"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV
"I am clearly alone in a sea of insanity. No one is coming to help me, I will never get my brain to slow down. The thoughts are too numerous and too fast. And so unorganized. Like me. And what I can get done doesn't seem to ever be enough. Or just plain good enough. I am so inadequate for and at this."
"What in the world was God thinking?"
These are all thoughts that were running through my brain after six days of spring break. I was counting down the hours until school started up again and in the back of my mind, beginning a dread and terror of what will happen in a few short weeks when they are out for summer break. 10 weeks. Are you kidding me!? I couldn't even handle six days! Oh, Lord. Help me.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Lately I have been struggling with my abilities as a stay at home mom. I struggle with discipline. I struggle with feeling like a good spiritual leader and role model. I struggle with my ability to help my children academically. I struggle with my house keeping and organizational skills. I struggle with .... well you get where I am going with this.
I am very sure that I am being obedient to God by leaving my job and committing to staying home. I couldn't have had more confirmation unless the Lord Himself came down, took my hand, and wrote my resignation for me then lead me home with a fanfare of angelic choirs.
I am quite sure I am where I am supposed to be.
I have been thinking it would be better if I did go back to work. I have a list as long as my arm (folded over, alphabetized and dot-pointed) of all the ways I am not good at this. I think of how I am not capable. I read all these wonderful blogs and websites of women that seem to have no struggle or question about what they are doing, or more importantly, their ability to do it. And I feel less than. And so alone. I see put-together moms out and about with their well dressed and clean and nicely mannered children. And I want to run home and hide. If I could have figured out how to give up, I am sure I would have.
One day a stay at home mom friend made a comment about how her family has been struggling with some of the same things we (I) are. What? Really??!
Then I read an amazing blog from Proverbs 31 writer Tracie Miles. (Linked below)
Then there was a blog from Orange Parents that made me cry. (Linked below)
Then my email updates sent me an article from Mom Life that opened my eyes. (Linked below) #s 4, 10, 14, 15, & 28 really spoke to me.
Then my daily devotion was about seeing clearly. (Linked below)
Then the focus verse for today popped up in my mind. You might think it out of no-where but really, who are we kidding?
Sometimes God tests us. He gets quiet and waits to see what choices we make. What direction we will go. Who we will turn to to get us through. If we have enough trust in him, and faith, to make it through.
Other times God can see we want a way out. We are drowning and can't seem to figure out which way to reach. We have lost our perspective and our faith is running thin. Can I just say that He will never never NEVER leave us in that place?
As you can see above, God didn't leave me in a place of self-doubt, fear, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed about my ability to be a good mother. Quickly, clearly, and leaving no room for doubt that He was talking to me, aware of me and helping me, God gave me back my direction and reminded me of some truths I have lost sight of.
- No matter how many times I commit my life to him, I am going to lose perspective.
- No matter how many ways I try to be perfect, I will never reach perfection.
- No matter how many times I stop looking to Him first, he is always ready to get me back on track.
- God chose me to be the mother of these kids. He loves them more than I do. He won't leave me alone to raise them.
- God would never say a single one of those hurtful things that were running through my thoughts. Never.
- I am a chosen child of God, holy and dearly loved.
I tend toward perfectionism in many ways. By this I mean that I expect things of myself that are unrealistic and when I can't obtain them, I consider myself a failure. I get really hard on myself and God can't get a word in edge-wise with all my negative self-talk. Sometimes He has to be really obvious to get me back on track.
Been there? Are there now?
If any of this strikes a familiar note with you, give up!
- Give up trying to be perfect.
- Give up trying to do it all alone.
- Give up thinking that everyone else is doing so much better than you (as I am now reminding myself: NO ONE is perfect so quit trying to project it onto people! They mess up just like me!).
- Give up listening to, and believing, the lie that we as mothers will single-handedly screw up our kids.
- Give up believing that we are supposed to be a perfect mom if we stay home full time and also believing that being a Christian should in some way make us perfect in this calling.
- And last but definitely not least...give up control!
A great song is Kari Jobe's "My Beloved". If you have time, google it and listen or watch it. Let God sing over you. You will see you are not alone. You can do this. And He loves you.
28 ways to connect with God ( let me know which ones you really connected with!)