I’m not sure what happened today. We survived our version of March Madness, which ended last night with the girls’ choir concert and art show. And apparently my brain knew that was as far as I had to make it, because today I crashed. We all crashed sort of. It didn’t help that we woke up to cool and grey and rainy. (Dear Lord, please, please, please, can we have a handful of consecutive days of sunshine and seventy and no wind? Please? Many mamas I know would rejoice and sing praises, which I know we should be doing anyway, but still.) It was a day that would have been good for everyone just staying in bed. And it was the first day, all year I think (which would definitely be a new record), when I honestly wished I could go enroll all the kids in school. I fantasized about full days at home, in the quiet, cleaning, writing, reading. I know that’s not at all what it looks like when your kids are in school, but let me enjoy my little fantasy for now, please. Really, I just want to deep deep deep clean my house. And that can’t happen during school. And it’s starting to make me batty. We only have a few weeks left, so I really should be thankful, happy, and content. But for some reason, today, I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to hide in my room. But you can’t hide in your room when kids need to be driven all over town all day long. And it could be the mouse droppings I keep finding all over my basement that are driving the urge to deep clean and the twitchy feeling inside because I just.don’t.have.time to do it. That could definitely be contributing to this sense of overwhelm and that my house is gross.
And last fall I read this book and it’s been sitting here waiting for me to share my take-aways and today seems like the day I need a good reminder of all the goodness inside that points to the goodness of God. So here we go….
Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson – My Take Away
My kids don’t need to see a supermama. They need to see a mama who needs a Super God. That maybe being the mama I wanted to be wasn’t so much about being more but believing more; believing and trusting more in the God of Hagar and Ruth and Hannah, the God who sees me, who nourishes me, who hears me and answers.
That godly parenting isn’t ultimately a function of rules but having a relationship with an ultimate God. That godly parenting is fueled by God’s grace, not my efforts.
That maybe it all comes down to this: if I make God first and am most satisfied in His love, I’m released to love my children fully and most satisfactorily.
Above all, I need to remember that ‘good’ motherliness has nothing to do with how God sees me. Nothing. I am pleasing to Him on my good days and my bad days. His love for me never wavers…and never will. Because I am His.
Remember, a woman who is alone in motherhood becomes a target of discouragement for Satan.
It is vitally important for women to learn how to think biblically for themselves instead of being enslaved to other people’s thoughts and opinions. To truly follow God with everything in our lives, we must learn to develop discernment.
A happy mom who is secure in herself and at ease in her life is a rare gift that children love and appreciate.
Determine for yourself what you hope to be the outcome of your family. What legacies do you want to leave for your children?
So….all of you precious moms who will read this, be yourself; be the best and most excellent and most righteous self you can be, but live in the freedom of God’s call and design on your life.
All soldiers are trained to expect and anticipate war, so they are not surprised when the battle starts. Moms need to understand that this is the reality of life with children in a fallen world. Getting angry and upset for children being selfish and demanding creates stress and havoc in the mind, emotions and body of a woman. Prepare yourself for the battle and accept the limitations of your husband, children, and home – and of yourself. And then determine that you will, in time, subdue your home, overcome in the fight for the hearts of your children, and find God’s joy and blessing through your obedience.
The ability to last in motherhood requires giving up expectations for our own lives, deciding that sacrificing our desires and wants for the sake of our family is our gift of worship to our heavenly Father.
Voices of culture and expectations of others will always lead you to a feeling of inadequacy or a need to perform. Either they give you permission to compromise ideals or cause you great stress by not being able to accomplish unreasonable and impractical ideals. God has never required more of you than you can possibly accomplish. So if you feel overwhelmed, it can often be because you are living by someone else’s expectations.
There are countless other snippets of wisdom I could pull, but I will close with these quotes from Chapter 13 in the book, words I needed to see again tonight….
Enjoy yourself. Cook food that you love. Play music that inspires you. Buy flowers and candles because they please your heart. Celebrate life in your home in the ways that bring you pleasure. Cultivating the art of life in your home not only brings you happiness, but it makes your home a lively, fun, fulfilling place. Most of all, enjoy life and celebrate it every day. God created pleasure just for us, so live in that blessing.
I can get so bogged down in all I have to do that planning beauty and adventure is just another thing that takes work and will exhaust me. And that might be true, but it’s better than drowning in the mundane. It’s better to put some energy into getting into life than letting life just happen.
Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket. (Nancy Spiegelberg)
Don’t neglect to see the beauty of the life around you while being overwhelmed by the duties of life.
[God] is wild, way beyond our control, and more interesting than we can imagine with our limited minds; but far too often we live in the mundane and don’t see the miracle of the moment because the eyes of our hearts have become blind to His reality.
If every morning you look at your child as a gift from God, a blessing that He has bestowed today, and thank Him for that blessing, you will approach your children with love, patience and grace
I often see women who have become so used to a substandard life that they cannot see that they have become empty, shallow, and impatient with the real live human beings right in their midst, who are longing for love but are also so ready to give back generously.
Learning to be patient and really listen to them when I was exhausted was a commitment I had made long before finding myself in such situations. I had resolved beforehand to focus on saying words of life and encouragement when I really wanted time alone; to use a gentle and respectful tone when I was tempted to express anger. It was out of the belief that these commitments mattered to God that I made them.
It was as though God gave me these children, so that I could grow up and become all the He had designed me to be.
And I really could quote pages and pages and pages more. This book was a balm last fall and has been again tonight as I flipped back through it. If you are a weary mama who desperately needs hope to breathe, I highly recommend this one.
For His Glory ~