On days like these…

Sometimes, motherhood is overwhelming.

Husband calls, and he says, “I am just checking on you. How was your day?”

And I say it because I was just thinking it, “It was good, but surely there is someone else that can play with her for 4 hours in a row, while I get to work on other things. Things I am supposed to do.”

Reluctantly I admit, I breathed a prayer, partly telling and partly asking, “Lord, someone else can do my job to play with toddler. I know there are other things with my time that I can be doing.”

And I really believe that — for about 20 minutes.

This day I posted this picture for my Facebook community, and asked, “What do you do on days like these?”

On days like these — go outside.

And I did. And I chased toddler around and around to the moon and back, while she chased frogs and offered them kisses.

And we swung. We bounced. We slid. We rocked. We dug.

And hours slowly ticked by, and I kept thinking, “I have so much to do. I cannot wait until her bedtime.”

My morning was spent teaching my struggling reader lessons that should take minutes and turn into hours.

The middle schooler is learning virtually independent of me, and I know she needs more than I have given her.

My senior needs papers and forms filled out.

My house is a disaster zone.

My blog and readers — sorely neglected.

Dinner? Clean underwear? Good luck with that.

And, I am potting training.

I wonder, is this even good for them? For me?

When I am back in the house after hours of play outside, I assess the damages, and get to work. But before I do, I press re-play on a worship song that I’ve had open onYouTube all week. As the worship is playing, and I am attempting clean the messes that seem out of control these days, the princess begs, “Mama, dance? Mama, dance?”

Instead of my default reply, “Mama has to clean. Go play. Don’t make a mess.”

I accept her offer. And we dance. And somehow, it becomes worship. It becomes joy. It becomes strength. And He’s with me — with us. And He speaks to me through the dance as we twirl and spin and she glides with me. And I feel her joy and see the life in her eyes.

And I know, I am right where I am supposed to be. God has called me to be home with my children. For my children to be home with me. It’s not just for them either, but for me.

For me to drink in and breathe in deeply of the life that they remind me to live.

For God to use them to reveal the truest character in me, and then refine me.

For us to grow up in Him, together.

And I realize this is grace. She is grace given to me, to draw me out of myself, to live selflessly, to help me to live as she lives her life so freely and fearlessly, to remind me what is most important.

And He will give me time 
to do

what He has called me to do.

My job is to do my part, 

and He will do the rest. 

And it seriously could have been a scene in a movie — music playing and everything. Although, baby girl was delightfully dressed, my outfit and hair, along with the rest of the house, might have scared you a bit.

As the sun was setting and the day was coming to an end, I remember that days like these are fleeting, and them, I want to live with no regrets. I remember…

On days like these — breathe

On days like these — play.

On days like these — dance.

On days like these — live.


  • Lolita Valle

    Beautiful. I love your answers to the question. Miss you Mitch!

  • http://alwaysalleluia.com Kris

    i’ve lived countless number of days that look so much like this one. I wept reading your words, and I wept for all of the times I have chosen work, chores over my children, if not in real life, in my heart. Thank you for reminding me where to focus. Love taht song too, I’d never heard it, thank you. Praying for you. Love you, my friend.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Hello! Oh, how I’ve missed you. Your comment means so much to me. Partly for your authenticity and partly because I am right there with you. This post was a confession of sorts and it was hard to share. I especially think of all the families who are dealing with ill children, or those woman who cannot have children and here I am complaining about my healthy toddler tornado!

      But even still, I felt like I must share, even if more for me to remember. Thank you again for all your love and prayers. I feel like I am coming back to life after almost 2 months. I have some clear direction for my blog for the new year. I am excited. I have been thinking about you and praying for you everyday about your book. Will you pray for me also? I am writing over the next month for my 31 Days to Dream Again series beginning Jan 2013. I was supposed to write it with everyone else in October, but Guatemala shook my world. It’s a topic that is so much my heart and I pray that others will be encouraged by it. I am also considering creating it as an ebook that year. I’m feeling a little tug on that.

      Thanks and love you,


  • http://www.ordinaryservant.com Pilar

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. Unfortunately, I am not home with my kids… but in the rat race of Corporate America. When Hurricane Sandy hit NYC/NJ, I was able to stay home with my boys… and I enjoyed it. It was hard going back, my five year old cried and asked when will I be home. He asked will it be before the sun goes down. I said, no son, after. He cried all the more, broke my heart. But this is where God has me and He knows best when I don’t. Thanks for sharing your heart sis and enjoy this time, it goes fast.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      This breaks my heart, too, reading about where you are now. I was a single working mom and student for the first 3 years of my daughters life. She was in daycare since she was 8 weeks old. Then for about 2 more years after I got married I wasn’t home with her. I understand this part of leaving them. I also struggled for years as a stay at home mama, feeling like I wasn’t making any real difference in this world. The devil is a liar! God has certainly changed my heart, and I also see how He provides grace for where ever we are, for our families. I also believe He redeems the time in a way only God can. I am praying for you now, my friend and sweet mama. <3

  • http://ozarkgrace.blogspot.com Connie Smiley

    This is so precious. I’m reminded of what the Gospel of Mark says when it praises the woman who “did what she could”. Isn’t that all God asks of us?

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I love that reminder in Mark. Thank you 🙂

  • http://www.marybonner.net/ Mary

    This is beautiful…and it brings tears to my eyes. The time goes so quickly and your daughter is so beautiful. I know that on days like these it can be hard to remember that time will fly by quickly, but I am SO glad you went outside.


