Please Welcome the words of my dear friend, Laney Wooten. Laney lives outside of Longview, Texas. She is wife to Jon and Mom to six energetic children, with a mosaic of special needs and talents. Her beautiful words are encouraging and full of promise for a bright, blessed year in this journey of parenting.
Well, I’m about 15 years in to this mothering thing and I’ll admit, I’m getting burned out. I know I’m not the only one either. You, like me, probably feel like you’ve just loaded the billionth pile of laundry fully aware that you’ll see it right back in the same place tomorrow. Maybe you’re stuck in a five meal cycle and the thought of being creative in the kitchen seems as impossible as working a physics problem on a rollercoaster. It’s a little like Groundhog Day over here and I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a bad dream and there is no end in sight. The cleaning alone is a full time job, let alone the refereeing, teaching, incessant questions and emotional need meeting.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to renew my vows to my family. God knows that I want to finish this thing strong and He’s the only way I can do that. So, here goes…
To my children,
I promise to keep washing your clothes, cooking your meals and cleaning up your spills. I do this because I want you to feel safe. These repetitive tasks are building for you a secure foundation upon which you will gain the confidence to face the world one day on your own.
I promise to be on my phone less and look you in the eyes more. These precious days with you are fleeting and I don’t want to waste a single one of them. I will stop what I’m doing to lean into you so you know that I see you.
I promise to love on you not only when you’re toothless and squishy, but when you’re awkward and obnoxious. Even when you’re too big to fit in my lap, I’ll pull you close anyway and call you my baby. I’ll teach you why deodorant and washing your face is important. I’ll choose patience (Lord, help me) when you have emotional outbursts after feeling insecure and rejected by your friends.
I promise to keep telling you “no” when saying “yes” is a lot easier, especially when “everyone else” is getting a “yes”.
I promise to make home a place you want to be. It may not always be the cleanest, but we’ll keep setting the table, filling the kitchen with good smells and singing on the front porch. When you leave, I want your memories of this house to be sweet so you will be eager to come back home and visit.
I promise to keep reading my Bible every day and telling you what is inside of it. My greatest prayer for you is that you love the Lord with all of your heart, soul and mind. I promise to reevaluate my priorities if anything waters down this commitment. I realize that this is the reason God gave you to me, and you are my number one mission field.
I promise to lay aside personal goals and interests if they hinder me from personally attending to your needs. What you need most right now is me. One day you won’t, but right now you do, so I’ll count it as a privilege, not a burden.
I promise to be faithful to Daddy, to keep kissing him in front of you even when you make throw up noises. I will keep my eyes and heart intertwined only with him, because I know our union is your firm foundation. We will never ever let the enemy destroy it.
Lastly, I promise to never leave. I know I threaten to run off in the woods a lot, but don’t worry, I won’t. As long as I’m breathing, Daddy and I both will be here, together. Whether you wake up on the right side or the wrong side of the bed, I’ll be here to welcome you into another day. Life with you is a gift and I choose to treat it that way, even on my hardest days.
With all my heart forever,