"There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." ~Washington Irving
Last night one of my little ones was feeling pretty sick. As I rushed around to make her more comfortable, I felt quiet ideas come to my mind quickly and clearly. I was reminded of my own sweet mother and how she seemed to know exactly what I needed when I was sick or troubled. She always seemed to say the right words and do the most comforting things. And I pondered how I, too, instinctively know just what to do when my children are ill or upset.
I could easily attribute my inspired thoughts to all my past experience. I am a mother of many, after all. But that doesn't come near explaining why this intuition has been with me ever since that first baby was born eighteen years ago. Granted, I have made some pretty stellar mistakes, but those seem to happen only when I ignore that still, small voice that fills my mind with thoughts and ideas I know are not my own.
I'd like to share an example from when I was a young mother with three little kids, one girl and two little boys, close in age. I believe they were five, three and two years old at the time. They all slept in a large room together-- the nursery. I had an evening routine where I would help them say their prayers and then tuck them into bed every night singing them lullabies until they drifted off to sleep.
My three year old son had a habit that I was trying to "help" him grow out of. He still insisted on drinking a sippy cup full of milk at bedtime. I had decided that he was too old for this habit, and I was happy when one night he couldn't find his cup. Secretly I was relieved!
I remember thinking to myself, Ha! Now maybe this will force him into giving up his silly cup!
As I helped my tiny son lisp his sweet prayer, he pleaded with the Lord to help him find his cup. I admit that I mentally rolled my eyes when he prayed to find it. I wanted it to stay nice and lost!
After tucking my babies in bed, I began to quietly sing to them. And as I sung, a crystal clear thought came into my mind.
"Check in his drawer."
I could see it plainly in my mind's eye.
No, no. I did NOT want him to have that cup! I was sure his little nighttime habit needed to disappear. That cup was not so important. He could go to sleep without it.
"He needs to learn this lesson. He needs to know that I will answer him when he asks."
I stopped singing and walked over to the drawer I knew it would be in. And as I opened it, there the cup lay, ready and waiting for my sweet son.
In that moment, I also learned many important lessons that have carried me through my parenting experiences. I learned that our all-powerful Father in Heaven hears and cares about the concerns of even the most small and simple of us.
I also learned that as a mother, I am a living, present tool in God's hands. Simply because the Lord has sent children to my home, He also gives me daily, hourly inspiration I will need to raise them. It's all part of the magic and mystery of motherhood.
It is humbling and a bit daunting to realize how close to God we need to be in order to mother our children. And yet, how comforting it is to realize that we have such divine, omniscient help available to us whenever we need it.
How grateful I am for motherly intuition.