Photo Credit: http://www.mybubblog.org/forgive-yourself
Some days I just can't shake it off. I try. I pray. I pray harder, but so many days in my life as a mom, it seems like the deck is stacked against me. I'm not sure why that surprises me anymore, because let's be honest, the deck IS stacked against us. Why would satan want us to wake up joyful, and ready to take on the day? Why wouldn't he attack us with rough sleepless nights, multiple children being up and down all night, and one that wakes up yet again before your alarm even does....why wouldn't he?!?!
I don't know why I fight it anymore, instead of just expect it. It isn't a matter of whether or not he will try and attack me and kick me down and make me feel useless and guilty as a mom, because He will. It's more so a matter of beginning to anticipate the attack, and being prepared for it. Spending time with my Savior, and filling my heart with His word. Laying my own agenda down, and when I say this I mean truly, and utterly laying it down, because all too often I come to Him, and I think I lay it down, but I really haven't. My prayers are more like whispered demands, than they are true heartfelt, cries out to God to give me strength, because I really can't do this on my own.
You know the prayers.....
"God I just can't do this today. I'm tried, and they won't listen! I'm so sick of the disobedience, would you please just help them listen to me..."
Would be nice if they chose to listen, but I'm realizing that these uttered prayers, are selfish prayers that would help me feel in control if my children listened, obeyed, etc. Really? I don't need more control. I fight for my own control all the time, what I need is to trust that Jesus is bigger even than this, and that He is ALWAYS in control. He knows my children's hearts. He knows His plans for each of us, and maybe just maybe His desire through this hard thing..this moment of me being unable to control my child's behavior is really about Him making me, and my children more holy, not happy.
I struggle a lot with mom guilt. When I worked outside of the home I felt guilty for spending time away from my child, and putting her in daycare. Now that I work from home I feel guilty being distracted with work sometimes, and focusing on that when I need to be. Really and truly, whether we work from home, stay home, or work away from home, satan doesn't want you to find joy in Christ. He's going to attack, and steal regardless of your circumstances, but in Christ friends, there is true joy, despite where you are right now. He will fill your heart, and be strong in your weakness if you truly lay it down, and ask Him.
Reality is, there is a deep spiritual battle going on here. I love this article entitled "Parenting Means Wrestling Demons." Seriously....game changer...to start anticipating the battle instead of being surprised by it. Not to live in a glass half empty mentality, but to recognize that there is going to be a battle helps to lower my expectations of the day, instead of expecting everything to be perfect and to go as planned all the time...it won't. To really and truly "be more surprised when things go well, rather than when they go badly."
Really these battles are sometimes so mundane, and stupid, that it may not be a battle all the time in my children, but a battle on me. How can satan get to me today? How can he get me to lose it with my kids? To be so encompassed and paralyzed by being irritated at all the mundane things I need to do, and make me completely ineffective in the ministry that God has placed before me?
This work moms....is significant. It matters. I was actually just reading this article this morning, and loved how the author, Jennifer Rothschild says this:
"If you don’t think about it, you can react to the immediacy of a situation and, consequently, overreact to your kids. But, if you respond to the ultimate, you are reacting less to a situation and more to a soul. Your kid’s souls. That is the ultimate goal of parenting, isn’t it? We want to nurture and shape the souls of our kids."
Oh how often I just react. One moment I can be completely content, and full of joy, and the next I'm steaming mad over a cascade of events from little ones that took mere moments to reach. Not to sound all cliche, ridiculous crazy Jesus lady here, but oh my goodness....I need more of Him, and less of me. I literally CANNOT do this without Him. Not well anyway, and so I pray, and continue to pray, sometimes in tears, on my knees in the middle of my kitchen floor, "God, give me strength to do your will, not mine today. Give me grace to be your hands and feet, and glorify you in all that I do and say. Lord help me to shape and nurture these little souls that you have entrusted to me."
One day at a time mamas, we can do this...not because of us, but because of Him!