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What Prayer Can Do: Small Blessings

An overwhelmed mother of seven is reminded that she should treasure even the most hectic moments with her kids.

By Mary Czerak, Aurora, Illinois

As appeared in

Motherhood is a blessing for me—the answer to my prayers. But sometimes all those blessings—seven of them aged 4 to 19—are a lot for one mother to handle.

“Mom!” Mary Grace called one morning. “I can’t find my shoe!”

“Mom!” shouted Nicholas. “Can I have some more chocolate milk?”

“Mom!” came another voice, the request lost in the din of another hectic day, another test of patience.

“Hold on! Hold on!” I said, loading the dishwasher before taking on the latest crisis.

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I’d weathered bigger storms than lost shoes as a parent. My fifth son, Jeffrey, was born with a heart defect that required two cardiac catheters and three open-heart surgeries. My husband, Kevin, was struggling to find a steady job after a period of unemployment. A stressful morning at home was nothing by comparison.

So why did I feel so overwhelmed today? So close to my breaking point?

I gave Mary Grace her sparkly pink shoe and Nicholas his milk refill. Then I retreated to the bathroom, the one room in the house where I had anything resembling privacy. I shut the door behind me.

Out in the hall I could hear the tiny feet on the stairs, and the familiar cries of “Mom! Mom! Mom!” The kids knocked on the door and rattled the knob.

“Just a minute!” I shouted. A minute of peace was all I asked! I closed my eyes, took a deep breath. Lord, help me, I prayed. I’m having trouble handling all my blessings today.

I opened my eyes and saw something moving in the crack under the door. Bunches of tiny fingers wiggling to the sound of giggles. All at once I was laughing too. One day, I thought, those fingers are going to be too big to fit under that door.

Nicholas, Mary Grace, Jeffrey and the rest would grow up and move on to lives and children of their own. When that time came, I knew, I would miss these crazy days with all my heart.

I opened the door and swept them up into a hug. God never gives us more blessings than we can handle.

 

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