“Two more minutes, mom! I play two more minutes a little bit!” Yelled my two year old, Calvin, for the third time at 9:30 at night while still in his diaper and needing to brush his teeth.
Standing in the living room, my shoulders felt a little heavier every time he said those words. “Two more minutes, mom.”
We survive those minutes. I check child number 2 off the bedtime routine list and move onto the last. The one who needs the most love at night time.
“Mom, tell me a story. But it has to have a bunny, a train, a butterfly, and a person in it,” says my sweet four year old Natalie. (insert my loving deep sigh here as I start a very strange story off the top of my head with a train sitting at a tea party next to a bunny).
“Mom, I need to go potty and then you can snuggle me two more minutes.”
My shoulders get heavier. Defeat is coming. Will two minutes ever end?? Because two minutes has just taken an hour. You know that feeling. When you just have nothing else there to give. You’ve been up with the sun to get the first kid off to school, folded the laundry, made the peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, gone to work, come home and played and loved and wiped and tucked and snuggled…but you are done now. Today needs to be done now.
Please tell me I’m not alone in the insanity and burnout of “two more minutes, mom.”
This is a big area of my life as a mother of littles that has proven I need me some Holy Spirit during the bed time hours. I need His fruit of patience and love when I have no more to give.
Just knowing that you are not alone in those moments of struggle is empowering. I think that’s the first step– remembering that the Holy Spirit is in us and using Him as our guide and not trying to do the struggle alone. Instead, I’ve learned tapping into His power during those challenging moments through prayer and by listening and obeying His whisperings on my heart can truly keep me from drowning.
I don’t know why I never asked for God’s help until I was a mother. I used God as a mixture of Santa and wishing well for many years– kinda hoping I was on His good kid list and ignoring Him til december (or finals week) when I needed a miracle on a Chemistry test. Then sending up a wish for whatever I wanted for my life at crucial times.
Now, God is with me through my day. I talk to him in the morning and give thanks for the day. I ask for help, for guidance, for love, for forgiveness, for mercy, for…everything. I’m not afraid to let Him into every part because I trust Him with every part and I trust He is good and He is for me.
There are still days or moments when I am stubborn and I want to do things my way and I let my frustration take control of my actions. But in my heart, I know that life is so much better when we let God permeate our everyday life. Our joys and sorrows– potty training victories and emotional night time defeats. In those low moments, I always start with a version of … “Holy Spirt, please come. Please help me. Fill me up with you. I need your help. Guide me through this. Help me love them…”
And I hear back things like… “she needs you right now. it’s ok. take a breath. smile. start with once upon a time…” Like God is taking me through it two minutes at a time. Helping me work out each problem as it comes.
And I am so thankful. I am thankful for the forgiveness in the moments where my selfishness wins. And I am thankful for the fruit that comes when I let the Holy Spirit lead.
If you have a moment, read Luke chapter 11. It ends with this in verses 11-13…
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Let’s not do this all alone anymore. Let’s ask our good Father to give us what he has promised, the Holy Spirit, who can help us through the roughest of days.
Oh God help us. Fill us up with your Holy Spirit. Help us tired mamas who have given 500 “two more minutes” all day long and haven’t had two minutes to ourselves today. Help us and give us your patience and love and grace to our children when we have nothing else to give. Be our kind and gentle words when we are all talked out and just want to have silence. Give us your endurance for one more story, one more song, one more kiss, one more hug, one more glass of water. God just be the beginning where we end. Give us rest and peace and let us wake up the next day with joy instead of weariness. You have entrusted us with such precious gifts. Please help us take care of them and disciple them and love them with your divine love…for every two more minutes, mom. In Jesus name. Amen.