Sometimes you unexpectedly meet a person for a brief moment in time, loose track of each other, and then miraculously your paths cross again. There is no doubt in my mind Janell Rardon is in my life for a purpose. She has become a mentor to me not only in the area of writing, but mothering as well. Through her book Rock-Solid Families I have learned to create vision for my family. It’s a grace to welcome by friend, Janell Rardon, to Thoughts at the Kitchen Sink…
guest post by Janell Rardon
“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
Flashback with me to a powerful kitchen sink moment on the map of my motherhood journey. Written well over two decades ago, I have a sneaking suspicion it might sound all too familiar today.
Have you ever had one of those days when you wish you could climb back in bed and pull the covers over your head? Hit rewind and start all over? Recently I did. Before I could open one eye, I felt a strange tug on my arm.
“Mommy,” whispered my two-year old, “Wake up!”
On the other arm, I felt a similar tug—a bit more energetic—but a tug for sure.
“Moooooooommmmmyyyy!” shouted my other two-year old, “Wake up!”
I must be dreaming, I thought.
“We want you to wake up! We are hungry!” the ranting continued.
Slowly, I awakened and realized I wasn’t dreaming. There were actually two tenacious toddlers tugging on my pajamas. Twins. A boy and a girl.
Two years earlier, I begged the hospital staff to let me stay a few more days, but insurance refused. A bit panicked, I minced, “What am I going to do with two babies? Look—two! I’m not ready for this. Twins and a vivacious four-year old? I have a four-year old waiting for me at home, remember?”
“Honey, you are going to be just fine. Women have been raising twins for centuries,” they comforted me. “You are not the first woman to have twins.”
After a huge pep rally and a bucket full of tears, I took a deep breath, gathered my two babies—one in each arm—loaded the minivan and prayed for courage. While driving home, I glanced at my husband, as shell-shocked as me. He placed his strong hand on my forearm and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. Let’s take this one day at a time.
His words became my new reality. Living one day at a time—one diaper at a time—seemed my only hope of survival. One particular day, I found myself completely exhausted. Standing at the kitchen sink, bracing myself on its’ cool stainless steel lip, I did what I didn’t want to do—call my husband at work.
“Rob, I’m at the end of my rope. I can’t take anymore. The twins have been running in different directions all day and Candace won’t quit asking me questions! If she asks me one more question…” I cried. “Can you please come home early. I need a break. A quick trip to the grocery store alone. Something.”
The minute he walked in the door, I walked out. Laden with guilt for shrinking under the pressures of motherhood, I drove away from our little home. Unable to cope, I began to cry. Weep, actually. Feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness and defeat overwhelmed me.
Suddenly, a car pulled out in front of me. Before I could honk my horn, my eyes zoomed in on the license plate. It seemed to glow.
“Very loved,” I whispered. “Isn’t that interesting?”
As I said those two words, “very loved,” a hush came over my heart.
It was as if I heard a still, small voice saying, “Yes, you are very loved. I am with you. You are not alone.”
A few moments later, I noticed yet another license plate bearing the inscription, “1 Petr 4 8.” I kid you not.
As I walked down the aisles of the grocery store, I calmed myself. There, amid boxes of cereal and bottles of juice, I remembered my prayer at the hospital, when I had asked God to help me. Later that night, after tucking all three in bed, I pulled out my Bible and read 1 Peter 4:8 (Living Bible), “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults.” Suddenly, I felt better. I remembered I didn’t have to do it all by myself. There would be good days, bad days and through each and every one, God is right by my side.
God is by your side, too, even if it might feel he isn’t. Please, I beg of you, don’t be so hard on yourself. When it all gets to be too much, brace yourself on the lip of your kitchen sink, close your eyes, and remember you are very loved!
Janelle’s deepest desire is that God would be glorified above all else. Heart work, especially in the realm of marriage and family relationships and the emotional health of women, is at the core of Janell’s practice, Heartlift Coaching & Consulting (Suffolk). Receive even more inspiring, informative, highly practical materials by subscribing to Janell’s monthly eNewsletter, Heartlift. Visit Janell at www.heartlift.org.
Highly recommending her book Rock-Solid Families: Transforming an Ordinary Home into a Fortress of Faith, a helpful needed read for families trying to build their foundation on God.
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