The ceiling fan whirred around and around above my head. The sounds of Sunday afternoon wafted up the stairs and reached my ears: the Sunday night commentators excitedly regaling the audience with the drama of a football game, the puppy chewing on her favorite toy, and my children in yet another heated debate over who knows what.
I lay on the bed, watching the ceiling fan spin until I was dizzy. It was cool in here. It was quiet.
I was hiding.
At my wit's end, wondering where in the world I had gone wrong that I was having to referee yet another fight over the exact same issues we had gone over several times that day already. And that was just Sunday.
"Help me, Lord," I cried out in my heart. "Why am I such a failure at this whole motherhood thing?"
In His still, small way, the Holy Spirit began to bring verse upon verse to my mind.
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22.6
We have to keep at it. Even when it seems like we're talking to a brick wall and tucking perfect little strangers in at night, we've got to keep on keepin' on. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and despite evidence sometimes quite to the contrary, our kids are listening, they are watching, and they are learning. We can't give up.
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 7:24 - 8:4
Ok, I know this one is a bit long, but bear with me here. When it comes to your parenting, are you crying out, "Oh, wretched mom that I am? Who will set me free?" I thought so. Friends, our jobs are of vital importance to our families, our communities, and to future generations. So many things begin and end with us. But, listen to me very closely, we cannot do it in our own power. We must be in the Word, taking time at His feet, pouring our hearts out to Him, and being still to listen to what He has to say. There is no condemnation for those of us in Christ. We are more than the sum of our mothering mistakes, and nothing is held over our heads after our less-than-stellar mom moments. But the way to freedom is the way of the cross. Walking in and through the power of the Holy Spirit, and not through the power of the coffee pot and yoga pants alone.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21
We cannot be reminded enough that strength comes through the power of His Name. If you're tired, worn out, weary and at the end of your rope, come to Jesus. Call upon His great name. It's not some magical spell that will make all your problems disappear...but it kind of is. The is a power that cannot be explained in the precious name is Jesus. Don't take it lightly, don't take it for granted. Build your strength and foundation upon His name and step out and mother your kids with grace, wisdom and confidence. Note, I didn't say perfection.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven givewhat is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11
I love this verse. It reminds me of God's goodness and kindness. It reminds me that He is the one Perfect Parent. And guess what? If God is the perfect parent, it stands to reason that He would raise perfect children, right? Ah ha. If God, the Perfect Parent, has raised wonderfully complex, flawed, sinful children with stubborn minds of their own, why would we expect our imperfect parenting to reap such results?
Sweet friend, take some time and marinate in these verses. Let your heart breathe in deep the goodness of His grace. And take that grace with you back into the madness of the rest of your day. It's all grace in this amazing, incredible, difficult, magical, infuriating thing called motherhood. And when you're too weak and tired to lift a prayer, I'll hold your hands up and pray on your behalf.