The Rocky Ground of Motherhood

By Sarah Barber

I was undone, overwhelmed and quite frankly exhausted.

My son (our second) was just about a year old when he started teething. (Late, I know.) And so of course he didn’t just get one tooth. He got four in the same week. Two top, two bottom.

For those of us who have been or currently are mothers of young children, you know how this ends. Sleepless nights, terrible naps and overall one incredibly cranky, touchy child for what feels like eternity.

High-stress situations are every day affairs for us young moms.

And teachers.

And grad students.

And lawyers.

And business folks.

And so on...

But have you ever considered your high-stress circumstance or current life condition as a gift? Maybe the best gift?

In today’s reading author Emilie Griffin says,

 “The best training ground for the spiritual life is not on smooth but rocky ground. When we want to grow in virtue, we do better in tough situations”

She goes on to say...

“High-stress situations of all kinds...these are schools of contemplation and virtue....When in our imagination we briefly step outside of the situation, we see the circumstances as crucibles for prayer. When we stop to reflect on the everyday challenges, we grasp what the real issues are.”

I must admit I’ve never once considered the everyday stress and chaos of raising young children as a place where my spiritual life could grow. (Rather, quite the opposite.) How could raising two young children and a soon-to-be-newborn be a breeding ground for contemplation, virtue, and prayer? I often feel like I’m one small step away from checking myself into the loony bin. 

But, what if?

What if the current circumstance you find yourself in is exactly where God can have the greatest impact on your heart?

What if my growth and your growth is best developed, strengthened and equipped during these seasons of everyday challenges?

How would that change the way you respond?

Even as my two-year-old throws Legos at my face, I have a fresh perspective to embrace today.

I challenge you to embrace yours.