Every parent has undoubtedly experienced the lull of smooth sailing with their children only to be swiftly awoken from a comfortable routine by a new need or phase or transition. Learning how to handle the changes is key…
If you were to see my family in church this morning, it might be easy to suppose we have it all together. Three kids, mostly sitting up straight in their chairs, quietly looking at books or tending to a baby doll, and a mom who is actually (gasp!) taking notes during the sermon.
For now, church is easy. Sure there are firmly whispered instructions here and there. My toddler still occasionally needs diaper changes at inopportune times. But on the whole, we have a system–we’ve found our groove–and it’s working for us.
The thing is, though, our little family row looked different just a handful of months ago. And in just a handful of weeks, it will look much different once again.
It wasn’t so long ago that my toddler still tried to escape during the service, trying to time an exit past her distracted parents’ legs or to crawl underneath the chairs to find her freedom. Restraining her meant protests, too. Loud, distracting protests.
I had been through this exact season of training before with her brothers. Sitting still and quietly does not come naturally to most small children. But I had confidence that she would learn and that this too would pass.
My husband and I were noting recently how well she does during church now. Following her older brothers’ examples, she carries in her church bag every Sunday, sits down and occupies herself with books and a few quiet toys, and waits patiently for the best part of the service– the moment after break time when mommy pulls out the snacks.
It would be easy to get comfortable and proud in where we are right now. To have a “look at me, look at my kids, we’ve arrived” mentality.
However, I know that the nature of motherhood means that change is always right around the corner.
In just a few weeks, my trio of children will be joined by a newborn during church. A little baby who may not want to sleep during the sermon, who may want to eat just as another child needs me, who simply will require another slice of my attention while my husband preaches.
Then, we will have to figure things out all over again. And it may not be very pretty or easy.
The nature of motherhood…
Whether or not you have experienced a similar situation of teaching your children to sit through church, every parent has undoubtedly experienced the lull of smooth sailing with their children only to be swiftly awoken from a comfortable routine by a new need or phase or transition.
The shock can be rather jarring.
Why is everything such a struggle again when things were just so good???
I have been giving a lot of thought to the inevitability of change recently. I know that change (and a lot of it) is coming to our family soon. Adding another child to the family is an incredible blessing, but it’s not without its challenges either.
Having an attitude of acceptance is key. I am realizing that peaceful motherhood is dependent on savoring the seasons while you are in them and not being afraid when the winds of change start to blow.
Because peace is not really about controlling or even predicting life. It’s about our response to it.
As we remember that the nature of motherhood always involves a degree of change– inevitable and unpredictable– we will be less prone to becoming irritated or anxious when our baby drops a nap or our toddler suddenly becomes very opinionated about all the things or an older child hits a growth spurt and is thrown physically and emotionally for a loop.
Perhaps you are in a similar situation where things look good now, but you know life is going to get shaken up soon. Or maybe you are currently in the shake-up, holding on for dear life and praying things settle down soon.
Dear friends, let me encourage you to take satisfaction in the goodness of today and realize that the hard will be a thing of yesterday before long.
Joy and hope will be there waiting.
Are you smooth sailing or in the shake-up?
How do you peacefully respond to change?