The source of your stress is also the source of your rest.

I’m doing it again. Spiraling out of control.  And to be honest, a little part of me is giving up inside. It’s just. All the bickering. And the fighting. The whining and complaining. I’m sorry, did I lead you to believe I was gracefully plodding along, schooling my little ones with ease? Stand corrected mom friend. I’m losing it. Daily.

I don’t mean to be over dramatic and I certainly don’t want to live in a “woe is me” state. When I think about what my ideal life is, I’m living it. I get to wear pajamas all day if I want to. I get to create lessons tailor made for my kids’ learning styles. My husband owns his own company and we can take spontaneous vacations if we want to. I have a garden and chickens. I get to be nerdy and build a website, make printables, and explore a newfound creativity.

So why doesn’t it feel as idyllic as it sounds?

All day long I’m outnumbered by miniature versions of a childish me. All my immature qualities reign free in the lives of my 3 small prototypes. Its not their fault. I’m supposed to model calm and being in control of my emotions. And dear Lord I’m supposed to show them how to turn to Jesus.

My eyes are stinging with tears right now. I have One Big Job that’s more important than anything else and I’m failing at it. I have all this precious valuable time to disciple them and I’m squandering it – all because I can’t get my heart right. I’m out of control and my sweet girls are suffering for it.

It’s not always like this. I have sweet glorious moments when I’m floating in Grace, caught up in a holy perspective of the deep value of my role in these girls’ lives. Moments when I am gentle and kind towards them, overflowing with patience. But these times are oh so fleeting. They are present long enough only to burn the memory in my mind of a better version of myself to long for and aspire to. Because, you see, the stress eventually breaks me.

I’ve been in stressful jobs before, had stressful deadlines and been in stressful situations. But this is so much different. It’s like that which I love the most is the greatest source of my stress. And that sits so uncomfortably with me.

Sometimes the stress gets so great that I lose it and become the Monster Mom I swore I’d never be. And then – to be uncomfortably vulnerable here – I hate myself for it.

But sometimes I break completely. I unravel to the point I feel undone. I give up all the way. I give up on our schoolwork. I give up on the housework. I sit on the floor and cry. And then my beautiful sweet girls come and hug me. Sometimes they pray for me. And in that spontaneous snuggle time, an amazing discovery comes.

How is it that God created such a wonderful thing? The hugs, the tickles, the giggles, it’s like they release a flood of endorphins in me and I can literally feel the stress melt away. I smell their hair, I kiss their necks. I close my eyes and feel their cheeks against mine. I embrace my beautiful children and I solemnly vow that the next time things get so bad, I’ll remember this dramatic revelation.

The source of my stress is also the source of my rest.

Why is homeschooling with toddlers so hard

Oh friend, on the really hard days, let’s vow to remember the remarkable design that God built into the mom-child relationship. It’s almost as if our Creator knew we’d need help on the Darkest of Days. And most ironically, His perfect rest is hiding where we may least expect it:

Inside the tiny arms of the most forgiving, welcoming, innocent, and loving hug you’ll ever know. And that is God’s perfect design.