Friday, April 19, 2013

His Peace Amidst Motherhood Stress

On the morning of April 3rd, Jude, our 4th sweet little gift was born into this world. The delivery was intensely painful due to him being in a less than ideal position. I clearly remember shouting louder than I would have believed myself capable of in the presence of others, in Russian, “I can’t do this! I really can’t do this!” I tried to heed the seemingly un-natural directions coming at me in a foreign tongue, under bright sterile lights, after laboring all night with only a few hours of sleep, but I really believed I might not be able to do it. It was surreal, and though filled with joy from the moment I first held my baby boy, I felt totally depleted once the flurry of doctors and nurses settled down and I laid there in the quiet with this new little person.

The next several days in the hospital were this strange mix of feelings. There was so much utter joy as I got to know our sweet baby, but also much exhaustion that left me with little energy when he was practically starving and fussing constantly a full day before my milk came in.

Physically depleted and exhausted, I could tell that my emotions were soon going to let me down. God kindly and gently led me to His word, and in that moment (yes, He was faithful to use even a meager moment of quiet to speak to me), He reminded me not of a passage, or of a verse, but a single word that has essentially captured what I believe the Lord desires me to pursue in this new phase of mothering four little ones. 


I pulled out my Bible and read familiar passages about peace, and Jesus as our Prince of Peace, and Him being the God of peace, and Paul’s prayer for the believers to be filled with peace, the command to let the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts…. In so many circumstances throughout the Bible, the Lord commands us to seek peace, to be filled with peace, to find our peace in Him

Our sweet little Jude has been such a joy during these first two weeks, but he’s also been quite a fussy little guy who often needs constant snuggles and soothing during the day. So often I feel the stress rising up as I try to figure out how to soothe my new baby and meet the needs for love and affirmation in my older 3 during this transition, let alone to do things like making sure everyone is clothed and fed and has what they need for school, and generally keeping my home from imploding. God has gently reminded me to find my peace in Him, not my circumstances throughout these tiring days.  Whether it be through reading a quick passage of scripture, offering a simple prayer of repentance, or just praying, "God, I'm overwhelmed! Please help me find peace in you in this moment," He has been so faithful to combat my stress and fleshly reactions with His peace when I am faithful to come to Him, however humble my attempts may be. I so desire for His peace to rule in my heart as a mom... not my stress, or my exhaustion, or my emotions. I believe that Jesus desires that as well, and He graciously makes himself so accessible, requiring little more than our simple faith and dependence upon Him.

Here has been my favorite passage during these past 2 weeks that I wanted to share with those of you who might also be feeling a bit overwhelmed:
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:14-17

What helps you during seasons of feeling tired, stressed, overwhelmed in motherhood?  How has God led you to cling to him and find peace during these times? Are any of you feeling this way right now, and if so, can we pray for you?



  1. Ashley, you're such a beautiful mama to your littles! and again, congrats on that precious new life He's given you! my 8th was my hardest delivery and i remember looking up at my friend who was there with me with tears rolling down my face, saying i just couldn't do it this time... she asked if she could pray, she did and i remember saying, "is it possible i could already be ready to push?" (after laboring all night and most of the day and no progress). i was and m&m was there 20 minutes later... she'd also not lined up properly, so i was exhausted and oh so sore! i guess i say all of that to say - i sympathize.

    and God brought me to verses on peace during that very difficult transition to baby #8 (i was on one continent with 4 and hubby was on another one with the other4 ): "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

    many, many blessings...

  2. Oh Ashley, may the Lord bless you as you settle into your new, more expanded!, life. May he give you peace. Your post is a word of encouragement to me right now. I'm at another stage of mothering, with teenagers, and today we just had a teenage bomb explode! So this is a great reminder to let Christ's PEACE rule in my heart too as I try to carry on with normal activities.

  3. Oh, Ashley, CONGRATULATIONS on your new baby! You are such a beautiful mama... even minutes after giving birth and barely sleeping all night! :-)

  4. I can relate to so much of this, even the difficult delivery. When our daughter was born, we made it to the hospital at the last minute and found out that she was in a very difficult position (turned around and sideways). I remember saying "No puedo! No puedo!" (I can't, I can't) while trying to push as doctors, nurses and my husband were coaching me, in Spanish, of course. It was very overwhelming and the pain was almost completely consuming, but I am so thankful for God's strength and calm during that time!

    Focusing on the ways God has blessed us, answered prayers, and encouraged us through His Word help me during the difficult seasons. Dedicating time throughout the day, even it is even for a few moments at a time, to be quiet and still before Him, and to meditate on a specific verse, or to behold His glory through His creation as I look out the window, strengthen me.

  5. what a sweetheart! Praying for that Peace to continue and the adjustment to get a bit easier!