Monday, April 16, 2012

That Which Doesn't Kill You, Will Sanctify You.

It's safe to say that these past ten weeks have brought about the very best in me, along with the very worst. What frantic moments in motherhood take away with one hand, they give with the other. Every day is constant. Every day is taxing. Some days are more constant and taxing than others (can something be "more" constant? Eh, I think so!). If the kids are grumpy (including the baby) or if I'm grumpy or if the laundry pile is a mountain and the to-do list is seven pages long and I'm desperately trying to salvage the day with nothing on my side but a quick prayer and a cup of coffee ... those days can be hard. The days where I feel like I'm one step behind. Put several of those days in a row, and they go from hard, to despairing.

There have been a few days sprinkled in these past few months where I've honestly felt like I simply cannot go one step further. I cannot change one more diaper. I cannot explain one more "why". I cannot wipe one more nose, read one more book, make one more meal. I am spent. Beyond being spent, I am expended. To the fullest extent, I am used up. And these are the days that leave me staring out the window, eyes blank, with my husband holding my hand and telling me I can do it. The nights that begin with me crying myself to sleep while he prays over me. I can do this. We can do this.

My friend and mentor drove into town to help me paint my laundry room last week. We were discussing the parenting books and methods that ensure all sorts of promising things with an easy 1-2-3 step process. Follow these guidelines and parenting will be magically easy. Straighten your Super Mom cape--these results are guaranteed!

And she sighed as she reached up the wall with the rolling brush and murmured, "Parenting is so much more than that ... it's a sanctification process."

Her remark resonated with me. I've often referred to this as being a refining duty. I feel like I am being stripped away and that hopefully something golden and wonderful is laying beneath these frantic ugly-cry meltdowns and burnt grilled cheese sandwiches. But to be sanctified ... to be made holy. Something that is sacred. And I realize that the stress and overwhelming feelings that accompany motherhood are not only from the exhaustion and the expenditure, but they are also from the heavy sense of responsibility. To raise my children in the way they should go, when I can barely see straight. It hadn't dawned on me that in the efforts to show my children the truth in God's holiness, that I am being sanctified as well.

Within these frazzled days lie hidden opportunities to see the sanctification process in motion. That every trial and teachable moment holds the challenge to come through as better on the other side. Parenting is sacred.

I'm not sure what the process looks like in its entirety--I've only been at this for three years. Just with three souls in three years! The time has been busy, but ultimately short. But even in that spanse of time, I feel as though I've become a new person, been stretched to my limits and rewarded in the best of ways. And maybe that's what this process is about. To see God's goodness and understand Him through the testing. And through the rejoicing.

I wanted to write honestly here and I hope this makes sense. If any of this resonates with you, hang in there. I am toasting you with a sippy cup of juice as we go through this sanctification together.

Have a lovely day.


  1. Penny is so SO right. And so are you. I feel like I am such a different person after becoming a parent. A better version of who I was before, if that makes any sense. You're right--trying to raise children in God's footsteps makes me have to check myself and try even harder to listen to His guidance and allow Him to 'strip me away' as you basically said. What a calling we have! Thanks for writing honestly. :)

  2. Ahh, thank you for this, Katie! I have been dying to know how it's really going with you these days. I am 18 weeks pregnant with our third. Today is my one year old's FIRST birthday and I have a 2.5 year old. So, I will very much be in your same boat in September {I e-mailed you right about the time N was born}. I read your blog daily but don't always have the time to comment. Thank you so much for writing the raw truth.

  3. I used to read your blog and stumbled across it again. You always have such wonderful insight. My 2nd daughter...5 month old, has been waking all through the night. I have reverted back to reading books with easy fix-it solutions. There is no such thing. I find myself crying out to God because he is the only one who can sustain me when I am just over it.