There in that sterile hospital room, amidst quick flashes of lightning from a nearby window, I lay snuggling my sweet baby girl. My daughter, MaryGrace, has epilepsy; so, she was undergoing a sleep study to be sure she was not having seizures in her sleep, which could result in intellectual damage (“intellectual damage”… 2 words no mother wants to see strung together in regard to their child.)
It had been a very long day and we were both exhausted. Sweet MG had 27 wires glued to her head, tethering her to the wall. Did I mention that she is two? “Exhausted” doesn’t begin to properly express the level of fatigue.
Queen Elsa was in the background letting it go for the umpteenth time that day and my thoughts drifted off. Naturally, they drifted to the faces of my other 3 kids. In a way I was simply taking roll call as I do all day, every day. But this time I realized all 3 of my boys were with with different people in different places. Essentially, they’d been farmed out so I could be with MaryGrace and my husband could bring me dinner on his way home from work.
An overwhelming sense of gratitude enveloped me. I pictured each boy and the neighborhood family they were with. I pictured our babysitter who had cared for them earlier that day. I pictured my mother-in-law, who bought a last-minute plane ticket to get home to help after her previous flight had been cancelled.
The boys were being loved like crazy. Actually, we were all being loved like crazy.
As I lay there, basking in deep appreciation for all the people God has put in my life, something shifted. My stomach dropped and all the thankfulness evaporated. Instead of picturing each sweet face, I started picturing their grimy, overgrown, dragon talon fingernails. Trimming the boys’ nails was on my “to do” list before I left, but it just didn’t happen. My mind was now flooded with thoughts of failure and inadequacy. Obviously, poor hygiene was a reflection of my inadequate mothering, right? What would my neighbors think?
My peaceful moment of gratitude was ravaged and that’s exactly what the enemy does. We are warned that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)
Mamas, unfortunately, this happens to us all time…
On a play date when those feelings of insecurity sneak in. Walking through the neighborhood and coveting a big, beautiful home. Looking at ourselves in the mirror and feeling disgusted with the remnants of the baby factory.
I know I’m not the only one to experience this sort of attack, so I came up with a few things we can do to be ready to fend off the attacks effectively:
- Memorize scripture. I was tired to the point of delirium, so the only things that came to the surface were those deeply ingrained in my memory bank.
- Just say Jesus. I know this sounds too simplistic, but Jesus is cool like that, simple. We are told that if we simply say his name, the enemy has to leave. Boom.
- Pray. It doesn’t have to be some formal thing with “thees” and “thous.” It’s just a conversation between you and Jesus. It’s comfortable. It’s casual. It’s intimate.
- Be confident that God is on your side. Jesus came to save us from our sins and destroy the works of Satan. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
I want us to be a generation of moms equipped to tell the enemy to get out of our way when he tries to attack. I want us to stop him from stealing our joy, peace, and gratitude.
Let’s be ready.
Let’s be prepared.
We must do this… not only for ourselves, but also for our children.
Until next month,
The World’s Okayest Mom