Since becoming a mom for the first time, God has really made it clear to me that he is refining me. Becoming a mother changed my life. What I discovered when I became a mother was that God was using the refining fire of motherhood to change me. One way he does this refining work is through bath time. You parents know what I mean.
Having a Baby Changes Everything.
Oh bath time. Does it send a shiver of fear and dread down your spine? Or is that just me? When you have a four-year-old, a three-year-old and a one-year-old… bath time is not for the faint of heart. Bath time with my kids is something I have grown into.
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When I myself was a child, bathing myself seemed like a chore. Too much work. I would rather be climbing a tree, thank you very much. As a teen/young adult, a shower was an in and out thing. No longer dreaded. Just another small task in my ever-so manageable day. Since becoming a mom for the first time, a bath for myself has become a luxury. A moment to be held with gentle reverence.
When I became a mother of one, bathing that little tiny newborn felt so scary. So fragile. It was an event. Prepare the bath. Arrange all supplies. Test temperature. Test temperature. Double check supplies. Test temperature. Put baby in. Panic, pull baby out, call husband to test temperature.
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When we had our second baby, he outgrew the infant tub so quickly that we soon threw him in the bathtub with big brother. Bath time was usually fun, occasionally hectic.
Add baby #3. Bathing? Optional. Often avoided. As with baby #1, bath time with 3 is a complete event… just in a very different way. An ordeal, really. There’s splashing, crying, laughing, and incontinence, all rolled into one noisy package that leaves grown-ups EXHAUSTED.
So, all of this probably sounds familiar to you. But you might be wondering how this is an example of how becoming a mother changed my life, and how becoming a mother will change your life, too. Keep reading my friends. The drama is only about to begin. When I said motherhood is a refining fire… I wasn’t joking around.
Becoming a mother changed my life- The Drama.
The other night, I was forced to do bath time alone as Kyle was working. Doing bath time alone is something I try to avoid. However, since we had been at a lake a bit earlier that is rumored to cause some itch, I decided this was not the day to skip a bath.
Weston needs some special skin care and lotion applied right after his bath, so I decided to bathe him first (super quick) and then throw Emilene and Walker in together.
I had gotten all of the kids undressed downstairs, because I didn’t want to have to bring all their dirty laundry back downstairs after the bath. Including Emi’s diaper, of course. If I’m avoiding dirty laundry upstairs, that includes diapers. I’m always looking for efficiency.
I tell myself that the little lady is one now. She totally won’t pee on our carpet. So, I head upstairs with three stinky, butt-naked kids. Becoming a mother changed my life, but I still make questionable decisions from time to time.
They’re running around like crazy people, because being naked is just more fun. Obviously. I throw Weston into the tub, not bothering to check the temperature. He’s old enough to tell me if there’s a problem. Also, because I have 3 KIDS AND WHO HAS TIME TO CHECK THE TEMPERATURE?
I mean… of course, I totally checked the temperature. I’m not irresponsible. Although, really, if you’re looking for how motherhood changes you, you’ll find motherhood leaves you with a lot less time.
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Anyway, I was midway through washing him when I thought, “Man this kids stinks. He never stinks. What the heck. OK. More soap.” As this thought is being processed, Walker yells from the hallway, “Emi poops! Emi poops!”
The Treasure Hunt.
The feeling that hit me next was not surprise. It was not horror. It was more… my inner-self telling my louder outer-self that inner-self really did know better. Inner-self knew that of COURSE this would happen… I turn around from the tub, and notice little Emi poops leading out of the bathroom. It was like the worlds most stinky, most disgusting treasure hunt.
I look out the bathroom to the left. No one. I look out the bathroom to the right. And there she is. Looking immensely pleased with her cute, smelly self. She starts running toward me (on light colored carpet) as if in slow motion. And that’s when I see that not only is the poop between her cheeks, but it’s also stuck to her heels. So with every step on our new carpet, she is digging her own poop deep into the fibers. Fabulous.
I snap out of the slow motion time warp and snatch her up. I run her into the bathroom and Weston starts yelling in pure terror: “Don’t put her in here!! I’m getting out!” I yell at him to stay in the tub, and then I did what came all too naturally: I dunked my baby right into the toilet. Feet first and right up to her stanky butt. Thank goodness she’s small. I dunked, and I swooshed over and over again.
Refining fire, people. Refining fire. Becoming a mother changed my life.
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Well, hey there! Happy Monday! There’s some new faces hanging around here, so I thought we’d do a little “meet me Monday.” • So, here’s a bit about me… then I have a question for you! • My name is Cecily, and I am a wife, nurse, a home-schooling mom-of-3, and a business owner. • I’m passionate about health and wellness, and helping moms make choices that are good for them, and good for their families. I want to help shine a light on the toxins surrounding us, and the beautiful ways God gave us to combat those things. I also follow Jesus, and that is what informs my every day decisions! • I love listening to all types of music, including my kids singing at the tops of their lungs. • My favourite food is anything Mexican… oh hey… tomorrow must be taco Tuesday! Next to Mexican food, you can always find fermented food and drinks in my kitchen. Kraut, kefir and kombucha are where it’s at. Hey… check it out… that’s 3 K’s! • This week I’m looking forward to spring break with my teacher hubby at home, warm weather, lots of outdoor time, and getting my taxes done. Because you know. Life. • OK! Now tell me. What are you most looking forward to this week? • • • • • #meetmemonday #socialsquadintro #socialsquad #fermentedfoodie #tacotuesday #entrepeneurialwomen #springbreakfeels #healthandwellnessblog #faithblogs #mombloggersofig #mondaythoughts #fridayintroductions
Becoming a Mother changed My Life- Just Laugh or Cry.