    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you, sweet friend. It is a daily surrender to what is most important, not most urgent 🙂

  • http://www.servingfromhome.com Lauren

    Oh Michele, such truth you have uncovered here! This speaks deep to me…I have a tendency to rush through the days, getting the stuff done, pushing to go faster, and forgetting to marvel and joy in the moments. Getting frustrated by the messes that living brings.

    I could not get the song by Steven Curtis Chapman out of my head – Cinderella.

    It’s been a long day, and there’s still work to do. She’s pullin’ at me saying “Dad I need you! There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited, and I need to practice my dancin. Oh please, daddy PLEASE?!”

    Thank you…love you, this has provoked and encouraged!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I am so humbled by your words and so very glad you left them for me. I wrote this post with a twinge of doubt, wondering if other mamas would judge me. But the struggle is real and that is what I want to share so I know, and you know, we are not alone in this.

      I think often about that song, “Cinderella” also. It’s a bit heartbreaking 🙁

      Blessings to you and pray your week is blessed with His grace and love and joy!

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com Barbie

    This post made me long for the moments when my children were babies. I can’t get those moments back. I somehow feel like I’ve failed them at times. Oh to stop everything and play and sing and dance to their hearts content. I was working full time and missed so much. Don’t mean to be a downer. My heart is longing tonight.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I carry that weight of failure and regret. This is where my trust in God is tested. I must believe He is adequate and His strength is truly perfected in my weakness. I used to be a working, single mom. I know how heavy it can weigh. But know this, God can redeem the time. He can do in one moment what we would think would take a lifetime! He’s God like that 🙂

  • Susanelizabeth

    I FB and Tweeted this blog post and this is what I said:
    Oh how I love this blog post! The pictures made my spirit rest. What a wonderful and peaceful way to end my busy day, and especially timely since I will have my little’un for the weekend.
    I love these lines at the end of the post:
    As the sun was setting and the day was coming to an end, I remember that days like these are fleeting, and them, I want to live with no regrets.
    I remember…
    On days like these — breathe
    On days like these — play.
    On days like these — dance.
    On days like these — live.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you so very much for the shares! It truly encourages and blesses me 🙂

  • http://hispenonmyheart.com Tereasa

    Sometimes, a messy house is a sign of happy children. My their smiles always be more precious than sparkling kitchen floors. Blessings!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I like that idea! Bring on the crumbs 🙂

  • http://29lincolnavenue.com Stacey Thacker

    Umm, yes I so understand this.

    You chose well. You lived life. And look at the beautiful that came out of it.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you for the visit 🙂 I am grateful!

  • http://www.justfollowingjesus.com Elizabeth Stewart

    Such a beautiful post. I’m 55 and a Nana of four now. I’ve traveled, taught God’s Word, preached before crowds of Ghanaian faces and in our own church, and experienced many, many things. BUT, I can honestly say, the most fulfilling thing in my life has been to invest in my 3 daughters and see them become beautiful women of God and walk in their own purpose and destiny.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I believe you in this. I tuck these words away in my heart 🙂

  • http://colorfulgems.blogspot.com/ Terrie

    I really needed this today. I have 7 kids still at home, so there’s ALWAYS mess to clean up and kids to school. Thank you for being so real!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Oh, I am so very glad you shared this with me 🙂 7 kids! What blessings and what beautiful messes, too!

  • http://simplystriving.wordpress.com/ Nikki

    My heart longs to be with yours so we can soak all this grace in together! I’ll never get over how we strive to teach our children to “grow up” into whatever we have determined to be right and good and true. When really, they teach us to child-it-back-down along the way. Their childlike faith helps us see with our Father’s eyes.

    Today, friend, I’m praying you don’t see the crumbs on the floor but notice the sparkle in your child’s eyes. May you hear His love resounding through giggles. And bonus: May one thing get done on the to-do list. 😉

    Love you sweet one. Big hugs to you!

    And for the record: You win my best mamma award for the year!!!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      How do you have time to pour out such grace. You are a gift I have no words to describe. Thank you for you constant encouragement, love and support!

      Thank you for your sweet prayer and blessing. And you are right, “Their childlike faith helps us see with our Father’s eyes.”

      Blessings to you, my friend.

  • ro elliott

    first the pictures are just adorable…and yes…those little cabooses are truly a gift…our centering point…always pointing us back to Him…and what is most important…because those little hearts in our homes are the most important souls we will impact…and what can impact the world the most…we loose these …we have lost more than our hearts can bare…you Michelle are a wonderful mom…I love how you allow God to come and meet you right where you are…listening to His voice to you…and answering with yes. blessings as you continue to dance~

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Thank you 🙂 On days like these, I think of you and all the wisdom and encouragement you have given me this last year. I think of you when I am making the hard choices, but the right ones to choose them over the laptop. You are bright light in my life, helping show me the way 🙂

  • http://dovechronicles.blogspot.com Lisa Auter

    I was so affected by this blog spot, Michele, that I wrote you a very long note under Contact Me. I hope that’s okay.
    Sending you hugs and prayers. You are right where you are supposed to be.
    And thank you for the gift of Steffany Frizzell. I’ve never heard of her and now I’m on a mission to find out everything about her and all of her music!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      I am so sorry that I still have not had time to adequately respond to your email. But, you are not forgotten 🙂 I am also, so very glad you liked Steffany Frizzell. I love her authentic worship–truly living the scripture of worshipping in spirit and truth.

      Thank you for your love and encouragement, always. 🙂

  • http://lauriesnotions.blogspot.com Laurie

    Lately I’ve been heavy laden with all the stuff to do. Thank you for reminding me to cherish each moment.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn


      Oh, I need this reminder daily. Even now 🙂 I am so glad for your visit! Blessings on this new week. May it be productive, yet full of peace, joy and wonder of all the good things God has given 🙂