mount up with wings as eagles

Mount up with wings as eagles.  I love that phrase and imagery taken from Isaiah chapter 40.  I want to “mount up with wings as eagles” figuratively in how I live life!  Here are some of my thoughts on this topic.

Lately I have been thinking about seasons and energy and rest and goals and revelation.  Maybe it’s because in my heart I want to do so much!  But this season has been an exhausting one for me —wonderful, wonderful blessings, but none-the-less exhausting!  It has been an intensive season of work. I think most any mother can relate. Yesterday I wrote a little instagram post and shared a couple of funny things in my stories. Just some normal-life baby stuff:  My thirteen-month-old dumped out a house plant and ate an unknown amount of dirt!  He has found new delight sticking his hands in the toiled bowl and splashing around (and my older boys aren’t remembering to close the toilet lid or the bathroom door)!  My oldest son spent plenty of time complaining and whining.  We have a head cold winding its way through our house.  And more broadly, this past while has been a lot.  In the spring we will have moved 7 times in just over 8 years of marriage.  Last year we bought and renovated a home, had a baby, sold it, and moved again.  We have very unsettled for the last 7 months, and of course, other life circumstances have come into play too!  My purpose here is not to complain.  We have been and continue to be so very blessed!  Time and time again, God has lovingly showed us that we are in HIS hands.  And yet, the truth is, I have felt so worn down.  I have not had the bandwidth for spending much time in this space—something that renews me.  During much of this time, I have felt my creative spark near-extinguished and have longed to feel the energy and life that comes to me as I work on creative projects.

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Can you relate?  I don’t think my circumstances are unique to me.  The more I know of other women around me, I think it’s normal to experience exhausting, stretching seasons in life—seasons that require we draw upon our reserves to carry us through with energy and to be true to our purpose. In natural form, life ebbs and flows.  Some seasons we experience a rush of energy and capacity.  Other times we are wise to pull back and use our limited energy in a careful and more deliberate way.

My sweet sister (in law) sent over a couple of verses of scripture to me this morning that reminded me the wisdom of pulling back and recognizing the things we need to focus on while not forgetting that if we use our energy wisely during the really stretching times, we can keep the spark of other dreams and goals in the background to work on when our capacity returns (as it surely will).

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But they that wait on upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint
— Isaiah 40:39

Oh, the imagery here! And the truth and power of these words. The part I am paying attention to particularly right now is “they that wait upon the Lord.” Here are a few of my thoughts on “waiting upon the Lord” during seasons that are particularly strenuous:

  1. Look for His hand in my life and thank Him for it. Looking for His hand in our lives—right here, right now makes a tremendous difference. In the little things, and in the big things. For me this comes in the form of making sure I say little mini prayers of gratitude throughout the day. When I am rocking and nursing my baby before bedtime or as I am up with him in the middle of the night, I have found pulling out my phone is not my favorite way to spend that time. I don’t want my baby to look at my face all aglow with my phone screen! I take the opportunity of a quiet room to look at his perfect little feet and legs lovingly. And to stroke his cute head of hair and think—isn’t it a miracle that this sweet boy grew inside me?! And that I get to have him for my son?! “Thank you, Heavenly Father!”

  2. Renew my testimony of my divine purpose as a mother. Growing up I wanted to be a mother! And during my single years I dreamt of what a blessing having my own children would be. My own mother helped to cultivate within me a deep respect for the crucial role mothers play in the lives of their children and of the impact a loving mother can have upon the world. I know God has designed our families for a great purpose. Yet, I had no idea how truly exhausting some seasons of child-rearing would be! So listening to a few of my favorite encouraging talks and books on the importance of motherhood help to give me a boost.

  3. Pray. Praying over things as they come into my head throughout the day is such a blessing to me. I might be doing laundry or cleaning cheerios and stuck-on lasagna off the floor while I’m praying, but even those little prayers make a difference. Praying to feel God’s love for me makes a difference. Praying to know how to help one of my children makes a difference. Praying to be nurturing or know how to handle a particular situation makes a difference. And lately I have been praying to have more capacity and to be more wise. Time and time again, I am amazed at how God answers even the littlest prayer.

  4. Ponder scriptures. Pondering inspired words of scripture is such a lift! It does not have to take an excessive amount of time. It might be a single verse that I ponder during a busy day, but the words and the meaning behind them breathe life into my (at times) weary soul.

  5. Make time for a little creativity and beauty. I think knowing a few things that really inspire you and then doing those things makes a difference! For example, when I can go outside and cut some flowers or buy some flowers at the grocery store and set them in a pretty way on the table, I feel better! Making my environment beautiful is a lift for me. Little things like that impact the environment in our home, and they make a difference to my children.

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During intense seasons, I think we are wise when we pare back and simplify:

Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength.
— Doctrine & Covenants 10:4

Oh, this one is sometimes a hard one for me! I think I need to learn this one over and over: Be wise and realistic in what I choose to do. The reality is I can’t do everything! But I can do something. So whether I am thinking of this in terms of homeschool or in other things, being realistic about my capacity is imperative.

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And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order, for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in wisdom and order.
— Mosiah 4:27

I love the truth in those words. God expects us to be wise, and the beautiful thing is that we can pray for help as we make decisions about how we spend our time and energy.

I love this reminder and how it applies to nurturing children in the home:

Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
— Doctrine & Covenants 64:33

I hope these words speak encouragement to another mother who reads this post.

This sweet season is stretching. But I genuinely feel that as we stay focused on the important things and simplify or cut out the unimportant things, God will renew and strengthen us in our divine calling as mothers. He will make sacred our sacrifices. He will help us be joyful and happy!

So to reiterate what inspired this blog post:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
— Isaiah 40:39

xo, Elizabeth