the strain

Being a mother is hard work.
I wouldn't trade it in for anything,
but there are days,
nights,
moments mostly,
where it faces me head-on
gripping my senses,
tugging my heart -
shouting,
this is not easy.

when I am struggling with anything
I bottle it up inside,
I quiet down
I retreat -

pride is there too,
the need to have it all in control,
to be a perfectly calm, relaxed, free-spirited woman
with a perfectly calm, happy, nourished child,
and a perfectly satisfied, rested, inspired partner

but of course
none of us are perfect -
rather our imperfections shape who we are.

my journey is no longer about how I "do" things,
but more about how I be...
intentional, faithful, gracious -
each day, 
each night,
and the next,

now I am learning to struggle and be honest,
to speak out my needs, even if only to myself
and say, this is okay,
stop counting the hours slept,
let go of unrealistic expectations,
hold fast to the true -

I guess this is part of that,
acknowledging the strain
(you don't see in photographs or poetry or baking)
that comes and goes,

and when it goes,
its nothing short of grace
from a perfect lover, 
a holy father, a beneficent creator
uttered softly,
in the moonlight
as I pace with my child,
barefoot, heavy-lidded
in the night places,
because You have been my help,
in the shadow of your wings I will rejoice,
my soul follows close behind You;
and your right hand upholds me...