Guest Blog: Sarah the Supermom

A little less than a year ago I learned that a friend of my brother and sister-in-law’s, lives quite close to us. I had seen photos of them together out in California so I was surprised and excited to see she was on this side of the country, and even in the same state! Through some stalking browsing on Facebook, I learned that she not only had a beautiful little girl, but twins on the way! So, being the creeper that I am I reached out to her, explained the connection, and made it known that I had every intention of continuing to stalk her adorable family, and hoped that we could some day have an official meeting. That was some months ago and now that the twins are here I decided this mama’s baby-wrangling expertise would be perfect for the blog. I asked her to write about what it’s like being a mother of three {under the age of 2} and she was awesome enough to oblige with this wonderful glimpse into her heart.
She’s a God-fearing mama, who credits everything to the love and sacrifice of Christ, with a cool, calm, and collected head on her shoulders, taking things one day at a time. If you are not a religious person, or a mother for that matter, I encourage you to read anyway. I think her sense of serenity for all that life throws at us could be an inspiration to just about anyone.
Plus her name is also Sarah {I don’t discriminate against ‘h-ers’} so she’s double-y awesome. Enjoy!

Elmers

Photo from The Black Sheep Studio

Everyone is asleep!  And by everyone, I mean my 16 month old daughter Vivien, and my 4 month old twins: Elijah and Evelyn.  They are all listening to lullabies and enjoying their mid afternoon naps.

On a perfect day, simultaneous sleeping can happen up to three times.  And it does happen some days.  These are the moments when my mind races through the zillion things that I have dreamt of achieving hoping to settle on one that I may accomplish before someone wakes up.  I am being taught to get in my Bible.  It’s hard though. Sometimes I can only read a verse or two before my mind is swept away into the thoughts of “Is that a baby?  Wait, when was the last time the twins ate?  When was the last time I changed Elijah/Evelyn/Vivien’s diaper?  I should probably run downstairs and unload the dishes and throw in that second load of laundry for today. Speaking of which, have a washed the diapers today? Oh!  I forgot my tea in the microwave! What in THE WORLD is on my shirt?!  Is that dried pesto, or dried poop?!”

Quieting my mind!  What an exercise!

I bet you think that I am going to lament having no time to myself?  That all good wives and mothers must take tons of time for themselves?  Or maybe that I will bemoan the busyness that is my life? No way. In fact, I love stewarding the blessings that The Lord has given us…in a healthy way.

Let me explain “healthy”.  I love my life.  I believe it is because Jesus gave me life about 8 years ago.  As in, set me free from sin and shame.  The way He protected me, stood by me, was so miraculous that I almost have no choice but to worship His Holy Name.  I believe His plan for me involves ownership of me, so I am set free from the bondage of control.  That nasty Mommy idol.  Please learn this.  Before you may attempt any practical incorporation in your life, you must grasp this truth.  If you don’t, you will set yourself up for all sorts of selfish idolatry…

Now, if you think three kids under two is crazy, try this on for size:  I have been married for 2 years and 4 months to the love of my life, Jonathan.  Ours was a whirlwind courtship.  Jonathan and I met and were married in about 4 1/2 months.  Because we were so aware that The Lord had made us for each other, the thoughts of starting a family came easy.  We thought we might perhaps spend some time alone that first year, but The Lord had other plans for us (and that’s another post entirely).  We conceived our daughter the third month we were married.  The twins came four months after her birth.  They are exactly one year and one day apart.  WOW!   And we’ll have as many as The Lord gives us.  Yep.  The Lord is still guiding us and growing us in that area- Hallelujah!

Not only did we have kids quickly, my husband changed careers, we bought our first house (and are fixing it up), and we experienced a few deaths in the family.  It has been a full two plus years, but we believe that things that are known to be the sources of much stress have brought us together in a deeper way that we might have ever been able to achieve had it been different.

In a word: Expectations.
We had to define ours.  Quickly.  And we continue to redefine as we grow.
If I am unhappy in my circumstance, is it because my expectations are wrong?  Probably.  At the very least, they could be the right expectations said to your husband (friend, etc.) poorly.

Are you being incredibly selfish with what God has so freely given you.  I remind myself: I am not my own.  I was bought with a price- Jesus’s blood- and in accepting that, I live for Him.  Am I content in that?  (Hint:  I believe that is a life long discipline…)

Okay, great.  Thanks.  What does that mean practically?

Well, before I begin telling you what it looks like for ME, for US at the Elmer house, please let me encourage you to seek The Lord in prayer for YOUR home.  What does He have for you?

