. I wrote from the perspective of the future and said: 'I hope I will encourage you to love God with all of yourself and trust He cares and that you are indeed significant to Him. Please know that every craft that blows up in your face, every moment you care and try and cry out-they matter too. And you are making an eternal investment. I know such a vast time is sometimes hard to care about when your kids are drawing on the walls or using the floor as a bathroom (just for fun) or screaming in your face or refusing to just sit in their seat during dinner. But it does matter. The attachment and love and nurture and time you are giving to them can truly never be replaced. You are giving gifts that are more valuable than all the gold in all the world...You are a hero. A beautiful warrior hero. And even better, there is a sweet Savior who sustains and lives and works. I pray for you to know Him and cling to Him for salvation and help and adequacy.'
Today is a day I needed to be reminded of the perspective from the future and if you needed that too, I hope you feel encouraged that you are remembered and that you matter and that most of all Jesus is the Great Sustainer who never slumbers (Psalm 121) and that He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and that His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease (Lamentations 3:22).
I will close with the chorus from the song 'Worn' by Tenth Avenue North because I have been resting much in its words lately:
'Let me see redemption win,
Let me know the struggle ends,
That You can mend a heart that's frail and torn.
I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Yes, all that's dead inside will be reborn
Though I'm worn...Yeah, I'm worn.'