"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Of being strong enough.

I am sleeping upstairs on the couch tonight so that I can hear my little ones better, because last night was rough. Lots of up and down trips to cuddle sad little girls with tummy aches, to help them back to bed after they threw up, or to clean up for them when they didn't make it out of bed in time in the first place. So tonight I will not even start the night downstairs in my own bed, I just tuck my pregnant self under a blanket on the couch and remind myself of all the nights that my mother did the same for me. 

And it is another restless night. And I wish my husband was home this week, instead of on the opposite side of the country. If he were here, even if he slept through all the girls' troubles, he would pull me close every time I lay back down, and I would feel stronger in his arms. But he isn't here, and I don't feel strong, and when the cries wake me up again at 4 am, there is a moment of despair, a moment of complete exhaustion.

Then the tiny one inside me moves, as restless as we all are tonight, and my soul remembers that I am a mother. That I don't have to be strong to be the mother my children need tonight, I just have to love them.

So I go to her, the hurting daughter whose cries have woken me again, and I love her. I hold her, and whisper to her, and she clings to me and whispers back to me. Broken whispers that tell of pain and trust and love, as her tears wet my shoulder and I stroke her hair.

Through the years I feel myself the child again, crying into my mother's shoulder in the night and knowing that as long as she was holding me, I would be okay. And I realize this -- that no matter how tired, how broken, how weak I feel, love makes me strong enough to be the mother my daughter needs right now.


  1. Love this, and love your heart. You are a GOOD mama to your girls, and when they grow up, they will be good mamas who love well too. Thinking of you today and praying for the Lord to continue to give you strength!

    Those days of pregnancy and sick little ones are so hard. When you feel like you can't do enough, you still ARE enough, because of God's enabling. "Greater love has no one than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends." May the God of peace be with you and strengthening you.

    I know that's a long comment, but this post just made my heart happy, because I know that the love you are showing in the laying down of your own rights and desires is a blessing both to the Lord and to this godly flock of beautiful girls who you are raising and training so well. It makes me excited to think of them taking care of their own little ones in another 25 years and remembering the way you loved them so well.

    1. Thank you for your words of love, Jamie! What a gracious God we serve, that He is not only able but willing to take the brokenness that we have to offer, and turn it into beauty and wholeness.

  2. Jen, you made me cry! Thank you for being so willing to share with us. I'm not a mother but I still needed this.

  3. Thank you Jen! I read this twice and both times I cried. I remember doing the same thing with Mummy when I was sick or had a bad dream and she would just hold me, and I knew I was safe and didn't need to leave, I could just stay there forever. I know that you do the same thing and God will help you when you just can't do it and aren't strong enough.