16 September 2012

let's be real for a minute.

Being a mom is kicking my tail lately.
Now obviously I love my little punks - to the moon and back.
I look at their sweet tiny faces and as I reflect on the big changes we've had lately,
 I get kind of teary and wistful.
But the reality of the minute to minute is making me a little crazy.
Full day kindergarten has so exhausted my Lute that he comes home
beside himself every single day. 
The smallest thing can incite wailing like you haven't heard.
He talks back and laughs while being disciplined, and it totally pushes my buttons.
I start out each day with a solid plan to "fake it 'til I make it" and then 
fail about 15 minutes in.
I lose my cool, raise my voice, get frustrated.
Frustrated with them, frustrated with myself.

Most of the day runs smoothly with only two kids in tow.
But then dinner time and bed time roll around and I am convinced that everyone
has completely lost their minds. 
There is hitting, shoving, shouting, pushing and general carrying on.
All while I'm attempting to make a meal they will surely reject.
Getting ready for bed is easy, but then I am shackled to a chair outside their rooms
for nearly an hour while they fight bed time like it's some shocking surprise
that they require rest.
If I leave my post, they are downstairs 150 times.
I pray I won't lose my cool yet again, and I inevitably do,
and then I am even more mad at myself than I am at the situation.

So. I've been praying a lot.
I know God has grace for me, and I am praying for real grace for my kids.
I have this huge fear that I am going to scar them for life because I am a mean, grumpy mama.

I know that God is calling me to depend on Him and call out to Him in my time of need.
I can't do it on my own, without a doubt.
I am so grateful for these little men and I pray that I am able to do them justice
as I help mold them into big people.

The truth is, it's hard.
The nitty gritty, day to day, teaching, forming, disciplining,
loving, encouraging, understanding, denying of self for the greater good
is hard.
Exhaustingly so.
The good (fantastic, wonderful, perfect) news is, it isn't up to me (and Nick) alone.

If anything, this has been the thing in my life in which my weakness is so clearly revealed.
I'm grateful for it - to see how much I really need Him.
I can think of no greater comfort than the power of Christ resting upon me.

I once heard a sermon about being sanctified - made holy - through motherhood.
That it is a slow refining of character that creates within us a deeper intimacy with God.
At the time, my oldest was an infant and the words of that message were so lovely
and conjured up romantic images of having fun and snuggling 
and reveling in the perfection of my baby.
The reality of being refined?
It requires a painful fire of purification.
And yet it's beautiful, hopeful, and full of grace.

There is hope in hard moments,
there is grace for me, and grace for the boys,
and there is true beauty in growing in who I am as a mom,
in learning just how dependent I am on Him,
and in knowing that it is His Love that not only transforms my heart,
but can overflow into the hearts of my children as I lean into Him.

That's my prayer. That I can rest in His power and strength.
It is more than sufficient.


  1. Thanks Carina! I needed this
    - Julie Q

  2. You are a great mom and I know God is going to give you the grace you need to get through this transition. I spent the weekend with my niece and nephews (4, 2, and 3 months) and I honestly cannot imagine how mom's survive with more than 1 kid! I am exhausted and all I really had to do was entertain them! Sending you lots of love, respect, admiration and prayers today!! xoxo

  3. My son just started Kindergarten this year too and he does the same thing as your son, he smiles and laughs as I am disciplining him! It drives me crazy. I just hope this "phase" ends soon so I don't actually go crazy.

  4. I really needed to hear this. To know that someone else experiences the same things that I do. Thank you for posting and sharing your encouragement in these moments!

  5. I said "uh, huh" right along with your every word. Thank you for sharing & being such an encouragement!

  6. Love this post and your honesty! You make me look forward to being a mom, not because of a perfect family but because Christ shines through.

  7. um YES. me too. Lord, help us :)

  8. friend! i hear you. you have the right perspective though. we can be sanctified through motherhood. and we are certainly entitled to grumpy moments!! as long as we repent when needed. keep on truckin'! it's just a phase and soon you'll be looking back on this transition period fondly (and by fondly i mean grateful that it's over!!) xoxo

  9. love you mama. your words were needed ones for me tonight!

  10. Keep loving on those boys like you do and when you fail just keep receiving that wonderful grace upon grace from the Lord and know that His mercies are new EVERY day! Woo Hoo! Lord knows that if my girls grew up without being too damaged from my many outburst and meltdowns through the years, He will do the same for your boys too! So thankful for grace..... AND God's conviction to help us see our faults to want to do better as mommas.
    love you

  11. YES, needed these words this week my friend. love you.

  12. I so needed this today. I love how honest you are. It helps me, to know that I'm not the only mama out there that has hard days. I'll be praying for you!

  13. You're doing a great job!! Sometimes I am "on guard" outside my daughter's bedroom at night for over and hour... So I decided to make that my reading time. As for the discipline, don't look at me. I have no advice for that! I think all moms are just as frustrated by discipline... Or they have angelic, perfectly behaved children. One of the two.

  14. Found you through the wiegands link up. Love your honesty and can relate to a lot of this. I have 3 girls, and my oldest just started kindergarten. The back talking she's been doing since she started...Lord help me.

  15. This was an awesome reminder. Thank you Carina for your honesty and inspiration. I really don't know how parents that don't have faith or pray do it. I would be a nervous wreck or at least an alcoholic for sure. So thankful for God's wisdom in leading and guiding these precious people. You made me laugh about what happens when "leaving your post". Ha so funny and true!

  16. oh, sister, I hear ya. i'm like a single mother 4 days of the week while
    husband works and all this.. kids, school, homework, schedules, dinner (the daily chores)
    plus the caring of their little hearts is HARD work. i want to be a good example to them..
    slow to anger and just and patient .. but boy, sometimes (most of the time) i don't do a good job.
    ah but sweet grace is there for us. given to us by a merciful Savior. it's there for you and all
    us weary mothers.
    you are doing a wonderful job. and if you know where i can find that sermon online please let me know.
    it sounds as if it's something i need to hear right about now :I