I am laying on the couch under the warmest blanket in our house waiting for our children to wake up. I open the thermos filled with hot coffee my husband left for me on the table. Tendrils of steam rise to greet my chilled face and I deeply inhale the scent of french vanilla. Just a few minutes more, Jesus.

It’s a waiting game to see if the first sounds I hear will be the baby in our room waking with betrayed wails that he is all alone and not in his mama’s arms or the thudding of small feet jumping out of bed upstairs. The temporary silence I am experiencing feels more like the calm before the storm rather than a peaceful respite.

My anxiety starts to whisper so many questions in my head: What if I’m not a good mom?

What if I’m not guiding or loving them the way they need me to? What if I’m not good at this whole mom thing?

There is a quiet grief simmering in my heart and every shame filled message threatens to echo louder and louder. It’s too early for this…

A few more breaths to steady my heart seem to be the kindest thing to do in this moment.

 The night before has left me feeling ragged from the tantrums and rejection from my three year old. The sharp screams of “Go away, Mama!” still reverberates in my ears bringing tears to my puffy eyes. It’s hard to navigate this stage of setting boundaries and discipline all while loving his sweet, stubborn heart the way it desperately needs to be cared for.

He loves deeply with a joy that emanates brightly from his pores, but also feels so many things in his tiny body that tend to be released through bursts of intense energy. Passionate fire runs through this boy’s veins and, when funneled properly, it can be the most beautiful thing to experience, but when it is not, the earth and its inhabitants will be scorched.

I know, without a doubt, that God is going to use him for so much good, but right now, in the midst of this “threenager phase”, it’s hard to keep sight of that truth. He absorbs so much and I want to be an intentional mirror of love, confidence, and grace to his heart. I’m curious about the man he will become and keenly aware of my impact on him today.

I hear the thud of tiny feet energetically hitting the floor above me and I wait patiently for his precious face to peek from between the wood banister. The sweetest smile wraps my heart in a tender hug as he crawls into the blanket with me and snuggles hard against my body. We sit watching the sun shine through the half open window. The light dances on the floor as if it is offering an invitation for us to enter the day with curiosity and hope.

Just a few more minutes, Jesus.

I take another sip of my coffee, inhale the mixture of vanilla and his soft boyish scent, and then exhale- this moment here is enough.


Mal Arnold is a passionate Latina wife and mother who is a chaser of dreams and believes in living life with abandon. She writes to pour some of herself out for any who care to experience her heart, but is also an avid reader, lover of old movies and going on journeys with family as well. She has seen heartache and trauma in her past and is learning to let her Maker heal her broken places.