Marathon Mothering


Press on mothers! Take it nice and easy knowing that we have each other, the Lord and a long aisle of hair dyes to choose from.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! (Psalm 127:3 ESV)

In life, there are sprinters and there are marathoners. I’m a sprinter. OK, to be honest, I only run when I hear the ice cream truck, but you know what I’m talking about. I am just terrible at long term projects. Very few things can hold my attention . . . oh look, something shiny!

Then I had kids.

What a shocker. I still recall lying in the hospital bed cuddling my first baby when it hit me. This was not a sprint. This was a long term commitment. What. Had. I. Done?

Talk about biting off more than you can chew, I broke down crying. This beautiful precious gift was my responsibility. I didn’t even own real plants! How on earth was I going to walk this out? Holding her close to my chest, I prayed that the Lord would give me the grace, patience and long term vision to see her through . . . I figured twenty years or so should get ‘er done.

Four years later, she was still alive and well so we added one more girl to our home. Two girls . . . how hard can that be? Not quite a quiver full, but it was right for us.

Grey hairs starting springing out of my head like white fluffy dandelions . . . spreading just as fast. Giving up on plucking, I bought shares in L’Oreal and faithfully smothered them every six weeks. Thankfully my hair and my girls have all survived. But it’s not over; from what I’ve heard from great, great grandmothers, it’s never over.

Mothers, we are blessed and rewarded along the long road of parenthood, but there are also many, many times of sheer terror and many tears. It’s not a sprint . . . it’s not even a marathon. We don’t run, we lay down; we daily lay down our lives for theirs. Dying to self and clinging to God. I’ve learned to hold my girls close to my heart, but keep my hands open to the Lord, acknowledging that they are His.

So, press on dear ones! Take it nice and easy knowing that we have each other, the Lord and a long aisle of hair dyes to choose from.

Lord, you know our failures and our stumbles; please protect our children and give them – and us – an extra measure of your grace as we walk with you today.

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