How God Sees a Mother

Took the rugrats to the doctor for their annual physicals.

Now usually I break this up, take one kid one day, the other kid the next.

But I was feeling ambitious, daredevil-ish, killing two birds with one stone and all that jazz.

The second we got there my Rhema-girl turned into a skittish pony, ready to kick and bolt.

Taking the temp, standing on the scale, putting on the blood pressure cuff? Not. happening. in. a. million. years. 

So she sat in a chair with her iTouch and sobbed and wailed while the doctor conducted Hope’s physical.

It was a chaotic scene.

Doctor:  How’s Hope’s asthma these days?

Hope: Dr. W., what’s that thing called that you use to look in my ears?”

Rhema: Sccrreeeeeeeeeccccchhhhhhhh!!!!

Me:  Pretty good.

Doctor: Is she still taking the Flovent twice a day?

Hope: Dr. W., why did God make ears?

Rhema: (Snotty sobbing)

Me: Yes.

Doctor: Do you need any refills?

Hope: Can I wear your stethoscope? Can I listen to your heart? Is your heart bigger or smaller than the Easter Bunny’s?

Me: Hope, stop jumping on the table.

Rhema: Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

Me: No.

Hope: Can I have 10 stickers???

And that’s when Rhema bolted out the door. I followed close behind as we weaved through a maze of corridors. I tried taking her hand and coaxing her back to the office. But she wanted out. We got lost as she speed-walked down various hallways looking  (I assume) for the exit.

She found the medical records room instead. Uh oh.

I reached for her just as she dove under a rolling table stacked with files. The table tipped over and the files crashed to the floor. Quickly I stood the table up.  A woman in the records room, none too pleased, helped me pick up the files. Rhema was already halfway down the hall.

At one point she collapsed into a heap on the floor and would not budge. I rubbed her back, urged her to walk with me. Then, minutes later she was up and running again.

I could hear Hope calling me. My sweet Hope – I’d just left her with the doctor. We turned a corner and there they were – Hope, the doctor and a nurse standing in the hallway. But Rhema didn’t stop – she ran right past them.

“I’ll be right back!” I called.

It took 10 minutes for Rhema to calm, and another 5 before she allowed me to lead her back.

“Come on, sweet girl. Let’s go get Hope. Then we’ll go home. I promise.”  I said it over and over, not knowing if she even understood me.

By the time we found Hope I was thoroughly ruffled, discouraged and embarrassed. I had expected Rhema to do so much better at the appointment. I felt horrible for just leaving Hope behind – something I’ve had to do one more than one occasion – when Rhema’s safety seemed more at stake. Many people witnessed me trying to soothe, coax and lead Rhema – unsuccessfully – I looked like I had absolutely no control. I felt silly for the tears of frustration threatening to spill.

With my one free hand I took Hope. Rhema was already getting upset again and pulling me away.

“Thank you,” I said apologetically to the doctor. The doctor did not know me well, but had surely seen me frazzled and overwhelmed before. He quickly handed me some paperwork which I stuffed under my arm.

“I just want to tell you I admire your patience. You’re a great mom, and I think you’re doing a wonderful job with these girls.”

At first I wanted to laugh that he could say that to me in light of our mega-fail afternoon. Wonderful job? It was the exact opposite of what I’d been thinking. And then I thought I might cry. You know how it is – when sometimes, on a tough day, a simple kind word or deed – is all it takes to undo you. It’s all you need to keep going.


*This particular doctor’s visit actually happened last fall. But I will not forget how how his words helped me bravely hold my girls’ hands and lift my head a little higher. How often we think we’re botching the whole motherhood thing up, but maybe someone else sees the love, the glory in our mess. It reminds me of something another desperate mother named Hagar called God after His words comforted her. She said, “El Roi. You are the God who sees me.  

14 thoughts on “How God Sees a Mother

  1. I’m just sitting here trying not to get all choked up. I don’t know what to say in comment really, but I am nodding. Just wanted to leave a ‘something’ to let you know you have connected here… again xx

  2. Thank you so much for these words my sweet sister. I had a similar experiance a few months back when I accidentally scheduled an appointment for Myles when Mayson would not be in pre-school. After the doctor had asked some questions regarding the ‘who is in the home’ and how often do they see their father, my Mayson decided it would be a good idea to bolt out of the room down the hallway and flop to the ground right in front of the nursing stand. He sat there in a pile, refusing to get up with my prompts, Myles hanging off my hip in a diaper, the doctor stood by attempting to help. A nurse came over, a secretary came over, all to witness my failure at controlling my typically developing 4 year old son. After the appointment I cried myself all the way home. But you know what, my heart was redeemed that night as I sat with my mayson to read our nightly Bible stories and he engaged in an awesome conversation with me about our GOD! Life will not always be perfect, our attempts at mothering will not always be perfect, but our GOD is perfect and HE can keep us in perfect peace. LOVE YOU DEARLY!

  3. Once again I love how you share! You are a great Mom and the way you handle all of these situations is amazing….. God does not give these special babies to just anyone and that is because it takes a certain personality to maintain and that you have. I love how you close this out and it made me think…. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what others think it only matter’s what “The GOD who’s sees us” Thinks.

  4. Thank you for sharing! Your appointment sounds sooo familiar! Thank you for reminding us that He is the God Who sees!

  5. “You are the God who sees me.” Oh, Jeneil. You are constantly used by our God to fill hearts. I have goose bumps all over. Thank you.

  6. Wow. Kind words matter so much. Although the details of our circumstances are different, I have gone through that same emotional roller coaster when out with my kids. This post touched me deeply.

  7. I couldn’t agree more with what this doctor said. I have seen you drop Rhema & Hope off at school. I see your dedication to Rhema and her progress, education and well being. I see what a wonderful, loving, fun, selfless little lady Hope has been brought up to be… and most of all I see the love between all 3 of you. As an expectant mother, I watch you in admiration and hope that I can be 1/2 the mom you are!

  8. My son’s aid has been such a boost for me so many days when I drop him off at kindergarten. What would we do without those people that see us differently than we see ourselves?

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