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?