20 Apr 2015 Mother's Day with new eyes
by Tanner Cangelosi
My grandmother was a hero of mine. She had five boys, and at one point they were all under 5 years old. No multiples — you do the math. Bless her.
Well, I used to judge her when her boys would tell stories of her pouring Cheerios on the ground for them to have their snack time off the floor. I thought, “That is so unsanitary.” And now, many years later and six children in tow, I realize she was brilliant. She didn’t sweat the small stuff. She made the important things, the important things. When she died we all argued over who was her favorite. She possessed a rare gift to make everyone feel like the favorite.
I want to be that same way. The desire of my heart is to make my family, my guests and strangers I meet on the street feel as valuable as they truly are because of God’s grace. But then life happens, a lot of dishes, sweeping, laundry, cleaning up vomit, wiping bottoms and being on spill duty. I’m tired just thinking about it, and then I forget. I forget to look beyond myself and see the joy of the small gifts the Lord has given me for only a short time. I hope you find wisdom I gleaned from my mama and grandmothers. When you see something modeled well, you mimic it.
So many sweet overwhelmed mamas (including myself) make excuses for not spending time in the life giving, reviving Word of God. He is the ONLY thing that can truly refresh us.
My triplets are 1 year old now, and I really haven’t slept much in that time. So in my fog, I have battled for my time with my King because He is the ONLY reason I have come this far. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. So in my desperation, I have been known to take my kids to the gym and drop them off as I don’t work out — I go to read my Bible! I’ve also scheduled in “Room Time” for my little bitties to play quietly in their rooms while mommy reads her Bible for 30 minutes. It gives me my time with my God and allows my children to see what is truly valuable to me. Never be too busy to be obedient. You make time for things you love. For me, it’s like coming up for air.
Never would I have thought this would happen to me, but now that I’m here, I’m thankful it did. Not to say it’s all wonderful bliss. It is hard, tiring and taxing cleaning, sacrificing and dying to myself. I learn from the words of wisdom I’ve read recently from ladies like Beth Moore, Ann Voskamp, Rachel Jankovic and many others. The Hebrew word for Psalms means “Praise.” As I read the Psalms in preparation, I saw a common thread of praise, gratitude and telling the next generation of God’s faithfulness. I’m no scholar, but I’m a mom of six small children who wants those same themes in my home.
When I take my precious babies out in public (which is rare because it is hard), we are a little bit of a sideshow as people realize I have six children 5 and under. When we are out, people say, “You’ve got your hands full.” They are right, but I always say, “They are full of good things.”
I want my children to know they are my treasures, not my burdens. I want people I meet to see the joy in the sacrifice so they see Jesus. I want to remind myself of His goodness. In order to do that I must stay in His Word and stay on my knees. I pray that my words encourage others to fall more in love with the King, to memorize His Word with their families, to make it a priority to “come up for air,” to make a schedule and stick to it, but having the grace and wisdom to be flexible. Be refreshed. You are a hero to your tiny people.