Friday, November 4, 2011

Momentary Motherhood

"We interrupt this program...." Just as the man in the yellow hat was about to turn the doorknob to find out where all the bubbles in the hall were coming from....
"Ugh! Mom, Curious George is off!" my Lillie yelled as that ear piercing beeping filled the living room. "I don't like that sound!" "Mom!"
Her frustration was evident given Curious George is not often something we watch on school mornings. That morning was an exception because of phone calls that needed to be made before we got our school day underway. She was flustered on her one day to just sit and watch, her plans were interrupted. As she was asking the tv with her brain to will it to come back on, it suddenly did but missing the moments of the show taken up by the Emergency Broadcast System. Curious George and the man with the yellow hat were already cleaning up the mess. She missed it. Her plans ruined. Ruined by a moment. A moment filled with noise and interruption.
"Ugh! I missed that part."
I'm a lot like Lillie some days.
A few mornings later, thinking my teaching was done for the day, I hopped on the computer to check and respond to email that had been sitting in my inbox for days. I had been way behind on little things and I was hoping to use this time of quiet, children busy with work, to clear out that boxand maybe even sneak away to fb to see what others were doing. As I typed away, gathered notes, checked calendars, my little ones continued to need my help, a question about this, or help with that. With every tap on my arm, I could feel my frustration mount. I thought I had gotten them started in the right direction with school and I could work on my own agenda. I wanted them not to want me.
"Guys, can't y'all see I am in the middle of something? Please stop interrupting! I am not sitting on the couch with a magazine and coffee. Give. me. a. second." The frustration obvious in my voice, my plans interrupted.
It wasn't until a few short hours later, as I tumbled into my quiet time, late and in much need of encouragement, that was I convicted of my selfish, sinful desire for momentary motherhood.
Momentary: adj. Lasting only a moment (a very brief interval of time)
Motherhood: n. The condition of being a mother
Defeated, I thought back through the course of my day. I talked on the phone with a good friend while I nodded and pointed to children as they came down from upstairs, fixed and served breakfast all using hand signals and "looks". I had wanted so badly to catch up with her and was so frustrated that my kids needed me, had questions for me, wanted lovin', even though I knew very well that they would even as I dialed her number. I should have greeted them as I usually do with hugs and kisses to start our day, breakfast underway, we usually walk through our AWANA verses or share tidbits from Proberbs, we go over our schedule for the day and I have them look ahead to things that need to get done. Chores are done, dishes cleaned, laundry started, and our school day begins. I didn't want all of that in that moment. I wanted my moment. I thought about wanting to check email that morning as I had one needing help with reducing fractions. The neighbor that stopped by to chit chat as my littlest one needed me in the bathroom. And the list went on. A day full of moments. Moments that could have been better tackled with my head in the game so to speak. I was distracted by my wants, my selfish desires, my view of what I wanted my day to be filled with. I was trying to force my motherhood into moments with the rest focused on me. As I took my focus off of what God had called me to do that morning, I was forcing my job into moments; a job that can't and shouldn't be forced into moments. God has called me into the job of motherhood and that job is seamless, each moment flowing into another so as to make up my days. It's when I force the seams, when my view is interrupted by God's view...I am annoyed, I am frustrated.
Deuterononmy 6:6-7 (NIV) These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
God's plan for me is to be focused, my job is to be seamless. It is not made up of small moments, but rather those moments make up my job. He tells me they will need me, they will ask me and I am to be ready for them because I am viewing my job as one that doesn't end as each little moment ends.
I was crushed by how quickly I had allowed myself to lose my purpose that day, God's plan for my day, my weeks, my years. I didn't want the lying down and the walking by the way and the getting up. I wanted a moment here or a moment there, the brief intervals of time. I didn't want the constant distractions. Not that day. In that moment, I realized, they aren't distractions when I am focused on what God has called me to do. They are more simply my moments, certain important points in time that make up the whole of my day.
I saw it this past week while the schools had off. How many mothers posted, "I can't wait for this week to be over!" or "I hate early dismisal!" or "Are anyone else's kids driving them crazy?!" They had the same focus as I did. Momentary motherhood. Living life hoping motherhood only has to come in small, short moments. The idea that we can be mothers for only small moments and still have our own lives, our own purposes apart from them. That's when I find no joy in motherhood, when my focus is on me and my purpose is for me. They are distractions. They are annoying. They bug me.
Someone told me once that raising children was like being pecked to death by a gaggle of baby geese. I laughed at the word picture...then. Probably because my focus was off that day. Had my focus been where God would have it to be, that word picture would not have rung so true. Raising children is a gift, a reward. That's what He says. Being pecked to death by a gaggle of baby geese would not be considered a gift, a reward. Not the way I am walking today thankfully.
My job is not to simply raise my children in short, simple moments, but to walk through this life with them with a focus on Eternity, seeing them on the other side of heaven. My two greatest focuses should be loving my man and loving my children (Titus 2:3). When my focus is there and not on "doing lunch," catching up, facebooking, shopping, chit chatting, or even blogging....I see my days as God sees them, moments making up life and not as life interrupted by moments, momentary motherhood.

1 comment:

  1. Amy,
    This is beautiful. I love it. I really do. A post moms will need to read today and then come back to again and again. Thank you for writing it.
    Love you friend!!