So I just finished watching The Office for the zillionth time. In the last episode Andy Bernard poignantly tells the camera, “I wish there was a way to know when you’re in the good ole days before you’ve actually left them.” I have literally seen this episode 1.2 million times and yet I still found myself crying in my bed while my husband cautiously backed out of our room.
You see, yesterday was Easter and the end of my spring break. I was emotional as my responsibilities loomed again in the day ahead, my kids were over-sugared and over indulged, and I found myself wishing the day to be over. Simple as that. I’m sure you’ve been there…the days you’re at work longing to be home with your kids, doubting who you are as mom because you aren’t there enough, feeling like you are missing all their small moments and changes. But then you’re with them and the screaming (ahem, 2 year old I’m talking to you) and fighting starts and you’re wondering where the nearest exit is. I have found motherhood to be a season of extremes. In one real moment I see my daughters and wonder how on earth I could love anything as much as them. In that moment they are an absolute sign from God that He sees me and has blessed me. In the next moment, I’m mourning all the things I’ve given up to be with them more, all the time I’m not doing more for myself, wondering when and how I started looking like an actual mom as I get another kid another snack. In that moment I question where God is and if He is as frightened by the screeching as I am.
I blotted the existing tears from my eyes and the others that followed and found myself crying out to God to help me be present in the moments that make up my life as it is right now. Because doesn’t everyone pray Office quotes? The nature of this season of life is that we are busy. Littles and jobs require attention and there is only so much to go around in a 24 hour period. My tendency is to fully embrace the highs and allow myself to be consumed in the bad.
Sitting in bed, my mind remembered a devotion about Simeon I read weeks ago. If you don’t remember him it’s because he is a little blurb right after the Christmas story in Luke 2. Basically we know “he was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel.”(Luke 2:25-26) That’s his story…he was waiting on the Messiah. Every day he went to the Temple fully expecting the Savior of the world to reveal himself simply because that’s what God had promised him. He wasn’t angry at God for making him wait while he could have been doing other things, or bitter the Lord had not revealed his son in a more timely fashion, or even upset about what his role was. He so clearly knew God. He knew seeing the Savior, seeing God’s plan for humanity, was worth the wait…that it was worth more than anything else was. Instead of begrudgingly remembering the previous day where he didn’t get what he wanted, Simeon excitedly greeted each new day as a chance to see God fulfill His promises.
Man, I want to be like Simeon. I want to trust God so implicitly that I readily remember that this season of motherhood is a chance to see God fulfill His promises in my life. I want to wake up waiting to see God work in the course of my highs and lows. As I re-read Priscilla Shirer’s words in Awaken the following question burned in my heart, “Is your heart fixed today to recognize the presence of God?” (pg. 20)
More often than naught my heart is fixed on my own feelings. I am quick to think about what makes me happy, especially when my immediate circumstances do not. But what I want to do is grow. I want to have the spiritual eyes to see God work in my every day. I want to see His glory and discipline when I don’t get what I want. I want to cry out for help when I need Him rather than allow myself to plummet into the lows. I want to become more spiritually astute, looking through the mundane to the work of His hands. But mostly I want to trust that God is here and is faithful to fulfill His promises.
And so, in this early morning light, I’m praying that my heart be more like Simeon’s; trusting that the highs and lows of motherhood are evidence of God fulfilling His plan in my life; trusting that the Savior will show up right in the middle of my day and to-dos. Because at the end of the day, the only good ole’ days are the ones where I am fully present and determined to embrace whatever God has before me…even potty training a molar recipient.