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The Great Mommy Escape

Jennifer Napier

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The door opens. I hear the creeping patter of little feet. Hushed whispers—and then it comes—like little cubs playfully attacking their mother, I’m sprung on by the oldest two of my four children.

“Get up! Get up!” they excitedly demand. “I’m hungry. I want breakfast.”

I gently lay aside my nursing infant to take on the day.

Strip off the dirty jammies. Check.

Wipe noses. Check.

Wash dishes. Check.

Start laundry. Check.

Dispense medicine. Check.

Eat my own breakfast. Finally … check.

I woke up at 6 a.m. How can it already be 10:30 and I had yet to eat? I guess it’s simply life for the mom of four children under the age of four. I sit down with my twice re-heated cup of tea only to be interrupted by spilled milk and “Mommy, he pushed me!”

Will it ever end?

In the course of a normal day, I barely find time to take a deep breath. So how do I seek God in the midst of this intensity? How can I find Him when I can barely find my own thoughts? By asking the Lord to meet me in the midst of my chaos, in the middle of the frustrations of life, in the center of the storm. Help me. Meet me. Deliver me. Give me patience. Rescue me. These small prayers are breathed sincerely.

And my faithful God does meet me.

He comes. He enters right in with me. He is not afraid of the mess that surrounds me. He knows that I can’t do it without Him.

An argument breaks out over a toy that will be discarded moments later. One of my babies is crying upstairs in his crib. Crushed cheerios, goldfish, and graham crackers are scattered all over the floor that I just swept.

Sigh.

I sneak into the bathroom for a few precious moments of solitude and I gather my devotional off the shelf. Just enough time to read the day’s entry before the ensuing, “Mooooommmmmy!” I have managed to give myself a brief respite. A time to gather courage, to suit up, and to go out and continue to battle the day.

Help clean up the toys. Check.

Pull out the crayons and coloring books. Check.

Clean up the play-doh. Check.

Run the vacuum cleaner. Check.

And that’s all before lunch.

As I stir the pot of macaroni and cheese, I glance at my large print Bible that is propped up by a cookbook holder. A few verses here and there scattered throughout the day refresh a tired and dry soul.

I find there’s not often time in my day to be able to just sit and meander through Scripture or soak myself in His presence. But I find even in moments of desperation and weakness I can still remind myself of truth of who He is and who I am.

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

As the afternoon unwinds and the children nap, I take a break and think through the day. My heart is so full of gratitude. Thankful for the gifts I have been given. Thankful for the joy of parenting. Thankful that He girds me with strength. He is willing to meet me no matter how crazy I feel or how busy life gets.

Life isn’t perfect. It’s full of ups and downs, highs and lows, ebb and flow. I realize that things aren’t going to always be this way. There will be time to care for the house as the kids get older. There will be time to breathe … someday. Until then I hold onto hope that running to my Abba Father and sitting in His lap for just a few moments will give me the courage and strength I need to go back out and wrestle the never ending tasks of caring for my children and my home.

Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found;
 call upon Him while He is near.” Continuing to cry out to the Lord and seek Him, to remind myself of truth, and to realign my perspective with His allows me to rest in Him, even in the midst of such busyness.

Make dinner. Check.

Wash dishes. Check.

Give baths. Check.

Dispense more medicine. Check.

Jammies on. Check.

Teeth brushed. Check.

Story. Prayer. Bedtime Song. Check. Check. Check.

A little time left in the day. I stop and thank God for carrying me through another day. For helping me find snatches of time to see Him and speak to Him and to hear His voice in the midst of the chaos that surrounds me.

I close my eyes for a moment and I drift to sleep.

Jennifer Napier is a new resident of Norfolk, VA where she and her husband are part of growing a new church. Her recent decision to throw all caution to the wind and jump into home schooling all five of her precocious but precious children has left many alternately applauding her bravery and questioning her sanity. She is an avid reader and writer and enjoys long soaks in the tub and sweet iced tea. She can often be found with her children at the zoo, a thrift store or in a doctors office as she manages the special needs of her kids. Though a Christian since she was five Jennifer has continued to grow in a deeper understanding of God’s grace and love. She continues to proclaim God’s faithfulness in the midst of many years of trial, suffering, loss and grief. Her primary goal in life is to know God and make Him known. You can follow her adventures and thoughts on God, life, and motherhood at her blog, Musings by Jennifer

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The Great Mommy Escape

by Jennifer Napier time to read: 3 min