Dear Busy Mama--

8:46 AMHeather

Yikes.  I've left you all hanging for a month now!  I know, I know.  Your world has been crushed by my absence here.  Not to worry, bloggy friends.  I'm back.  

As for where I was, I fled the country for two weeks.  Indeed.  Headed north, as all Texans should do in the month of August.  And with any good vacation, it takes a bit of time back to get in the swing again.  But, at long last, here I am!

During my glorious trip to Canada, I got to bask in the glow of some wonderful family relationships that simply feed my soul.  I pray every one of you has a friend or family member like that--who simply engages completely, listens intently, appreciates you fully, fills up your love tank.  (More on this topic in a blog post to come.)  My Canadian cousins and aunt and uncle are just special this way.  And they are So. Much. Fun.  The last time we got to go with them to Moose Lake Gospel Camp for family camp was four years ago.  And 4 kids ago for them.  

Yes indeed.  Since 2009, one cousin and his wife have had two children, now ages 4 and 2.  The other cousin and her husband have had two children, ages 3 and 1.  Which equals tons of fun, hilarious, toddler moments that this mom of teenagers and tweeners completely enjoyed.  Okay, okay--yes, part of it was a silent gloating about how these days are behind me.  But, the other conflicted part of me felt nostalgic and sorta melancholy about their stage of mothering.  Because again--it's behind me.  

I came home wanting to encourage them and cheer for these young moms and write them a lovely letter.  But, alas--best laid plans.  SO, THIS is said letter.  And we'll let you read over our shoulders.  Just in case it encourages you.

Dear Busy Mama--
You are a marvel.  A wonder really.  With your Herculean strength, toting a baby on each hip.  That is a feat in and of itself.  But, no.  Your super powers go beyond.  Because your grace and patience and love shine through every mama moment of every day.  I know.  Because I saw it, from a front row seat.  You answer the toddler questions and whines and fusses and feuds with a smile and a joy, painting a picture to your little ones of the One who loves them unconditionally.  You endure the tense moments and tired moments, and you seem to laugh at the days to come.  Not just the future days--long from now--when this season is far behind you.  But the days immediately to come.  That will look so much like this one.  

I see you doing all that you do on very little sleep.  Because someone (or someones) didn't sleep well last night.  So neither did you.  But you soldier on.  You hold it together when said tired child can't.  And I remember that feeling--when I wanted to throw MYSELF on the floor and join in the tired fit.  Alas, someone has to be the grown up.  And so, you are.  The mama who wakes in the night, cuddles the child, holds them close, enduring the long night when sleep evades.  And then the very long day to come.  

But, you press on.  And I sat back, in awe.  I remember my own season of mothering toddlers, and I wish I had done it with the wisdom and grace that you do.  As you let your kids be kids, without fretting too much.  Getting dirty and trying new things, while you sit back and cheer them on.  It makes me want to stand and cheer BRAVO for not helicoptering or taking it all too seriously.  Way to go!  You're doing great!

I hold and cuddle your precious ones and see their sweet spirit and curiosity and confidence.  And I completely adore them.  They are so much fun to be with and they are so enjoyable.  Because their mom is.  They are running into every day as an adventure, ready to tackle what comes their way.  Because their mom does.  They are friendly and loving and kind.  Because their mom is.  They are trusting and seeking and learning and growing.  Because their mom is.  They know Jesus loves them and they even raised their sweet little hands in worship during the service, ready to meet their God there.  Because their mom does.  

Your kids are simply amazing.  Because their mom is.

And let me remind you for those long, weary days of mothering.  Let me remind you of this all important truth. I am not the only one who sees.  Not at all.

God is not unjust; he will not forget
your work and the love you have
shown him as you helped his people
and continue to help them.  We want 
each of you to show this same
diligence to the very end, in order
to make your hope sure.  We do
not want you to become lazy,
but to imitate those who through
faith and patience inherit what is promised.
Hebrews 6:10-12

God sees.  He sees every sippy cup filled.  Every diaper changed.  Every deep sigh of frustration before you speak calmly to your child.  He sees every tear wiped, every bandage applied to a boo boo, every hug and kiss you offer, every book read.  And reread.  And read again.  Every toy picked up for the millionth time.  Every time you rock them to sleep.  Every time you discipline in love.  Every night your tired head falls on the pillow.  He sees it all.

And He promises that He will NOT forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. These little people who belong to the God you are honoring every day of your mothering.  

So press on, sweet mama.  Keep at it!  Don't lose hope!  Keep the faith.  Riches and rewards and inheritance are yours--as His promises will be fulfilled.

And someday, you'll sit back and wax nostalgic about these very days you are working through right now.  You'll wonder where the chubby little toddler hands went when your strong teenager uses his big man hands to carry your heavy bags of groceries.  You'll wonder how time flew by as your little man you currently bend down to speak with is now looking at you eye-to-eye.  You'll wonder how that little girl who is now plodding around in her new princess high heels is suddenly wearing real heels that came from your closet.  You'll wonder how it is that your babies are no longer babies at all.

And you'll perhaps sit back with both a smile and a tear, and remember that no greater work exists than raising your beloved children.  It's ALL worth it. 

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