I love my kids more than words can describe. I love them more than I love anyone else on this Earth.
I love them more than the smell of the ocean on a warm, June day. Which is saying a lot.
But some mornings, when my alarm goes off, reminding me to get out of bed and have some alone time before the boys wake up, I hit the
shut-the-heck-up off button and roll over.
Not because I don’t desire the quiet time. Because I do. I desperately do.
But because I know, for a fact, that one or both of the boys will emerge from their rooms within three minutes of my feet hitting that floor.
It’s not a question. It’s an actual fact.
They just know when I’m awake.
They just know that I’m sitting on the couch quietly and it’s the perfect time for some snuggling. They know it’s the perfect time to ask a million questions without any other distractions. It’s the perfect time to fight over who gets to sit next to mommy on the couch. To cry because they cannot have a pop tart for breakfast, even though I tell them every morning that they can’t.
It’s the perfect time to get mommy’s day started on the wrong foot.
And you know what? I feel guilty about that.
I feel guilty thinking those things.
I feel guilty that I can’t look at that like a perfect opportunity to have a beautiful conversation with my kids. And I feel guilty when I cringe the second I hear their door creak open. Or that I just wish I could sit on the couch without having someone sitting on top of me.
I feel guilty that I’m seething things like “Go the crap back to bed” under my breath.
I hate that it puts me in a bad mood if I don’t get a moment to myself in the morning.
But the truth is, it just does.
But this morning…
This morning I woke up when my alarm went off.
I tip-toed into the kitchen and filled the tea pot.
I grabbed my cup and a pair of warm socks. I turned on some soul-quieting music and unrolled my yoga mat.
I laid quietly on the floor in my office, with the sun just peeking in through the window.
There were no doors opening. There were no little feet pitter pattering down the hallway. There was no one pushing me over to squeeze in on the mat.
It was just me and my thoughts. And my prayers.
When I was done, I opened my bible, moved over to the couch and began to read.
Nobody asked to turn on the TV.
Nobody whined that they were hungry for breakfast.
It was just me. And my tea. And my bible.
I got up and swept the floors. Then I mopped the floors. I picked up a few things around the house and made myself breakfast.
I slowly savored my breakfast in the dead silence as the sun poured in from the sliding back door.
It was just me. And my scrambled eggs. And the sun.
And that’s when the guilt snuck back in.
I’m enjoying this too much. I’m a horrible parent. I should wake them up and kiss them all over their sweet little faces.
I should desire to eat breakfast with my kids.
I should love when they come interrupt me for morning kisses and snuggles.
I’m a horrible mom!
But then God…
God spoke to me loud and clear for the first time all morning.
Stop feeling guilty.
Because that isn’t my guilt.
I’ll tell you what is mine.
The peace. The silence. And the joy.
Those are mine.
The feeling in your heart while you laid, worshipping Me this morning.
That was mine.
The revelation you had when you read My word snuggled up under a blanket.
The moment of appreciation you had for the beauty that the sun reflected on your dining room table as you ate your breakfast.
Those are mine. Those came from me.
And you know what else?
Your beautiful, healthy children sleeping until 8:18 this morning.
That came from me.
Not because I wanted you to feel guilty.
But because I wanted to bless you.
Because I wanted you to sing to me and whisper the desires of your heart to me this morning.
Because I wanted you to have breakfast in silence and be reminded of what it is like to eat a meal without standing up from the table 14 times.
Because I wanted you to feel a sense of accomplishment this morning when you mopped the floors without anyone stepping all over it before it was dry.
And because I wanted you to know, to truly know, that you deserve to start your day with a quiet moment to yourself.
You don’t have to earn it.
I will give it to you freely.
Because that, daughter, is mine.
Do not feel guilty.
And so, this morning, when you feel that guilt creeping in. I want you to remember that you are not alone.
That you deserve to have a quiet moment each morning, too.
You deserve to have the couch all to yourself, to drink your coffee without reheating it, and to soak in the beauty of God’s voice while the sun fills your living room.
You Mama, deserve the love of the Father to bless you this morning.
Not because you are a selfish mom that wants time to yourself.
But because you are a great mom that needs time to yourself…so you can continue to be a great mom.
And because even the little things matter to Him.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matt. 6:26
This morning, I gave my guilt away.
And I traded it for love.