“Right now, I have nothing to give. Nothing. Nada. I’m tired and don’t feel good and honestly, I want a break from everything. It’s not that I want to leave my family, trade them in, or get new ones. I WANT to be with them. I just want a break from hard hearts, discipline, correction. I want their hearts changed and I can’t do it myself. Sometimes, the knowledge of this makes me feel hopeless and helpless.”
I wrote those words a few months ago in the middle of a season of weariness spanning about six months. The weariness came and went. Some days were better than others. But I couldn't help but wonder if it would ever end. Would I ever get to my "somewhere over the rainbow" where boys are obedient, kind, loving and respectful?
In my latest eBook, Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess (co-written with Stacey Thacker) I wrote these words:
"It’s sweaty work--manual labor of the most intense kind because it requires more than just body. Mothering demands body, soul, mind and heart. And when the work doesn’t pay off...when the pulling and tugging and coaxing and dragging and pushing and begging and praying don’t seem to change anything, we can be left empty, exhausted, worn down. Wanting to just give up. Weary."
I wanted to give up...
But then God met me in my mess
We took a family vacation last September. One week together, away from the everyday, waiting for my body to miscarry our third baby. I sat in the sand with the waves lapping my toes and watched my husband play and romp with my boys like I was seeing them for the first time. I watched arms and legs flapping and flopping in the water, heard little voices screaming, "Watch THIS Mommy!" and held the hand of my man strong, knowing that God was giving me a gift, even as He took another gift away.
That week at the beach, as I grieved the loss of our baby, I found something I had lost.
It was in my husband's hand as he held mine, assuring me of his presence.
It was in the laughter of my children as they played with reckless abandon.
It was in the wind, blowing our hair straight up and everywhere.
It was in the waves, as they reminded me of the strength of God's voice.
It was in a smile, a giggle, a touch. I saw my children display humility, perseverance, forgiveness, and grace. I watched my husband take out the trash, sweep, empty the dishwasher, and give me time to read. I saw the good, and overlooked the bad for the first time in a long time.
And I realized...
I'd spent so much time on my knees about the things that were wrong that I'd forgotten to look at the things that were right.
It's easy to get stuck in the mess, isn't it? We fall so far down in the pit that it's hard to see the blue sky at the top anymore. Gloom and doom become the norm. We yell more because we see fault more, and we forget to look at the positive in our lives.
Can I challenge us friends? What if today we committed to looking for the good in our families? It's there, I promise. You may have to dig long, hard, and deep to find it. You may have to pray and ask God to reveal it in areas you thought were beyond His gaze, but it's there somewhere, waiting to give you hope.
And it's in the looking that God meets you in your mess.
I would love to bless five of my Better Mom friends with a free copy of Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess.
To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing one thing that is RIGHT about your family.
(Please be sure to leave your email address when you're filling out the comment so we'll have a way to contact you. Giveaway ends 12/23/11. For an extra special treat from Brooke, visit her blog today!)