Her hands wrap around my calves as she pushes her head past my knees, peeking out in play as I pour my morning coffee.
It’s 5:30am and she surrounds me with obligations I feel I can’t uphold.
The weight of motherhood is in my mouth, my eyes, my shoulders.
How can I drink my coffee AND play with you AND feed your two sisters? I think to myself as I scoop her up and place her on a chair next to me. I’m just.so.tired.
My lips tingle from the heat of caffeine and I think, But that’s what motherhood is, right? It’s a slow caffeine-drip straining through a porous IV. I’m never fully recharged or ready for the demands of the day, because my demands never go away…
but that’s why I come to you.
Can you fill up my cup?
Can you give me mercy and grace when I don’t deserve it? When I’d rather roll back inside my sheets than face the children you’ve given me? Absolutely.
What about kindness. Can you extend me kindness even when I’ve turned my back on you with impatience or indifference? Of course I can.
And why would you do that? I don’t deserve it. I’m not always a good child to you let alone a good mother. Because I love you and you are mine.
Because I love you and you are mine.
I let the weight of that statement sink down into my belly, past my hunger and annoyance and into the emptiness of my morning. I so desperately need him, and that’s exactly where he is…
at the end of my Self.
HIS love will fuel me, I think. Not the coffee I’m drinking or the eggs I’m about to make.
For a moment I feel ignorant for having known this all along but allowing it to become secondary.
That’s ok, I feel him say. Today is a new day and today you get it.
Tears evict from my eyes and they hug my cheeks, welcoming this spiritual conversation.
I place my steady hand on my child’s head and smooth her hair back lovingly. She’s playing with a toy quietly so I look up at the sun and notice that it’s rising. The splashes of grapefruit and lavender wrap me up like a blanket. Thank you, I think, blinking back tears.
“Mama?” my daughter finally asks.
“Yes baby.” My eyes are still locked on the sunrise.
She signs the word “eat”, hand-to-mouth, and then stands up on her chair.
In that moment my heart bursts forth with so much love for her it’s indescribable! Just like my love is for you, I feel him say again. You didn’t do anything to earn it … my love was always there.
And that’s when I realize: I love my children BECAUSE they’re mine, NOT because they love me back.
So I smile.
Because that’s how he loves me too…
I get up from the table with a newfound sense of victory over the duties that lay before me. I now know I can carry them out with intentionality and love
because HIS love is enough.
And true love is like that, ya know. It transcends all things.