I drove clear across town multiple times yesterday, back and forth between homeschooling one and shuttling two. Wednesday's are long. At day's end we made it home and I made dinner, then we made our way out into the dark night for youth groups at church. Hours later, when the kids were finally tucked in bed, I turned my attention to the kitchen sink, piled high with dinner dishes, and I felt an old familiar pang. I felt like a victim again.
It's been a while since I added to our ongoing "You are not a victim, you're a mom" series. If the term resonates with you on a gut level, you may want to start here at the beginning of our journey out of the pit of a victim mentality and on to the high places of sweet surrender in this sacrificial role of motherhood.
Ladies, God did a good job when he made you mom to your specific kids and placed you in your specific set of circumstances. Though the dishes and the laundry and the bills all pile up... your family needs you to keep putting one graceful foot in front of the other. As you plunge your hands into scourging sink water, remember your own hot refining and lean into the heat. When the suds rise up, remember the cleansing God offered 2,000 years ago, once for all. For you and me and our complaining hearts. Lean into the purity that belongs to you, clean and covered. Don't fall into the mud again, dear mom; the mud of bitterness, of harsh nagging and complaints.
I've no doubt you get weary. Sister, so do I. But God isn't calling us in our weakness to do anything He can't muscle with His strength, so bring it to Him - morning, noon, and nighttime too.
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There's nothing wrong with a good old fashioned cry session. Let the kiddos hop out of the minivan as you go ahead and lay your head on the steering wheel for a bit and cry. Tell Him all about your weak and weary places. However, if you truly want to see the power of God flow into your powerlessness, don't just cry... CRY OUT. "Lord, I need You. I need You to show yourself mighty and strong today."
Bring your burdens to Him, without ceasing. Siphon His strength by grabbing hard to the hem of his holiness.
Like the woman with the issue of blood, who dared take hold of the frayed corners of Jesus's cloak... come to Him in faith, with all your own issues. What's issuing forth from your life right now? Issuing out of your mouth - out of your heart and into your home. Perhaps it's been an issue for years - exasperated sighs and unholy thoughts, words that tear down and hands that have lost all gentleness.
Reach out and cry out, and press into the hot water of refinement, remembering that the cleansing has already been done on your behalf and mine. He has healed every disease threatening to issue out of us again. Believe it, when you're tired. Believe it when your children continue to struggle with issues of their own. Believe it and cry out:
I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications.Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
For You have rescued my soul from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the LORD In the land of the living.
(Psalm 116:1, 8-9, NASB)
Reach out and cry out, yes, but also keep walking it out. Walk it out before the Lord in the land of the living, in the midst of the people you are living with.
They need you to keep doing your job, day after day.
When there are dishes, do them.
When there is homework, help them.
When there are fears, quiet them.
When there are growing pains, rub them.
When there are dirty clothes, clean them.
When there is sin, recognize that your job is to correct, and then correct.
When there is joy, recognize that your job is to celebrate, and celebrate.
When they are melting down from too much sugar, recognize it is your job to help them eat healthy. And you do that too.
And when they are tired, whining at the end of another long day, recognize it is your job to help usher them to bed. And you grab a few winks yourself.
It is so easy to feel the victim each mothering day, but they are simply children being children, and they need you to keep on being mom.
One foot in front of the graceful other.
Keep walking it out, taking your issues to Him. Remembering, He didn't make us victims in our weakness, He made us victorious by HIs strength. He didn't make us victims, He made us moms!
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It's common to find yourself overwhelmed by your children's wrong behavior in this intense season of mothering. However, if you are exploding in inappropriate ways toward your loved ones, I encourage you to grab a copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses today.