Thursday, February 16, 2012

Motherhood is like a Pirate Ship

I am not sure where to begin as the waves of my emotions shift.  I have so many thoughts swirling around, creating different tides, shifting me from side to side as I desperately search for the lighthouse to guide me to solid ground tonight. 

I feel like Black.  Black Stallion, that is.  A wild horse, longing to be free . . . but trapped on the confines of a man-made boat.  A boat that feels like it is going to sink. 

As I nursed Naomi this morning, I tried to decide what I could compare my days to. 


A pin ball machine is what came to mind.  A pin ball machine on the Titanic.

I wake up.  The bed is safe – like the chamber the pin balls are stored in before they roll before the spring loader.  Just like the balls can’t stay underneath the game, so I must step out and be propelled into my day.

Usually forcefully.  But my life is not a game.  My children are not a game.

From the moment my feet hit the floor, my head bounces from one wall to the other, sometimes being thrown down three flights of stairs, only to climb one flight a few minutes later.  Running from one emotional trauma to a dog eating a beloved toy to a math problem causing frustration.


My life is like a ship on the ocean.  Resting on the hole idea of buoyancy.  Constant motion.  Upkeep to attend to.  Directions to follow.  An infallible map to attune to . . . to not lose sight of.  Trust and faith. 

Some days it really takes faith for me to believe that I am the best mom for my kids.  After today . . . I have some SERIOUS reservations about my appointment to this ship.  I fear for my sailors.  My crew.

Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.  (1 Corinthians 13: 12)

I vow to eat the seaweed that restores and nourishes me . . . but fresh fruits and veggies fall by the wayside as I attempt to keep the sailors under my watch fed.  Breaking up food fights.  The hurricane rush leaves the table quiet and empty.  My attitude festers into a nasty case of scurvy.  The deck is swabbed soon after a meal.  Followed by safety checks.  And rescue missions involving opened gates and damsels in distress. 

There is no time for seasickness.  There is school to be done, mouths to be fed, dog paws to be wiped, bottoms to be changed, dirty clothes to be drowned.  Jesus to be emulated. 

I want to be that sailor or first mate who is proud of her vessel.  Excited to wear the uniform.  Bursting with pride.

But the only thing that bursts from my mouth is loaded ammunition.  The flag I hoist is like one found on the Flying Dutchman

Just when I thought my day was to end in silence, I was alerted to three stowaways stomping in the hold . . . waking the princess of the ship.


Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  (James 1: 2-4)

Sigh.  I was going to go workout.  Take my frustration out on the treadmill.  Rid myself of pent-up gun powder.

Not the princess!  Let her sleep. 

Sleep will protect her from me this evening. 


And so I pray that a mist will invade her room and lull her back with a gentle rocking motion of evening waves. 

What do I hear?  Can it be?  Is land in sight? 

A seagull?  An olive branch?

Like Noah must have rejoiced over solid ground, so do I with the quiet that has settled over my ship. 

I shall go fight the silent battle now.  The battle of the bulge. 

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18)

Honesty can feel so good.

How is your ship?

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