Because of Love

by Chelsea on February 12, 2016 in Home Culture, Ministry

His cry wakes me again. I roll over and look at the clock and moan. I lay there in the darkness and hope the cry will fade and he’ll fall asleep, but no, it gets louder and louder until there is no denying that I’ll have to get up again. He’s 10 months old we shouldn’t still be doing this, but we are and we have been for the past 4 months.

My body aches from months of sleepless nights, days filled with the energy of two other little boys and a husband that needs me too. My hair is gone, I cut it all just so I could start washing it on a regular basis again.

My clothes are covered in spit up. The thought of picking up my knitting needles and knitting a simple scarf is overwhelming to me right now. I go from load of laundry, to load of dishes, to picking up toys and start it all over again.

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My single or kidless friends ask me “Why?” Why do this to yourself? Why deny yourself all those dreams you had of becoming a famous pattern designer? Why spend your evenings at home wiping bottoms when you could be out ‘living the life’, going to movies or parties or whatever is on the agenda for that night?

Because of love, is my answer. I pull myself out of bed again to go nurse, cuddle and comfort a crying babe because of love. I push myself through another day of monotonous chores because of love. I go to the park, teach another math lesson, play Chutes and Ladders because of love. I stay up till 1 in the morning meeting my husbands needs because of love.

Because I love them I am willing to give up myself, my desires, to meet their needs above my own. Oh, it’s not always easy; sometimes I do it kicking and screaming, much to my shame (okay, maybe it’s more like pouting and sobbing). But every time I have put the needs of my family above my own I have been blessed and I receive so much back.

When the sweet little curly top in my arms wraps his tiny little arms around my neck my heart is full. When I get a picture handed to me with the words, “This is you, mom, and this is me”, my heart is full. When I, in those rare moments, sit down on the couch and I instantly have two little boys crawl up in my lap, my heart is full.

When I play ‘ask weird questions in the middle of the night’ with my husband (yes, he humors me very well) and I ask him “What do you like best about me?” and his response is, “You’re a good taker-carer-of”, my heart is full and I know that I’ve done what matters.

Things will change, I won’t always have a babe who won’t sleep through the night and I won’t always have very young children who need constant care. But through this difficult and trying time I have learned how to truly deny myself and serve my family and the things I thought I needed to be happy and fulfilled I have found to be dispensable.

Someday I’ll grow my hair back out, I’ll be able to wear nice, pretty clothes that don’t smell like sour milk, and I’ll finally do something with all those business ideas I’ve had but now I’ll know that those things didn’t define me, the way I loved my family did.

 

 

 

 

Chelsea

Chelsea is wife to Jon, a fireman, and Mama to three energetic little boys. After both having been homeschooled, Chelsea and Jon are now embarking on homeschooling their children as well as starting their family homestead. She also is owner of Chelsea Michal Designs and a custom longarm quilting service. You can see her work and follow along with all her crafting and homesteading adventures at her blog on Facebook and Instagram.

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{ 11 comments }

Jill Novak February 12, 2016

Chelsea,

Thank you for such a beautifully written post. You expressed what so many of us mothers feel and have experienced at one time or another.

I am a fellow contributor here at RH and at the other end of this motherhood thing. I thought being in my mid-50’s at the time, that I was done mothering someone in the middle of the night, but then I was given the blessed privilege of caring for my elderly father the last six years of his life (89-95). And, like you, I had to lay down my own dreams and desires for a long season of caring for another. And even though it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do (taking care of a little old man 24/7), I have no regrets.

My father once said, “When does a daughter become a mother?” I can truly say when you’re doing all the things you do for any newborn at the end of someone’s life. Besides caring for all of his needs daily, in the last three months of his life, I had to get up in the middle of the night a couple of times. I had stayed with him morning noon and night through three hospital stays, so I knew I was having to do the work of a whole nursing staff (trust me, there were times I wish I had the whole nursing staff at home).

I wanted my father to be in our family’s care until he passed away, so I had to rely on God to give me the strength to make it to the end. He went home to be with the Lord, September 2015, and his passing was a triumphal testimony of God’s faithfulness to him in his latter years.

Sometimes we think we shouldn’t have to give the care we are having to give at any given point, that we ought to be able to bounce back quickly to what we did before we were given a new life to care for (you, your third born, me my elderly father), but it is our burden alone, our divinely appointed season and the mission field where the Lord has placed us.

The truth is, instead of us bouncing back, the Lord wants us to bounce forward into uncharted territory where we have to trust Him in a whole new way for a whole new season. My father’s bedroom became an altar where self was crucified, and you with your baby lovingly drawn to your breast in the middle of the night, the same.

In the face of monotonous routines and sheer exhaustion, I came to the same conclusion you did: what I did, I did for love . . . and in His strength alone.

Chelsea March 23, 2016

Wow, Jill, what a testimony! I too have come to the conclusion that this is the mission field God has placed me in at this time and when self is crucified happiness takes over (even if it is coupled with exhaustion)!

Mrs. Sarah Coller March 23, 2016

Jill, this is so encouraging. Thank you!

Giovanna February 12, 2016

Chelsea, our stories are so similar – you have no idea 😉 I, too, have a third child, 8 month old, who insists on nursing multiple times at night 😉 By God’s grace I homeschool my oldest during the day and tend to my toddler as well. At night after all kids are tucked in I still need to pour into my husband’s life – he craves my attention sometimes just as bad as the kids 😉 I also work from home, but only due to necessity. My back finally collapsed in December after so many years of constant nursing and babywearing – I’m praying for God’s healing since I’m not comfortable with most of the treatment options, including surgery. I have never been as tired as I’m currently and have never worked as hard before in my whole life, but I would not have any other way. I know God called me for this so I know He will sustain and equip me. Motherhood is a ministry – intensive kingdom work. But, His grace fills in the gaps and renews us with hope every day. As we tend to His little ones we become more like Him and less like ourselves. Btw, Sally Clarkson’s books have helped me a lot on my motherhood journey. Are you familiar with her writing? I’m sure you would love her! And, I also cut my hair last month for the same exact reason… 8 inches less and I still can’t take care of it as planned. Lol…

Chelsea March 23, 2016

Yes, Giovanna, our stories do sound so much alike! Have you checked out a chiropractor? I couldn’t live without mine! You have to get a really good and trusted one, though. I have heard of Sally Clarkson but I have yet to read one of her books – I’ll go check one out.

Mauricio February 12, 2016

Highly encouraging. The Bible says to consider others as more important than yourself. This is what parenting does.

Chelsea March 23, 2016

Indeed it does, Mauricio!

Randi September 13, 2016

I love love love this! It is totally the season I am in too! <3 I have had to step back from my at-home business because I wasn't able to meet the needs of my family (in a kind and gentle way!) and run my business. I was failing at them both! Thank you for this post, it makes me feel normal in more ways than one! Hugs to you, lady! <3

Chelsea October 21, 2016

Thanks, Randi! It’s so important to share our struggles because it helps others see that it is normal and okay not to be able to do everything.

Kim October 7, 2016

We only have today to hold our babies in our arms….for Tomorrow they are grown and gone…You are wise to understand this…and blessed you can stay home with them…I may wish I did some things differently but being a SAHM will never be one of them.

Chelsea October 21, 2016

It is so encouraging to hear that you will never regret your choice to be a SAHM, Kim!

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