Saturday, November 3, 2012

Being More, Even When You've Done Your Time

There's something that's troubling me.

I don't know if it's just the circles I've travelled in, if it's a new attitude, or if it's been around for years, but ladies, it's gotta stop.

I'm heading into firmly planted  in the done with babies stage of life.  I am almost in the all my kids are school-aged stage of life.  And I am troubled by the attitude of many in my new life-category towards those precious Moms who are in the baby/toddler stage of life.

It's usually in regards to helping out somehow, somewhere and the expression and sentiment goes like this:  

I've done my time  

What a short statement loaded with meaning.  Is it possible that those who are in that stage of life hear something more like this?:

"I've done my time, so you can suck it.  I barely made it through, and  you can do the same, sister.  I will not allow myself to be reminded of the absolute physical exhaustion and weariness that you are living in right now. I suffered.  So can you.

I will not be moved by the overwhelming nature of raising little ones, teaching them manners, right from wrong, dressing them, feeding them, loving them, guiding them.  I will have nothing to do with the difficulties you face in feeling like you are begging for a babysitter, again.  I will forget what it's like to be in such a physically exhausting stage of parenting that I forget that I am not just a mom, but a wife. I refuse to care that you are trying to make your house a home with little money and little people.  Make it work on your own. Suffer through your little fix-it projects - because I had to.

I will close my eyes to the fact that it takes everything in you just to get your family through the doors of the church on a Sunday morning, and there is no way on God's green earth that I will volunteer to teach a Sunday School class once a month - you can do it.  They're your kids anyway.  I will forget that the thought of having a quiet time with Jesus every morning is nothing more than a pipe dream.  I will deny that most of your conversations with Jesus consist of a continual cry of "help me!" and that you need to be renewed with the word of God in a church service more than I do.  Instead - you can just try and get something out of the church service while you are sitting in the nursery. I will not be moved by your lot in life.  

Because.  Because it hurts me to remember how alone I felt back then.  It is painful to remember the feeling of hopelessness that comes when you can't even get your kitchen clean at the end of the day from the chronic and constant interruptions you face. I will not be broken for you."

Does it hurt you to read that like it hurts me?  I can't go back to remembering those physically exhausting days of parenting little ones without shedding tears.  I want to forget it all.  I want to put it behind me.  But sisters, we are called to something so much harder and greater than forgetting.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  
But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  
Instead,  use your freedom to  serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13

So enjoy the freedom that comes from not being in the baby stage any more.  But allow yourselves to always remain a little broken with the plight of those who are a stage behind you.

Offer, before someone has to beg, to babysit every once in a while.

Make a new Mama's day and bring her dinner, just because.

Volunteer in the Children's ministry at your church.

Listen to these wonderful, beautiful Moms who are hoping and prayinig they aren't screwing their kids up, without belittling where they are with your profound advice of "I'm so glad I'm not you anymore"

Write a note of encouragement to a young Mom and let her know you are praying for her.

Speak words of encouragement to these young women and tell them you are praying for them.

And then pray.  Get down on your knees and pray for those who are coming behind us. Then they will see our example of love, and in turn do the same. When we retain a bit of the brokenness we experience during hard times, we build better community.

See them.  

Love them.

Be more.

Amen.