After many years of giving and sacrificing for my young ones, I hit a season of burnout. The non-stop years of tending little ones took its toll on my mind, emotions and spirit and I found myself in a place of neglect on many levels. It took me about a year or so to fully recover from that time, and it's a place I never want to revisit.
Unfortunately now, I can find myself creating emotional distance between myself and my children. Fearing that getting to close and serving them well will lead me down a dark road again. I know that's not true in my head...the truth about burnout was my pride that I could do it all, that I didn't need help, and that God would support and provide strength for my independent ways. I now have my life ordered in such a way that I have margin, help from others, and consistent time set aside for quiet planning and focus.
However, I have gotten lazy in my mothering this past year. Even though I am with my children every day homeschooling and living life together, I know I am often distracted in mind and heart. I know that unconsciously I have been viewing my children as an interruption to my life and my goals and can feel the creeping in of resentment when they seem too "needy".
I was saddened by this state-of-heart and knew that the Lord has been calling me to refocus and find my mothering heart again. It dimmed and was bruised during the season of burnout. I do well at intentional homemaking, but mothering? Oh, that relational giving and sacrifice can feel so hard and overwhelming to me.
So I decided to see if some other women would want to get together to discuss these mothering issues. It has resulted in getting together with a handful of other moms on Thursday nights to discuss Sally Clarkson's book Mission of Motherhood (and Sally's blog posts on mothering this past month have been absolutely amazing and encouraging! as have been Tonia's too!)
My heart is gently being led back to the heart of mothering that I once held so dear. And God is healing me in such a way that I know I can trust Him and His Sovereign Goodness as I embrace a call to servant motherhood. I am beginning to think intentionally again as to how I can really love my children in the small and simple. Modeling care, compassion, and service just as Jesus did with his disciples.
Tonight it begins with our Friday Family Movie Night. Normally the children watch a movie on their own and Mike and I retreat to our bedroom. But tonight we will watch a family movie together...and I am putting together a tray with popcorn put in these cool bags, boxed movie-theater-style candies, and IBC Root Beer bottles (with cool straws!) for everyone.
It's a small act of love that I know will thrill my children and it opens up my heart wider towards them and to enjoy their pleasure.