I look back and remember this day...the tiredness that was in my bones at that time and the weariness that was in my heart...and it slightly comes back to me. Like it is sitting on my shoulders again and I remember how hard it was just to stand up and keep moving. If I close my eyes I can go back there for just a moment. To throw clothes on and find a smile for them and keep moving. I had all I had asked for...I should feel joy. This stroll before school should feel...happy. Then why did I just feel like crying? So why was it so hard to find the joy in the moment?
I had married the man and had the house and the American dream of 2.5 kids...I had a new baby boy and I pushed him that early school morning and chased the idea of what a good mom was supposed to do. But I didn't feel good. I didn't feel mom worthy. I didn't feel Him holding my hand as I grasped theirs.
I don't know if it was the sun peeking out through the trees that line the school street or the wind kissing my face or the three boys filling the air with their God given voices that day... but it was His I heard over it all. I pushed and walked and looked...and there I saw them. My children. The ones I wanted to get dressed for and find that smile for and tell the world that I was overly joy filled to be right here with them. And then like a whisper His words filled my morning and I saw my kids for the first time in a way I had never really looked before...
Love Me more than them.
I was in the middle of my dream life and couldn't find the happy ever after that was supposed to follow... I was chasing them, loving them...not Him.
I was fighting to be my best for them. I was living to make them happy. I was running after a dream that was never going to come to life. Not the way I was doing it. Not the way He intended it.
I think it is easy, us mothers chasing the heart of our children...when really, we need to chase after the One who made them. Because He is the reason we find joy, receive grace, and we get to feel it when we're living for Him. Our children will never fill those hard to reach places the way only He can. We can be the best mom ever and still feel that brokenness that comes with ignoring His grace for our lives. Oh, don't get me wrong... I am still pushing strollers and holding crying babies and spending fall mornings with my bunch and pouring most of my physical self into them. But I see them different now...I see Him before them. I try to chase His heart, instead of winning over my kids each day... And in doing so, I usually find I fill theirs much better after I've found Him first.
Today I sat and watched the snow come down over the October colors that filled my yard and I remembered that fall morning two years ago... I remembered that even though my hands would brush tears away and hold hands and feed mouths and hold on a little longer to one more story...these days are full of joy. Joy that shows up because I have started loving not only them in the way I care for them, but I love the One who brushes my tears away and holds my hand and fills my hunger and always holds me... just a little longer... Joy that can be found in the hard places when we're chasing Him before everyone and everything else.
Because He loved first, so we could love. And He lived first, so we can live. Look up before you kneel down today... and remember that He loves them more then you do, He loves you more then you let Him, and you can love from those hard to reach places if you can chase after His heart first.