In my world, I find that saying “No” to things is my number one weapon to protecting my sanity and preserving my family integrity.  It gets crazy around here, people.  CRAAAAZY.  I have three under two years of age.  My days ZIP by. Most days I congratulate myself if the twins have had their proper intake of milk (yes, I am nursing twins), Vivien has eaten, been bathed, not stabbed out any of the babies eyes, at least read one book, taken a few naps, and I have kept up my food/water intake.  Woo hoo!  Anything after that is a bonus!  And I love getting through other things by structuring my time well.

The Internet.  That time sucker!  Surfing the internet can really make you feel productive, yet at the same time produce a schizophrenia most unsettling…”Why am I on here, again? Ohhhh, yes.  I wanted to look up which radio station in Atlanta plays Focus on the Family programs.  How did I get to pictures of AJ McCarron’s tattoo?!”  Gosh, with just a few clicks you can immerse yourselves in so many projects for Christ that all have good intentions, but are not FOR YOU.  I could spend a week reading blog after blog after blog from this Christian woman, or that one encouraging me in one way or the other.  Why not pare that down and spend my time with The Lord instead.  Yes?  Do you need encouragement?  Invite a friend over that encourages you and that will pray with you.

How about those friendships? I’ll put it out there:  you can only have a few friendships in your life that are close.  The friend or friends that know your heart, your daily routines, the work that Christ is doing in you and your family.  Please choose these wisely.  You may have many people who you know, and maybe people who you want to get to know better, but a true friendship requires investment.  After your spouse, who should be your very best friend, who are you investing in?  And who are you allowing to invest in you?

What do my children see when they look at their mommy?  Am I buried in my iPhone?  Am I unavailable?  Am I TOO available?  Am I constantly referring to the latest parenting trends, reading blogs and parenting books?  Some foundational help is good as first time parents, but these things need balance.

You must set up a guard in your life, creating balance.  Lean on that still, small voice.  If you can’t see where you need help, ask someone you trust to help you.

And finally, can you hear The Lord calling you?  I don’t know about you, but with three small children, a large home, and the pressures that can come along with it, we have officially divorced a lot of noise around here.  Right now, it is so quiet in my home that I can hear the dryer turning, the rain outside my window falling, and most importantly: my thoughts.

A handful of years ago, I read a book called “Ministry in the Image of God”.  Most of it has left me now, but I will never forget the heart of Jesus he conveyed about the Son of God’s mission here.  He emphasized His obedience to God in His private fellowship.  In this, Jesus knew what God was asking Him to do everyday, all of the time.

Am I living in such a way that I can hear God’s plan for me everyday?  Have I carved out time for Him in order to get my instructions for the day? for the week?  Have I asked Him to lead me?

Last spring I was beginning to feel the pressures that Mommies can place on other Mommies.  It is almost inevitable, whether it is self-created or from an outside source.  My daughter was 11 months and she still wasn’t crawling (even typing that sentence snaps me into reality— what a dumb thing to dwell on!)  I had to start guarding my thoughts.  The worldly answers started pouring in:  “Perhaps she has a developmental delay and needs therapy?  Are you not working with her enough?  Could she have a birth defect?”  And it goes on…I won’t belabor the negatives, but encourage you.  I started desperately asking The Lord to guard those thoughts.  Those negative, intellectually idolatrous thoughts.  And in no time, the Holy Spirit spoke to my thirsty Mom’s heart:  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27 (I went to look up the reference then and there!)  How thankful I was that I had studied that verse many, many years ago and The Lord brought it to memory!

“…not as THE WORLD gives…” Is the world your source of peace?  I believe it can be, very quickly.  It creeps in ever so slowly.  Fight to have Him be your peace.  He will show you, as He is your Father that loves you, just as He is showing me.

I love to remind myself that The Lord will allow me to deepen my relationship with Him as much as I am willing.  He pursues me.  Am I giving Him everything in my prayers and in my heart everyday?

Someone is crying…yes, I think that all day long everyday.  *Sigh* I’m so glad we could spend this short time together, it’s back to the wonderful and challenging world of mothering now.  How thankful I feel that God has seen it fit to bless me in this.  Have a sweet day in Jesus!!!

A HUGE thank you to Sarah for sharing this little glimpse into her life and heart as she follows her faith through the wonderful adventure of motherhood. If you know someone {even if it’s yourself} who would like to share their parenting endeavors, please let me know! I love reading about other mommy adventures!

Until next time…

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