Ecclesiastes for Mums

The book of Ecclesiastes is so rich with meaning for this season of motherhood. Often my work can feel “meaningless” – doing the same things over and over only so they can be undone and then redone the next day.

The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.

Ecclesiastes 1:5-8

To be honest, motherhood is kind of kicking my butt at the moment. I won’t go into the details, but this is the hardest it’s ever been for me as a Mum and as a Christian.

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I’ve had a go at writing a poem about the different “times” of motherhood, inspired by Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to give birth and a time to lay our lost babies to rest,
a time to plant your vegetable seeds and a time for the toddler go and dig them all up again,
a time to kill the baddies in their imaginary forts and a time to heal the booboos with a kiss when the game gets too rough,
a time to tear down your sister’s duplo tower (because that noise she makes is sooo funny) and a time to build it up again when your brother is occupied elsewhere,
a time to weep because the toddler spilt flour all over the kitchen floor you just swept, and a time to laugh because his look of flour-dusted shock is just priceless,
a time to mourn because your husband just texted to say he’ll be home late and you really need a hug and another adult in the house, and a time to dance for joy because you just heard his bike come down the driveway and the gate close,
a time to let the toys be scattered joyfully throughout the house and a time to gather them back to their boxes in the quiet of evening, while little eyes are peacefully closed,
a time to give just one more cuddle and a time to say “no more, go to sleep”,
a time to search for that beloved bedtime toy, Sharkie, and a time to give up because “Sharkie must be on holidays”,
a time to keep that favourite, annoying toy with a million parts and a time to throw it away secretly and hope they don’t notice,
a time to wear holes in those little baby pants, from little legs learning to crawl and a time to mend the holes so you don’t have to buy new pants when the season is almost over,
a time to be silent because Mummy is settling the baby and a time to “tell me all about your day!”,
a time to love being a Mum and a time to hate how tired it makes me,
a time to make war against the sin in my heart and a time to be at peace with the fact I’ll never be perfect this side of heaven.

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