In The Trenches

Today was a day spent in the trenches. It is weird that I am not in the trenches every day anymore. Trenches = many needy tiny people, or even one needy tiny person needing you all day long. While I didn’t have a baby in the house today, I did have a sick boy. And apparently, that made me very wanted by every tiny person in the house.

I can’t believe how much life has changed in the past 6 years. Just a few days ago I dropped some clothes off at a friends’ house for her little girl who is 20-ish months. They also have a 3 month old baby. (Hi, Annie!) Her 20 month old was teething and had a fever. She did not want to lose sight of her Daddy who went up stairs to rock baby brother while I was dropping clothes off & chatting with my friend. Baby girl wanted to be held all the time. She was just pitiful and crying and not feeling good and nothing was making her feel better. Annie and I had a good talk about how much life changes when you add in children.  What a refining process motherhood is.  And how sometimes you just want your kitchen table to be clean or crumbs not to stick to your feet when you walk through the kitchen. I heard baby boy crying from upstairs and let them get back to being a family.


A slide was in our living room. Enough said.

But honestly, on days like that, I remember when we had visitors I just wanted the visitor to stay. I wanted to be hospitable, and chat, but really, my littles needed me and all of me. And that is when it is sometimes hard. Why?  Because you are being called to sacrifice your wants for theirs. And really there is nothing easy about sacrifice, but love makes it doable and crazy wonderful, though.

So, I walked away from that house and realized how quickly those days pass. And I am not so far removed from them to tell you to hang onto them, to cherish them, love them. I know that you are. I know that you want to bottle up the scent of his freshly washed feather hair. Or remember the exact weight she is when she lays on your heart. Or the first time you heard them laugh- oh to record that!! Whatever it is, I know you are cherishing it.


This feels like eons ago. It was only 4 1/2 years.

Here is what I want to tell you. You can do it. You can make it through today. Today for me was insane. At one point, I had all 5 children crying with the sick one screaming-crying because his hives were out of control. And somehow, I had the strength to not cry with them, but to see what to do. Benadryl for sick child topped off with snuggles in mama’s & daddy’s bed… I’ll be back shortly. Other children, come with me. I sat them on the floor and hugged each of them- told them mama needed to help brother, and they could help me by watching a movie. I promised a snack in 10 minutes, and went back to the sick one. Got snack. Moment over.

Had it even been a year ago, I would have been crying my eyes out with them. Feeling helpless, like a failure, like I wasn’t enough, and someone could do this job waaay better than me. Why was everyone cryyyyyiiinnnngg?!?!  And who can make them stop?!?!?

Here is what I have realized over the past few years.  While I am 32 years old, I am only a 6 year old mom. Meaning, of course I am not 6 years old, but my eldest is a 6 year old. I’ve only been at this 6 years. I’m not a pro, but I’m also not an infant mom or a toddler mom any more. I don’t feel overwhelmed quite as quickly because I’ve been down this road of everyone crying a time or two. I’ve grown physically.


My sweet 6 year old

I’ve also grown spiritually. Getting up at 5 am to spend time with Jesus was only for the holier-than-thou crowd – so I used to think. I would admire how anyone could get up at that time and actually stay awake praying! I tried it a time or two, and would fall asleep with my Bible and wake up around 7. hah!

But, now, I see it as survival. It’s not really even a sacrifice, but a joy.  Okay, maybe *right when the alarm clock goes off, it’s a sacrifice, but that moment quickly passes, and what I get in return sooo surpasses that early hour.

If I’m going to get filled up before my early bird, Crews, wakes up – I HAVE to be out of the bed by 5:15.  I want to awaken to have some *quality* silence with Jesus in the morning.  I’m up with coffee, Bible, journal, Jesus, & quiet. And I am such a better mom for it.  The intentional alone time with Jesus and silence takes care of my heart and soul. {I’ve tried this with the kids awake and watching a show – it is not the same.  :-)}

I don’t do this every day of the week, but on the days that I know Chris is at work and I’m running the ship – I’m up early. I’ve got to be in touch with the One who leads me so I can lead my little shipmates. (I also do not stay up late on the nights before I know I will be up early. I cannot function on little sleep!)  On the days Chris is home, I still try to get in some time with Jesus first thing in the morning.  I just know I have some one else home to watch the kids, so I don’t have to try and get up before they do.

These two different areas of growth- physically and spirituall- have made a world of difference. Not to mention my children have physically grown, so the neediness is not so strong on a daily basis. There are many small independence victories. (Like when we went to Wendy’s the other day and Harper went and got her own ketchup from the ketchup pumper. And then, she got all her brothers’ and her sister their own ketchups…and their refills.. Can I get an amen?!?!)

Young mama, do what you can. I became consistent at getting up early to study God’s word once I was sleeping more at  night.  I still had a little quiet time at nap time reading God’s word.  I would make that my priority before doing anything else at nap time – even if it was a prayer and a little reading.  I held onto the verse: He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  Isaiah 40:11  I knew if I was giving even a little bit of my time to Jesus, He would multiply it and lead me to exactly what I would need for that day.  Oh and He always, always did.


Spend time with Jesus. He is your source of joy. When you feel like you are trying to give from an empty cup, know that (if you are a Christ follower), you belong to one whose well NEVER runs dry. He wants to show you His glory, and it is usually in a very unexpected way. Be in touch with Him so that you won’t miss that!

Also, pat yourself on the back for what you have done! So many time our unfinished to do lists shout way louder than our already done list!! Celebrate and realize what you have done! One day I made a list of all I did instead of all I needed to do. After I finished one item, I wrote it down. It really changed my perspective on all I did in a day.

This phase is short. Independence will come. It just happens slowly. But, while you are in the trenches. Know you aren’t alone. And you will soon be out of them.

All my love and a hug and a big high five!!!

2 thoughts on “In The Trenches

  1. You are such an encouragement! Thanks for being real and for the practical advice you give others. You are such a wonderful moma to those kiddos! They are so lucky to have you.

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