Some days, as the end of the day draws near, I feel nothing short of spent. The long hours of cooking and cleaning, of chauffeuring and teaching, correcting and mentoring and refereeing, let alone any side gigs I am nursing along, leave me feeling drained and empty. It’s a whole new dimension of tired. Mama tired.
I see bedtime, their bedtime, as a pot of gold at the end of a long day. Rest, reprieve.
But the pre-teen starts feeling chatty and wants to go deep. “Can we talk about forgiveness, mom? What exactly do you think about the war on terror?” The 3 year old needs another drink, another hug, another prayer. And those girls who share a room pretty much never stop talking.
The siren in my head goes off “Enough. No more. No more drinks. No more chatting and no more prayers!” It’s not pretty.
I hate these moments – the days that start so well, so much energy, so many smiles, yet end with frustration, a weary mom short on grace and patience. These aren’t the covers I want to tuck these kids into, these aren’t the hot words I want them to snuggle up in, find rest with.
But running on empty is real. The “I can’t handle one more kid out of bed right now”, it’s real. Mama tired is real.
I love these kids something fierce, but parenting can be draining and hard. So where do we go with that?
I love Paul’s take in Ephesians 3:14-21. It’s a prayer of empowerment as he prays that the Gentiles, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend “what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Will someone please just sign me right up for that? That limitless love, that fullness of God, that is a cool drink of water for a dried up and crusty mama.
But do you see how carefully Paul laid that out? When we are rooted and grounded in love for God, only then can we comprehend the enormity of God’s love for us – a mind-blowing, lay down your life, we can’t even grasp it, kind of love. In the realization of that huge and awesome love, we can be filled with His fullness. No emptiness, just full. His full.
Does this mean that we will never be tired again? Probably not. But it does mean there is a store of strength for those moments. There is hope for when we are feeling mama tired.
It is in Paul’s words that I can finally see what I’m missing on those long and weary days. I’m missing Him. I’m struggling and hustling and trying to do it on my own accord, in my own strength, but I’m not limitless. I’m pretty sure every kid in my house knows that this mama has a one drink and one prayer limit.
Thankfully I serve a God who is so much more. A God who’s love is boundless, who’s grace is sufficient, who’s kindness is unfailing, and who’s forgiveness is restorative.
I need less of me and more of Him – His wild love, His fullness, to pour out love and grace when I’m mama tired.
So can I encourage you to pause in those spent and weary moments? Just pause and ask Him for the strength, for the grace, for a measure of His limitless love, to finish the day well. Because loving Him is the very key to fullness, the key to loving our kids well.