Today, actually quite a few of them lately, unfolded as one of those relentless days where the echoes of "mom, mom, mom" filled every corner of the house, leaving little room for personal contemplation. Amidst the constant refrain, I found myself raising my voice, desperately yelling "stop" at the ceaseless squabbles that defined the day – a day that stretched far beyond our usual bedtime.
Complicating matters, my husband, the anchor of our family, is away on duty. The absence of his comforting presence heightens emotions in our home, especially with the Christmas season here. The festive cheer feels incomplete without him, and the anticipation of our oldest's upcoming birthday is clouded by the knowledge that her dad will miss the celebration. The sacrifices of a uniformed life are not lost on any of us, yet acknowledging the greater purpose doesn't erase the difficulties.
In the midst of the chaos of the day, stress levels rose, and patience wore thin. Seeking solace, I took the evening pause to delve into the scriptures with my girls, focusing on the book of Luke and the life of Jesus. Concurrently, we embarked on a new tradition this year – the Jesse Tree, a visual representation of the lineage of Jesus. A quick Google search will reveal the beauty of this practice, and for us, it has proven to be a blessing during these challenging times.
Reading the Bible isn't merely a family tradition to us; it's a lifeline. Personally, I needed the reminder today that challenges are within our capacity to handle, and the title of "mother" is a divine blessing, not a burden to be shouldered on taxing days. I reminded myself, and my girls, that they are each a deliberate creation of God – a gift meticulously chosen for our family.
As I reflect on today, typing with my youngest asleep in my arms, I'm reminded of the saying, "The days are long, but the years are short." These overpowering and stressful moments, too, deserve to be cherished. Amid the clamor, it's essential to slow down, attune to the needs of my children, and be fully present.
In the throes of trying to reestablish our routine after my husband's departure, I realized my children's silent struggles. Today, my youngest sought solace in my arms during school time, and my oldest simply craved proximity. In hindsight, these were cries for understanding, comfort, and love that I momentarily overlooked.
As mothers, we must recognize that our children, like us, navigate the complexities of emotions without always knowing how to express them. It is a call to be attuned, to listen, and to provide the unwavering support they need.
In embracing this grace, even on the most challenging days, we rediscover the beauty of our roles as mothers. Southern Grace is not just a name for me, but a testament to the enduring strength and resilience that grace can bring to our homeschooling journey, as long as I listen. Today may have been arduous, but even within the chaos, I need to remember that there is an opportunity to find grace, strength, and profound beauty in the heart of motherhood.