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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mental Exhaustion: My Constant Companion

"The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes." 
Harold B. Lee

I have no idea who  Mr. Harold B. Lee is, but I believe he has hit the nail on the head.  Thank you Mr. Harold B. Lee for pointing out that the great and grand calling of motherhood is one that reaches many generations past our own, and to never underestimate the power of home and someone deeply committed to it. 

OK - maybe I read a little more in to that quote than was intended, but maybe not. 

I had the pleasure of co-hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law this past weekend and among the attendees were a few of her friends and their two-year-olds.   I used to think that having small children was stressful.  The bathing, crying, whining, feeding and clean up would wear me to a frazzle at times.  The hauling, buckling, and dressing was enough to render me useless by 4:00 pm.  I remember saying to myself, "this will be so much easier when they are older."

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time and shake your self silly?  I mean really give yourself some good, forceful taps on your cheeks and shout, "get a grip, sister!"?  Have mercy, I had no clue what was coming!

For as children grow, a change or transition happens.  You will trade physical exhaustion for mental exhaustion.

I think you all know me well enough by now that you know how deeply and dearly I love my children.  Mine is a job I would never trade: the incredible honor of having people call me mom, the investing, growing and nurturing future generations puts me over the moon and it is a job I am thrilled and blessed to do.

I am as confident as can be that I have invested wisely in the rearing of my kids.  Have I made a few mistakes along the way?  ABSOLUTELY!!  I don't think anyone leaves the battlefield of motherhood without a scar or two and a lesson or 12 well learned.  So, my fatigue doesn't come from wishing I had done more or lamenting over past mistakes.  It comes from something else entirely.

As my kids grow, and the leash of freedoms extends with each passing year, I realize that their choices are their own.  I have less and less control with each of their birthdays.  In some ways this is a relief - I am passing the baton of responsibility on to them.  In other ways, it is paralyzingly frightening.  You see, I cannot build the security of my identity as a mom on the fragility of their choices.  Let me say that again, even if for my benefit alone, I cannot build the security of my identity as a mom on the fragility of their choices.

The one thing that I have found to help combat the fatigue of mental exhaustion is this: PRAYER.  Not just situational prayer, but a few solid, core prayers that I will be praying over them until I go to be with my Father.

1.}  I pray that they will be one of the most godly people of their generation, that when people look at them, they see Him.

2.}  I pray they get caught when they make wrong choices.  There is no better teacher than natural consequences and no better way to nip a bad habit or choice in the bud, that to get caught doing it.

3.}  I pray {especially at this stage of parenting} that they are saved from the wrong friends and mates, so that they may be saved for the right friends and mate.

4.}  This is a hard one and requires much courage: {I'm even closing my eyes as I type this}  I pray for God alone to be the author of their testimonies.

Whew!  Simple, necessary and kinda scary, at times!  How about you?  What do you pray for your kids?


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