One Monday evening I found myself solo parenting my three young children while my husband worked late.
“God please let tonight go smoothly…just give me strength to get through” I prayed as I stirred spaghetti noodles on the stove.
During dinner, my youngest, a toddler, decided to style his hair with spaghetti while we ate…not exactly the smooth dinner I was hoping for. I decided a quick bath was in order. As I filled the tub with water and began scrubbing his rounded tummy, my preschooler came charging in, “I wanna bath, mommy!”
“Okay, buddy!” and I got the next kiddo into the tub.
“Hey!! I want a bath too!” my oldest popped in and immediately began peeling off her clothes.
Now I had three three little bodies squeezed in the tub giggling and splashing as they swirled small boats and poured water through cups onto each other’s heads. Eventually I noticed my youngest began rubbing his chubby hands at his eyes, trying to scrub the sleepiness away.
“Hey sweet boy, let’s get you out and into bed, okay?” I said wrapping my son all clean and dripping into a soft towel.
In his quiet dark nursery, I nestled my head into his soft and sweet-smelling hair as he snuggled up against me.
“Ah, this is the stuff of motherhood.” I thought to myself, “This is as good as it gets.”
I turned out the lights and crept out of his bedroom. I slid, exhausted, down the wall with a deep sigh. I could see my other two were still happily playing in the tub. I had stumbled across a blessed moment of rest. My hand reached into my pocket for a little R&R with Instagram, but I had no sooner started scrolling–when I heard a shriek from the bathroom!!
“Mommy, mommy come quick!! Maaaammmmaaaa!!! There’s a snake! It’s a worm in our tub!”
Friend, I assure you it was not a worm. My prayers for a smooth evening went unanswered. Often, life doesn’t go the way I plan or pray for it to go. In moments like these motherhood is an act of surrender—surrendering my kingdom to God’s kingdom.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)
The word “seek” means to aim, to strive after—it’s not passive but an all-out, singular pursuit. Seeking is intentional and purposeful. It goes out of its way to make things happen.
Kingdom is a familiar word. I’m well-acquainted with princesses and kings and queens from watching Disney fairytales and all three seasons of The Crown on Netflix. But that’s about as far as my knowledge goes. I really have no idea what being part of a kingdom entails. In fact, my palms get a little sweaty when I think about a kingdom where I don’t get a vote, but instead have to trust the king has my best interests at heart.
God’s kingdom, His way of doing and being right, is often the opposite of the way I want things to go. I want the crown, I want control of my life, and I want everything to go smoothly for me.
Surrendering my kingdom to God’s kingdom is a never-ending process.
When the kid poops in the tub
When my plans get interrupted
When they’re up late teething
When they’re up late texting
When my husband doesn’t help the way I want him to
When my kids are arguing constantly
When we’re running late and can’t find the right shoes
When I’m emotionally overwhelmed
When strength is in short supply
God promises when I surrender my kingdom and actively pursue God’s kingdom He takes care of everything else. I can relax my shoulders, relinquish the weight of the world, and release the breath I’ve been holding—I can let God be God, and let me be me.
The Message Paraphrase puts it this way:
“What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” -Matthew 6:32-33
He’s a good King and worthy of my surrender-—even in the mess of motherhood.
About the Author:
Katie M. Scott is a writer and Bible teacher who empowers women to grow their faith and find more joy in the everyday moments of life. Katie has a BA in Biblical counseling and is passionate about combining the grace and truth of God’s Word with practical takeaways and authentic storytelling. Katie is the founder of chasingvibrance.com where she answers questions and creates resources about faith and family life. Katie is a mom of three wild and wonderful kiddos ages 9, 6, and 5 and makes her home in a small town in Indiana with her husband Nate, a worship pastor.
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