Motherhood: Called to Be an Anchor 


January 27  

My four-year-old sat wailing on the living room floor.

She was having a complete meltdown because she wanted to do two things at once. Both choices were of equal importance to her, each having an equal “fun quotient.” Despite my attempts to help her prioritize between activities, she was still at quite a loss.

As my child vacillated between playing a card game or Play-Doh, the wailing continued, and tears spilled onto her cheeks and cascaded down into her lap. A teen sibling looked at me in disbelief at the cause of the meltdown and stifled a discrete chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all. Part of me wanted to laugh, too, but I could certainly identify with these feelings of torn loyalties and attention!

I went over and scooped her onto my lap until she could calm down. My arms and shirt absorbed her tears. And her little body melted into mine as I gently rocked her.

In that moment, I became an anchor, rooted in place on the floor, offering her comfort and absorbing her feelings. Just as an anchor means safety for a ship in a storm, I was her safety until she could right herself.

Providing safety is integral to motherhood, but from time to time it requires us to absorb messy things: happy or troubled emotions, moodiness, conflicting priorities, opinions, needs, wants, and lots of tears. It can be very difficult to soak up all these things and be the “‘human sponge” for everyone else in the family.

It’s tough to be an imperfect, messy human who lives among other imperfect, messy humans. There isn’t always just one right answer. There’s no flashing neon sign saying, “Choose this!” At times, you must make a decision and take a step forward into the unknown.

And, yes, that’s often hard, and we may also want to sit down and cry and scream (and, sometimes, that’s okay too).

But taking that step forward, however small, shows that we still have hope. We NEED hope to get us through our trials. (Being imperfect, messy humans—there will be many).

St. Paul tells us, Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer (Rom 12:12). Our kids need our constant prayers, our consistent presence, and especially hope in something greater than themselves, to help them through their trials. 

They need an anchor.

Eventually, my daughter calmed down. The storm had passed. I had given her space and sat in faith that she would be okay and come to a decision. She felt comfort and love, which gave her hope. And that led to peace, and eventually joy as she traipsed off to play with a sibling.

As you are buffeted about by conflicting priorities, opinions, and emotions in the storms and trials of your motherhood, ask the Lord to help you to be strong and steadfast in Christ. Be an anchor.

Because being an anchor? Offering hope? That brings peace.

And we all need that. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:13).

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