Sometimes late at night, I’ll slip into the little boys room and sit on the floor and watch them sleep.
Their little bodies, with their hands stretched out over head, and the soft sound of the inhales and exhales fill the room and I sit in there, on the worn Ikea car track rug, and watch them sleeping peacefully. The rush of the day slips away, and there I am with them, grateful, and so often the tears well up in the corners of my worn mothering eyes.
I am so thankful for those little ones filling the rooms in my home.
Yet, I race through my life at such a pace that I find myself forgetting just how grateful I am for the breaths that come from each of them and the laughter and joy that they bring.
I get stuck.
Looking at the laundry piles and grumbling about the mismatched sock and missing the gratitude for the feet that go in them.
I don’t want to live missing out on those little moments.
Yet, I forget.
I grumble about the dishes, the cleaning, the toys dumped out, the seat left up in the bathroom, the lights not turned off, the dinners to make, the floors to scrub, and I lose the joy and instead pick up grumbling. I don’t want to live being this grumbly mom – and yet, often, when I’m in the midst of crazy it’s so easy to lose sight of the good.
Motherhood is this season, this window of busy, that can so quickly race through our lives. I remember my sweet grandmother sitting next to me, my grandmother with her lovely worn hands and her blue eyes, and she would tell me that it just felt as if she was my age. And I never understood it when I was younger. I really didn’t – I’d smile and nod and tell her I loved her but I’d go on racing through my day thinking I had many more of these in front of me.
I’m starting to understand my grandmother’s words.
I look at my Hannah.
Almost grown (she’s grown now and a sophomore in college 1900 miles from me).
And I remember the days where I would sit in her room late at night and watch her sleep as well. I remember the prayers that I would pray – let me be a good mother, and let me love her well – and I wonder and wish that I could remember more. Why was I so wrapped up in things that I thought were important but really weren’t? And now, here she is shooting weddings, and cooking meals, and grown up.
It goes so fast.
I want to remember the little joys.
The gifts that we’re given as mothers in the midst of the crazy. Learning to tie their shoes, ride a bike, read a book, walk, drive — all those things — they matter — the hugs in the morning, the whispers of I love you back and forth, the flowers picked, the laughter at the table, the feel of the toddler’s head resting on my shoulder as I read, the sweet memories of sitting in Starbucks with my teens, the thanks that I get for a good meal made, the time spent together.
It’s not the big things that bring joy.
It’s the little things.
So that night, that night, when I sat in Samuel and Elijah’s room and watched them sleep, that night I was truly grateful.
Grateful for the gift of that day.
And the gift of this crazy beautiful world of motherhood.
Embrace it friends.
The crazy JUST MIGHT BE beautiful.
Loved reading this post. For the pass few months God has really burdened my heart to be the best mom I can be. But I often lose sight of what He means and look at everything I am not. Reading your post helped me to have a different perspective. I want to not constantly worry about being a “perfect” mom and enjoy my children. I don’t want to miss the little moments that are going so fast.
Thank you for this post! God had given you a beautiful gift.
Love this! Simple truth, so often hard to remember.
“Looking at the laundry piles and grumbling about the mismatched sock and missing the gratitude for the feet that go in them.” How often do I do this very thing? Rachel, I must say once again that your blog is absolutely my favorite thing on the internet. THANK YOU for this! You are such an inspiration!
I came across your blog through a friend and today’s posted really resonates with me. We are celebrating our youngest son’s 2nd birthday today. It seems like yesterday I was in the hospital delivering my 3rd miracle. My God’s grace, we were able to adopt two sweet sons from Korea despite my cancer diagnosis, and then God blessed our family with a third, homegrown son. So many days I forgot to enjoy the little hands in mine and the chaos that is childhood. Thank you for the reminder that the chaos is worth enjoying!
It’s as if you took what’s been in my head this past week and wrote it! I find myself grumbling too much lately as well and not so grateful for the little feet that fill those socks! Just turned 29 and I’m starting to understand grandparents more, I realized that soon enough I’ll be old and wrinkly – but I’m not going to FEEL old, I will still be me.
I closed my time with God this morning feeling like a failure in so many ways. I read your post and tears ran down my face. I realized God does not want my perfection-he wants me. He wants me to delight in our relationship, in this day he has given me and in all of the relationships he has given me. I so often make every single one of these relationships a burden. I will never be a burden or failure to God. May I walk in that knowledge today and invite those around me into the same free, life filling relationship. Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of all relationships, the day and of the moment. God used you this morning to speak to me. Thank you.
thank you. i really needed this today. i too run around not cherishing the moments that too soon will gone. little dirty boys are meant to be cherished for all the dirtiness in them. 🙂
You are a beautiful writer. I cry every time I read one of your posts. They are so touching and strike right at the core of so many emotions I feel as a mom. Thank you for writing. Thank you even more for sharing your writing. Now, I need to go do something about this lump in my throat, tear in my eye, and pile of laundry to fold. 🙂
I have yet to figure out how the urgency of the tasks in front of us continues to steal our joy…but it does. Our perspective is continually challenged, and moved from the “big picture” to the “right in front of me”. How wise of you to put the big picture right in front of you by watching your sweet boys sleep! They are eternal…chores aren’t! I’m constantly challenged to remember that! What a great post!
What a beautiful and heart felt post Rachel. I am quite certain that all of your children will look back on their childhood with much favor and will be extremely grateful for you. Always enjoy stopping by!
Appreciating the little things is so important. Cultivating gratitude has been life-changing for me. It’s what’s allows me to experience true joy in my simple, humble, messy life with three kids… Just like you I’m trying to thank God more often, constantly actually. “Thank you, God, for this sloppy house. Thank you, for grumpy kids and too much homework and yet another activity to go to and we’re running late. Thank you for…” and suddenly I am feeling thankful, patched-together, ad-lib, imperfect life and all.
I LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing your heart!!!
Only the Lord can give this kind of peace. Praying hard right now!
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.
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what a great perspective you are putting out there for moms! you hear so much complaining and worrying, etc (which i know is legit and we all do) but how refreshing to hear it pointed back to what really matters in the end. we have to stop and breathe in the ride~! thank you!!
So Beautifully Said!
Thank you for the reminder and encouragement to savor the now and treasure these moments. My boys are 20 & 15… I remember the nights beside the crib and the softest hair of a freshly washed little boy head. I remember the times in the crook of the “Reading Tree” and the frenzy of UpWard Basketball… Remembering with you, Rachel. <3