We’re Going to Knock Your Wall Down

Once during my most recent pregnancy, I had a disturbing dream which perfectly described my mental state that week.

I dreamt I was struggling my daughter into her car seat, and she was misbehaving, fighting me tooth and nail.  Suddenly a woman in a neighboring car offered to take my daughter and the car seat into her vehicle instead, clearly intending to keep her.

“Why exactly do you suggest that?” I asked, in an over-my-dead-body kind of tone.

She gave me a sugary smile.  “Well, obviously you can’t manage the children you have and you have trouble using birth control.  I’ll just take one off your hands and make your life easier.”

“I find that very offensive!” I said, and spent the rest of the dream arguing with her over our points of view.

That dream was a clear manifestation of how I thought I looked that week, to everyone who didn’t know me – a hopelessly overworked mother who doesn’t know how to say “when”.  I was hugely pregnant and chasing two toddlers, and if I got one more comment from a stranger on how I had my “hands full”, I thought I’d scream.

Any mother who has had multiple children close together has experienced this kind of attitude from others.

“Wow, you’re having another one?  That’s…brave of you.”

“You’re a busy woman.”

“You’ve sure got your hands full.”

These remarks usually aren’t meant in a complimentary way – they come with pity and amusement from most mouths.  Even the self-deprecating one about how “I could never handle that many kids” seems to the tired mother to carry an undertone of scorn, something like, “You poor insane woman…boy, I’m glad I’m not you!”

Knowing that as Christians we are ambassadors of Christ wherever we go, I felt pressured to at least look like I had it all together, like it was easy pushing a heavy double stroller through Target with two unhappy children and a bulging belly that showed I would soon have another.  It isn’t easy, mothering three under three.  Some days I still feel like an inexpert faker trying really hard to be a mom.  Thankfully God provides the strength we need for each day, but I felt like it was my job to hold my head high and never let an unbeliever see how what a challenge it was, as if that would poke holes in my testimony and prove all their pity and amusement was well-founded. I couldn’t let the world think I was stupid to choose this life! I had to make it look like I was smart, like I could confidently handle the 24/7 needs of wee ones, because God was my strength, right? Any time I went in public I was anxious, wondering what passerby thought of me.

With further thought it occurred to me…

Those who are in the world live for self.  Many of them can’t fathom why someone would give up their lives for such an inconvenience as a bucketload of little children.  They’re willing to put up with one or two kids, or at least decently spaced kids, because it fits into their vision of success and value in life.  But pour out years of your young life to feed kids (day and night!), grow more kids, be a human Kleenex for kids, discipline kids, tow around kids, listen to kids whine, listen to kids screech, supervise messy kids, push strollers full of kids, stay up all night with kids, kill your back carrying kids, run in endless circles chasing kids?  To do that you must be a glutton for misery, or a simpleton!

But to us who believe God’s promises, we know that we are entrusted with these little eternal flames, who (Lord willing!) will one day sing Christ’s praises with us in eternity.  We are making war on Satan, raising new soldiers for Christ.  We are in the business of building and training an army.

Parenting is hard work. Not only are we shaping tiny souls to love and serve Jesus (a work only God can ultimately bring to fruition), but we are being shaped and molded too – burning away the dross.  We’re fighting our sin and our children’s sin, and trying to help them grow up into decent human beings who will not only live, but thrive.  It’s not supposed to be easy.

As Rachel Jankovic says*, the world reviles motherhood because it smells of sacrifice and sacrifice smells of Christ.  Every time a new child is conceived in sweet married love, born into loving, welcoming arms, and raised in a faithful Christian home, I imagine Satan must stamp his feet and gnash his teeth in rage!

This is the stuff of spiritual warfare, and we are on the winning side.

So let us look like simpletons to those who don’t see that coming victory! Let us look tired, because we are – we are at war. Let us look burdened, because we are picking up our crosses and following Him. Yes, indeed, we have our hands full!

And they are full of the most wonderful things they could be, eternal souls.  God gave my children to me, and I yearn to be like Mary, who answered God’s calling with submission – “Let it be to me according to Your word.”  He is my captain, this is my mission, and I undertake it in the power of Christ my King.

Let those on the ramparts of Jericho laugh as they see us going in endless circles, because there is a point to all this, and that wall is going to come tumbling down!

*

*If you’re a mom (or even if you’re not), please read the great article I took that quote from!
P.S.  Certainly not every blow to Satan comes from a child who was born to the loving arms of happily married parents – but as this is the way God intends it, it must make the devil peeved!  Also, Satan can’t see the twists and turns of the future the way God can, so he must do a little happy dance when a child is conceived out of wedlock or born into a broken home, because he thinks he has the upper hand.  God, however, knows all of the future and He rejoices over the new life of any of His children, no matter what their situation is at birth.  I feel the need to mention that, lest anyone be discouraged. God uses stealth tactics in His army too!
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5 Comments

  1. netraptor001

     /  April 9, 2014

    I’m sitting here with a tired, fussy baby on my lap, nodding along. What a lousy dream! I’ve decided that I don’t care what people think, I’m just going to have fun and enjoy my kids, Like in the grocery store, when I’m relaxed, so are they. We play games to identify all the produce, and we look at the lobsters in the tank on the seafood aisle, and they get to pick out a flavored yogurt as a snack for when they get home. I have them pick stuff off shelves for me (like cans, or raisins). That way they’re not bored and whiny (which still happens). I also try not to take them shopping when they’re hungry.

    Kids are fun and they like to help. The older they get, the easier (sort of) it is. (Different challenges.) I’ve got 7, 5, 3 and 4 months now. Fortunately we live in a heavily Mexican and Mormon community, so they all just think I’m one of them. 😀

    Reply
    • Those are great grocery tips! I cracked up at the Mexicans and Mormons thinking you’re one of them. 😀 People’s reactions to children does differ depending on where you live.

      Reply
  2. “This is the stuff of spiritual warfare, and we are on the winning side.”

    I needed that this week because it’s sure been a tough week!

    Reply
  3. Jared

     /  April 10, 2014

    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV)

    Here and now are the only time that we can suffer for Christ’s sake, this world and the haters will fade! Not our reward from our Heavenly Father, those rewards are eternal!!

    Take heart moms, and find the promises that are yours in Christ!! Pray the promises, lay hold of them. If our God (who can’t lie) makes a promise then He has indebted Himself to his people.

    If you are one of these momma’s from above; thank you! I’m praying for you… (:

    Reply

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