Divine Love Loans

Early this morning, all I wanted to do was cry. Morning sickness was knocking me flat – I’d already thrown up twice, and it wasn’t yet 9 AM. Henry and I had to be at preschool in an hour, Ivy was awake in her crib, calling over and over for me to get her up, and I hardly had the strength to pick myself up off the bathroom floor.

“Heaven help me,” I said, in utter exasperation. And then, it occurred to me… heaven help me.

I pulled myself to my knees and said a quick prayer, pleading with the Lord to give me the strength that I lacked.

And He did.

Sometimes, I forget to ask. Because I am strong and I am capable and I can do things for myself, thank you very much. But mothering is so hard, and I get so tired and sometimes I simply don’t have it in me to be what my children need…

We need not ever mother alone. When we are stressed, our nerves and patience wearing thin, God is there, ready and willing to fill in the gaps. He knows what our children need – what love and tenderness they deserve and he will help us when we feel we are falling short. He will loan us the love that is required. We need only ask.

Last year, my son Sam managed to collect a meager, but still cherished collection of Pokemon cards. Every day, he carried them around in his pants pocket, and every day I reminded him to take them out before he threw his pants into the laundry room to be washed. Most days, he remembered. But sometimes, he would forget and I would pull the cards out of his pocket before starting the washing machine, each time shaking my head. One of these days, I was going to miss them and his cards would be ruined. It was a disaster waiting to happen, and when it did, I was going to be ready with my “I told you so.”

Sure enough, on a fateful Tuesday afternoon, I missed the cards and mistakenly sent them through the wash. By the time his jeans came out of the dryer, his stack of Pokemon cards was a wilted pile of frayed edges and blurred pictures. I sighed. It was another two hours before Sam would be home from school, but the lecture started building in my mind right there on the spot. I knew he would blame me – would be upset that I had ruined his cards. And buddy, let me tell you, I was going to share a piece of my mind when he started pointing fingers at me. Because the cards belonged to him and he forgot to get them out of his pocket and it is not my responsibility and on, and on it went.

After school, I pulled Sam aside and handed him his cards, explaining what had happened. His face instantly fell. With an innocence I didn’t expect, he looked up at me, tears welling in his eyes and said, “Can you help me fix them?”

Heaven help me.

I swallowed my lecturing words and took Sam upstairs where we ironed and trimmed his cards, salvaging what we could. But it wasn’t me. I was the lecture, the I told you so and you should have known better. But God knew that Sam’s ruined cards were lesson enough and what he needed was an outpouring of love. And so He loaned me a little to get me through.

Mothering is hard, gritty, emotionally draining work. So much is expected of us and our reserves of energy and strength can be depleted so quickly. But heaven help us, we don’t have to manage alone. The raising of children is a holy work – a divinely appointed responsibility that is well worth the attention of our Father in Heaven. Ask. Ask with an open heart and let Him loan you the love that you need.

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16 thoughts on “Divine Love Loans

  1. M-Cat says:

    I look back over the past 24 years and can remember distinct times when I was NOT alone in parenting. When distinct thoughts and words and acts came not of my own volition but of a prompting greater than me.Recently I was exchanging texts with my oldest regarding some messages during General Conference (if you can imagine he's watching) and I sent something to him about his ex-wife's suicide that I am here to tell you, were NOT my words. It happens that they were exactly the perspective he needed and we both moved forward in a positive direction. I don't think even on the other side of day to day raising kids, that I could do it alone. Nay, I KNOW I couldn't do it.Great post

  2. Diplo_Daddy says:

    I can remember my mother enduring morning sickness, as a young child. It was awful to see her like that. It breaks my heart to hear you write of your morning sickness. I certainly hope you get better.

  3. Kazzy says:

    You nailed it in this post. Lots of trimming and cutting, and even lecturing sometimes. Isn't it nice to have God step in and fill in the cracks of our parenting?

  4. Cindy says:

    Just got my last letter from my son in the MTC. (He leaves for Chile on Monday.) He wrote of a story he'd heard about another elder's mother, and then he started listing things that he had learned from me. At the end he wrote, "I do not doubt my mother knew it." Clearly there have been many many love loans in my mothering life, and what a beautiful moment because of them!

  5. Stacy says:

    Once I was waiting in a bank drive through lane with my two girls. They were still pretty young, I'm guessing maybe 6 and 4, we'd been waiting a long time, and we were way past due for lunch. I kept reminding the girls that we needed to have patience and that we'd get out of there soon, when my 4 year old piped up from the back seat, "Mom! I'm all out of patience. Can I borrow some of yours?" I need to remember that lesson more often than I do. When we're all out of patience, our Father isn't, and I'm sure He wouldn't mind lending us some.This is a great post. Thanks for sharing it and for helping me remember such a great memory. I'm going to have to remember to write about it soon.

  6. Happy Mom says:

    I love your passion for mothering. It always inspires me to be a smidge better.I'm learning that when I continually look for and recognize God's gifts to me, there is sufficient time and patience to meet my sweet children's needs. It's such a gift!

  7. Heather says:

    I blog stalked and came upon this post. BEAUTIFUL. So often I am that mother, the one with a lecture and ready with the "I told you so" line. But this has caused me to reflect on the love that my child needs, the comfort, and the empathy. Thanks for the gentle reminder. p.s. i hope your morning sickness subsides soon.

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