When you've a child on your hip, another clamoring at your heals, and a third crying from their crib, there's not a lot of room. Then another little life grows inside, pressing into organs and oxygen, and now you've no room within or without. Add the noise of the world taking up space; emotions churning up the stillness; and the incessant flow of laundry, meals and dishes. Very little room remains for you.
Can we really know this seemingly elusive thing called Abundant Life, when we are barely to fit in life sustaining breaths? Can there really be room to Live Abundantly? In Christ we find both.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
Jesus came to give us LIFE - that's eternal life - found through faith in Christ. But He doesn't have only good for us waiting on the other side of these long mothering days. He has abundant life for us as well. Again found in Him.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
Absolutely, I would have despaired! And sometimes I did. I am just now on the other side of mothering my young. Just north of constant correction. Three slow steps past a prolonged case of postpartum depression, hormonal imbalance and adrenal fatigue. While I don't know where one life-sucking disease stopped and the next started, I know this: I didn't just survive... I came out through the other side understanding Abundant Life in the midst of a difficult life. And you can too.
In the tight, there's-no-room-to-breath reality of my long days, I cultivated space. Albeit very small and far between, I learned to create places of quiet to sense the blessedness of life again.
I will take time for a moment of pleasure and peace, because it centers me, and I have decided I will last longer in this very long distant race, if I build anchors of serendipity into my schedule. Sally Clarkson - itakejoy.com
Anchors of serendipity. The image of being rooted, even as your child roots for Life sustaining milk. Rooted, as we root and cheer our children on. Rooted as the storms of daily life blow ceaseless and strong. And here I am, rooting you on to discover where to fit, what to fit, and how to fit in… room to drop anchor again.
I suggest 3 things to cultivate Room for this Abundant Life
1) No space is too small.
Your little home, filled with little people, contains little moments. Small spaces crammed between sibling intervention, craft clean-up, and another trip to the grocery story. Find them, cultivate them, and drop anchor.
30 minutes when Elmo entertains your young, and older children read independently. Or the miracle moments when they all play happily together. Then help those small spaces fall into a daily rhythm. Let Elmo delight them each day at the same time. Give your big kids the gift of reading every day at the same time... then drop anchor.
2) Guard yourself against broken cisterns.
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13
Most mothers don't actively choose to forsake the Lord, but the second sin comes in stealthily. In our few moments each day, when we reach for sustenance, most of us turn in the blessed silence to Facebook or some other device... Broken cisterns that can't hold water.
Our need for connectedness is strong in this season of mothering young. Needing to feel our own sense of autonomy beyond their small needs is great. But quick-witted comments and "liking" what our friends have to say cannot carry us to the finish line; they are broken cisterns that can't hold water.
3) Hide truths in your heart.
Instead, as you learn to sanctify Room each day for anchors, let's turn first to God's Word. Because Big Truth can be found in small spaces. Big truth also fits in the weary confines of your little heart. Just a handful of verses from Philippians can strengthen our hearts to press on. A sprinkling of lines from Ephesians remind us how we ought to act during long mothering days.
When these three were itty-bitty, a friend sent me Steven Green's Hide 'em in your Heart CDs. Intended for little ones, these scripture songs with cheerful preschool voices became blessed anchors on days I couldn't fit in red-letter truth.
Now that my children are growing into hip young men (6, 8, 10) we listen to the pulsing rhythms of Jumpstart 3. Pure scripture, these songs rival current pop hits today. My boys love Jumspstart 3 so much in fact, I had to put a direct link on the sidebar, so you can purchase your own CDs!
Here's the point... There is room.
There is room in the tight spaces of mothering little ones, to grasp onto Life; Life Abundantly, rooted in truth, anchored to the blessedness of the season you're in. You will find the room, not just to survive, but to truly Live! But it doesn't just happen. You have to cultivate it as you would a garden.
There is room in the tight spaces of mothering little ones, to grasp onto Life; Living Abundantly, rooted in truth, anchored to the blessedness of the season you're in. You will find the room, not just to survive, but to Live