These Children Were Given To Me

“God gave those little children to you, Mama—to you. No one else can mother them like you can. You may have your work cut out for you, but you’re the one cut out to accomplish it.” - Erin Odom

Man do I need this reminder sometimes. Those hard days when it feels like I’ve done almost nothing right, like I’ve spent more time frustrated at my children than enjoying them, when I’ve overreacted again and again, when it seems that we’re getting nowhere with behavior issues, when I’ve cleaned up far more messes than should be allowed in a 24 hour period, when I’m PMSing big time (dang hormones), when the cacophony of noise in the house is about to make my head explode, when I’ve long since left the last of my day’s patience in the dust, when the what-if’s surrounding those precious little people hover in my mind…

God gave these little children to me. No one else can mother them like I can.

I remember the birth moment. All three of them. A slippery, warm, messy, roly-poly little baby released from my body and laid on my chest…never-before-heard cries piercing the air, tiny arms fumbling for solidity, eyes squinting in the light. I reach for my child, gently securing their little body against mine, speaking tenderly, and the cries stop. The little form relaxes. The eyes open carefully. A baby recognizes its mother, my baby recognizes me, and my heart rises in wonder. This child was given to me.

Not every day is as momentous as the birth day. Wonder in the awe sense fades quickly into wondering how the heck I actually do this motherhood thing. Exhaustion, diapers, sibling fights, whining, potty training, keeping everyone alive, fed, and for the most part happy, building character, teaching life lessons, trying to water and nourish and grow these tiny little sapling people into big, strong, virtuous trees of adults without losing my sanity somewhere along the way.

These children were given to me.

It’s a powerful reminder, isn’t it? In the midst of all the years of challenge and struggle and beauty, at every point along the way, I want to remember that. I need to remember that.

God gave these little children, these big children, these teenagers, these precious individuals to me. No one else can mother them like I can. I may have my work cut out for me, but I’m the one cut out to accomplish it.

God gave your little children, big children, teenagers, those precious individuals to you. No one else can parent them like you can. You may have your work cut out for you, but you're the one cut out to accomplish it.

May all of us accomplish our work with grace, humor, resourcefulness, and a heck of a lot of love.

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