Weston completely dissolved into laughter. He lives for moments like this. I then take her to the bathroom sink and hold her horizontally under the faucet to complete the initial poop removal. As I’m hovering this child above the sink, I look out into the hall and notice that Tucker, our noble canine companion, has begun feasting on the excrement of our little angel.
I throw Emilene into the tub with Weston and chase the dog away. Too little too late. He’d already eaten a good amount. I should have just let him finish… it would have made the rest of the clean up so much easier.
I begin picking up all the poop that I could, and call my mom to bring me some carpet cleaner. Thank goodness for family that lives close. With Weston and Emi still in the tub, Walker comes running into the bathroom. Now he needs to poop. I’m beginning to think maybe breakfast for dinner is not such a good idea?
He hops on the toilet right next to the bathtub and starts doing his business while I try to finish up washing the other two. As I’m leaning over the tub washing Weston’s hair, Walker starts spanking me. “Done! Done! I’m done!” He has made a song out of it, and the spank is the beat.
While this is happening, Emi starts giving Weston purple-nurples. So, of course, he’s screaming and thrashing. Emilene is giggling uncontrollably. And Walker is chanting a “wipe my butt” song while spanking me. My mom arrives at this moment, and I laugh and say, “This is my life! How did this happen?”
This was just one (humorous) example of how having a baby changes everything. Becoming a mother changed my life completely in many more ways than this.
Refining Fire Of God.
I find myself constantly amazed at the crazy of my life since becoming a mom for the first time. Every day I’m being shaped and refined even more. Sometimes, in the oddest ways, clearly.
I can tell you, though, I’m not the person I was 15 years ago. I’m not the person I was 10 years ago. I’m not the person I was 5 years ago. The truth is, I’m not even the person I was a month ago.
I do, however, clearly remember the person I was at each of those times in my life. As a 13-year-old girl, I was more interested in climbing trees and playing guitar than hanging out with friends. At 18 years old, I was head over heels in love with a guy that would prove to be more awesome than I even imagined. I was shy. Lacked confidence. I really disliked children (gasp!). My world was my family, music and Kyle.
When I was 23, I was just about to become a mom for the first time, and have my world turn upside down. At that age, just prior to kid #1 being born… I still didn’t like kids!
What I didn’t realize, was that I was about to go from being the girl who thought she had everything figured out and under control, to the girl who would soon realize that there is so much more love and heartbreak in this world than I ever dreamed of.
I was about to learn that the only reason it seemed like I had everything under control is because nothing had truly tested me yet.
Becoming a mother changed my life. A few years later, and I have been tested for sure. God is still refining me into the person he created me to be. And I still have so very far to go!
God is revealing more of Himself every day, and He is revealing His desires for my life more every day. He’s revealing His truths to me more and more, each time I go into His Word.
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Through the refining fire of motherhood, I have been tested and challenged. I will continue to be tested and challenged.
God Can Use Every Situation – Even funny mom life stories.
I am so thankful for the things in my life that have been hard. God has used each of these things to point me to him and to encourage me to seek his truth. He’s making me stronger, through him.
I cannot wait to celebrate each year that the Lord gives me, grow closer to Him, and to serve in this world with love and kindness… the way Jesus calls us to, and the way he would, if he were walking this earth today.
The bath time example is obviously something that is easy for me to find humor in. I am completely aware that there are situations that make it impossible to find humor.
Of course, those lessons are not as fun or entertaining to learn. They are memorable for entirely different reasons. They can be crippling… shattering. Death. Sickness. Addiction. Betrayal. But in light of eternity? God has some promises for us. I take such comfort and confidence in this passage:
“For this light, momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
–2 Corinthians 4:17-18
God is so good. He is giving us so much hope for what is coming. We can know that the people we were 5, 10, or 15 years ago will always be a tiny part of us, but it is not our final destination. He will continue to refine us and prepare us for eternal things.
Becoming a mother changed my life. If you’re like me, God will continue to push you and challenge you through the refining fire of motherhood. What a blessing.
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Enjoy the ride. Who you are now, and what you’re doing now is temporary. There’s a good chance your world and mine will be turned upside down and backwards so many times in the next few decades. Look to God. Make it all about Him. Make it not so much about you.
Find the joy in his promises, and the purpose that comes from living your life based on his mission. While God is encouraging us to grow and change, let’s encourage each other to grow and change. And very importantly, give each other the GRACE to grow and change as we move towards the things eternal, through the refining fire of motherhood.
Every night, I have the habit of going through the pictures on my phone from the day. You, know, because once the kids are sleeping, I can truly appreciate the cute/weird things they did that I deemed worth of photography. The other night, after the bath time incident discussed above, I found that Weston had photo documented some key parts of the experience. If these pictures don’t document the refining fire of motherhood, I don’t know what does.
Clockwise from top:
1) Me changing stinky child.
2) A picture of Emilene I took the next night. How could anyone so cute cause such mass destruction?
3) A small portion of the disgusting treasure hunt I was referring to.
4) Walker, looking super mischievous in the tub.
5) Scrubbing. Thank you, Weston, for this super flattering shot. So. Enjoy these pictures. Weston’s gift to you.
*Originally written August 2016*
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