How God Gave Me Mom Muscles

Just after 9:30pm, I was preparing an egg bake for my family to eat for breakfast the next morning.  It had occurred to me just 30 minutes earlier, that I could take down a few birds with one stone.  We had some bread that was on its last leg, several vegetables and breakfast meats that needed to be used, and a fresh batch of 30 eggs in the refrigerator.  That, plus the promise of a one-dish meal with no clean up in the morning, was enough to make me light an apple-scented candle and dirty the kitchen for the fourth time that day.  As I washed my last dish, dried it and put it away just before 10:00pm, I marveled for a moment at the transformation in my life from a sluggish to an industrious woman.  Emily three years ago would never have noticed the stale bread and brainstormed something to use it for.  Emily three years ago wouldn't have wanted to wake up an hour earlier the next day to pop a casserole in the oven.  Emily three years ago would have left the dishes in the sink and said, "oh well, I'll just get to it tomorrow."  But much has changed.

Our life over the last three years has been a lot like one of those bootcamp fitness places where you pay a lot of money for a few months of intense training.  You go in a little soft-around-the-edges with a love for ice cream, and you come out chanting while you push a tire up the street.  Those places thrive on total immersion.  You push yourself, plateau, push yourself harder and go until you've built muscles your body didn't know it possessed.  There are moments where you think, "I hate this. Why did I sign up for this." all while experiencing the benefits and freedom of a new, healthier lifestyle.

People often comment that our life looks hard.  And it is.
I can't and won't pretend for a moment that a day with 4 boys under 4 is without its challenges.  I mean, it's LOUD here...and people are literally bouncing off the walls.  The other day I wiped a thick hand-prints worth of dirt off of one boy after he stepped inside from the backyard.  That was one wipe, one boy.  We are the best of times and the worst of times.  You might see laughing, wrestling, fighting or crying in our house, and sometimes all at once.

But with the hard things have also come tremendous spiritual blessings, that I like to think of as my 'mom muscles'.  Because when I started this mom journey in 2012, I was that soft-around-the-edges, ice cream eating person signing up for the insane fitness bootcamp...starry-eyed and excited at the possibilities that lay ahead.  I had no idea what it meant to listen to a child's cries, what it meant to go to bed with a clean kitchen because the dishes will overtake you if you don't, what it felt like to discipline a child for the same issue day in and day out, what it felt like to scrub hardened cheerios off the floor or what strategic thinking it took to plan a morning's meal one night in advance.

Building my mom muscles has been a process, and a lot of times, I've wanted to give up.  I've wanted a refund, and I've wished there was an easier way.
Couldn't God refine me with something a little cleaner and quieter?
Couldn't he root out the sin and help me create disciplines without so much work?
Couldn't he have shaped me through something other than faithfulness in the mundane?
Probably, but that's not how he likes to work.

It's the fire that purifies.  It's the fire that pushes you to depend on God.  It's the fire that makes you hold Christ tighter, loving him more deeply than you did before.
It's the trial that makes you wake up at the crack of dawn and cling to scripture when you previously just wanted to stay in bed.
It's the challenges that you can't solve which push you to your knees more quickly.
And this is exactly where God wants me to be.
Dependent and humble.

So for that, I guess I'm glad for the cemented cheerios on the floor.  I'm thankful for the steady stream of whining, jumping, pushing and lion roars.  Because I'm absolutely convinced that I can't do this on my own, and it can only turn out well if it's taken care of by my good redeeming God.

If you are feeling weary as a mom - stay the course.  Yes this is hard, yes it's stretching you, yes it's making you uncomfortable.  But remember, physical training is of some value but this spiritual training you're getting is of eternal value.  Your weakness is a giant billboard, pointing you to the God of all strength who can transform you and give you the muscles you need for the work at hand.
Back to Top