My Hands are Full

I should be napping.

I should be taking advantage of the fact that all three of my children are either napping or sitting quietly in their room. (Hopefully)

Instead I'm thinking I should do laundry or try and find the floor of the living room under the toys, blankets and newborn diapers littered around. I should do dishes, or plan some craft for the boys to do when they wake up so they can let Ezra nurse in peace.

I should really clean whatever that sticky substance was on the boy's doorknob. I should also not dwell on whatever that substance was because I probably don't really want to know.

I should… I should… I should… I should be NAPPING! Because the one thing I learned this week of having all three boys (under 4 mind you…) by myself during the day is that… I'm tired.

I'm tired and cannot handle doing everything by the time Bryan walks in the door.

Yet, instead I picked up a book and locked myself in the bathroom.

Not because I had to go but because it is the only room when locked that the boys actually respect to stay out of. For at least five minutes…

The book is called Treasuring Christ when your hands are full
My dear friend Amy gave it to me at Ezra's baby shower and in the first few pages I could already feel my mommy guilt and pressure begin to lesson a bit.
"There is more to be said about a mother's work than the fact that it is hard and never done. There is beauty and brilliance and God given dignity to a mother's work."  - pg. 16
I don't know about you but I am without a doubt the meanest and cruelest person to myself than anyone will probably ever be to me. I mean don't try or anything… that was not an open invitation. I got enough emotional problems.

I forget almost every moment that I am a child of God who is covered in grace. That God loves me and made me the way I am for a reason. That I was purposefully given my three boys perfectly by a loving God and they didn't lose the parental lottery and were stuck with me.

Instead each second I seem to cover myself in guilt that I can't do "it all" or disappointment that I haven't accomplished something in the last hour or the last few days.

Somehow just keeping my children and husband alive, fed and happy isn't "enough". I have to accomplish more, have the floors sparkling and the laundry all done and some crazy new decoration created or room painted…

Absolute insanity.

Even I know it is crazy yet a part of me still feels bad when Bryan walks in the door and he has to help me with dinner because one of my children has completely destroyed the office with tissue paper and the baby needs to eat again and the cat threw up in the dining room.

I'm like the guy 'Ten Second Tom' from 50 First Dates who has a 10 second memory span.

"Hi, I'm Tom!"  instead it's…

"Hi! I'm Jessica and I'm a terrible mother whose children hate her."

When it should be…

"Hi! I'm Jessica and I need Jesus and God's grace every second of every day."

Every ten seconds. I need that truth every ten seconds because it is not my default to set my brain back onto the things of God. It's my default to set my brain back onto the things of ME.

And Me wants an easy life where I'm in complete control, while being a mom pretty much spirals me into chaos.

This isn't new though. Every mom feels this way because we are all wired to be selfish.

I got crazy excited for my friend's 14th Anniversary the other day. I was more excited about it then I was her birthday a few months ago because while birthdays are awesome… it isn't much of an accomplishment because you are wired to always take care of yourself.

An anniversary on the other hand is a HUGE accomplishment because you spent another year putting another person's needs a head of your own and learning to love them over and over and that is a conscious choice, not your nature.

Just like motherhood. Except in smaller, louder and sometimes sticky little packages.

"…when your hands are full."

Whenever I'm out with my boys someone stops me and tells me, "My you have your hands full!"

Normally that phrase offends me. Mostly because they are waiting for me to show them my tired face of frustration and unhappiness having all these children must give me.

Instead I just smile and tell them, "They are! Full of Good things!"

My hands are Full of hard work, blessings, happiness, tears, panic, joy, guilt and grace.

I can already see that this 3 kids thing is going to take a very long time to get but that's OK.

It's OK that I spent two hours just staring at my newborn and treasuring him.
It's OK that the kids had pudding after lunch today. Or maybe they had just pudding for lunch today… I already can't remember and it was only four hours ago.
It's OK that I had to send them to their room to be punished more than I wanted to because I know that if I don't help them now to learn obedience that when God calls for it from them it will wreck them.

It's OK that I'm not napping or cleaning because… I was reminded to just breathe and treasure Christ.

You should tell yourself it's OK too.

And the next time you see a mom with multiple kids jumping around crazy in the grocery store or the one kid that is crying at the top of their lungs… Tell them it's Ok and that they are an excellent mom.

Or… just tell them their hands are full of Amazingly Great Things and they got this. 

God Bless and Much Love,


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