You blow your temper again and this time you're ready to give up. You can't change. You've read every self-help book and blog you can find, but your temper cannot be changed.
The tears of despair roll down your cheeks, because this is not the kind of mom you want your kids to remember. You feel the hope draining out of your body and, just like many other moms in your shoes, you begin to tell yourself lies.
We say: "I will always be an angry Mom."
"I will never be able to stop yelling at my kids."
"If only I could make myself stop overeating, I would feel good about myself."
"I've always been a hot mess and I guess I always will."
God says: “Forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." -Isaiah 43:18-19
We spin in circles, walking the same dry, dusty road of our shortcoming again and again. We long for change, like a wanderer in the desert longs for refreshing streams. Sometimes we make resolutions and our desires spring up before us like an oasis. But we soon discover they're only a mirage, dancing at the edge of our reach and soon there's only ripples of dust left where we imagined fresh water.
We do not need to live in this cycle of defeat! Our loving Father tells us to forget what was before and stop our striving so that we can see what HE will do. And it will be glorious indeed.
That anger that flares up when you least expect it? He can wash it away with His life-giving water. Acknowledge it, take it to Him, repent of it and then ask Him to throw it far away from you. God promises to make rivers in the desert and to create a pathway through the wilderness. He has created a way for us to escape from our old sinful self and it is time for us to quit calling ourselves sinners and to start walking in the new life that He has already given us who call on His name!
God calls us righteous and redeemed. He calls us saints. Do not identify yourself with whatever your besetting sin may be. Quit saying you're a hot mess, you're an angry Mom, you're a bad friend or anything else. Does God say that about you? Certainly not! So who tells us all the negative things about ourselves? Satan. Who are we calling truthful when we repeat negative things about ourselves? Satan.
We must stop. All of us. Right now.
You. Are. Holy.
You think that sounds audacious? This is how we are described in the New Testament. Read Hebrews 10:10, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 John 1:9, and 2 Peter 1:3-4. Click on each link and read these right now.
We do not leave our sin behind by beating ourselves up over it and walking around in a spirit of dejection and self-hate. We leave our sin behind by following Christ and pursuing His good rather than running from our bad. When we run away, we have no clear aim or idea of where we're going. When we pursue Christ, we know exactly which direction we're going.
Walk forward in His righteousness today, sister. That is the road He has created for you in a dry and barren wilderness where there was once nothing.
Check out the rest of the #wesayHesays series here:
Everyone around me is so...gifted. It seems like everyone can paint watercolors, has great photography skills, sounds like Mozart on the piano, all while doing crafts with their kids and making their house look like all the pins from Pinterest.
It's enough to make any Mom feel like God must have passed her over in the gift department. I mean, most days I'm happy when I get my 2 loads of laundry washed, dried and folded, keep the dishes washed up and can spend some time reading or being outside with the kids. (Which, by the way, is exactly enough for one day.)
But some days I let discontentment get a hold of my heart and I, probably like you, start saying things that are less that flattering.
We say: "I wish I were a creative Mom."
"I'm not near as good of a Mom as so-and-so."
"I'm such a failure. If only I decorated and kept my house as perfect as my neighbor."
God says: "[I] has given each of you a gift from [my] great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another." -1 Peter 4:10
Comparison is a trap that most Moms walk into with their eyes wide open. Sometimes we even feel like we are practicing humility when we "praise" the good works and gifts of others in a self-deprecating way.
We talk longingly of the way our friend keeps her house perfect and our neighbor's kids can speak 3 different languages. If only we were disciplined, neater, craftier, crunchier, holier.
If only we were as good as everyone else.
And we say and think these things and they keep us from doing what we can and are supposed to be doing. God says that He has given us all gifts. We all have our own little corner that we are supposed to be making brighter. The gift that we have is valuable and has a very direct purpose.
Maybe you haven't taught your kids a foreign language, but they know how to make and serve coffee when you have friends over. Maybe your kids don't know how to keep a perfect house, but they know how to find the unpopular ones at school and love on them well, because they see you doing the same. Maybe your Instagram looks messy, with unprofessional photos, but you are out doing life with your kids, loving it, and learning lessons together along the way.
The point is, you are not meant to be "her," you are meant to be you. God crafted a special gift right into each of us, and if we focused on using that gift to serve God and others well, we'd forget to worry about how inadequate we are compared to everyone else down the block.
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Mom guilt is a real thing y'all. Probably every Mom has suffered from it for at least a minute or two. A lot of us struggle with it a lot more than that and it often goes deeper than guilt.
We have a deep fear of failure in the whole motherhood thing. With Pinterest perfect Moms and #momsofig all around us, at all times, it's hard to escape this fear of failing. We're all pretty sure that everybody else has it together better than we do and we're just hot mess express, failing our kids, our family, our friends, ourselves, and God.
And we say a lot of things to and about ourselves that are actually lies straight from Satan.
Yes, I'm serious. Just listen in on this conversation that we've all had with ourselves.
We say: "I'm afraid I'll just mess up my kids."
"I don't know how to raise Christian kids."
"I am scared to teach my children about Jesus, because I'm afraid I'll get it wrong."
"How will I manage the teen years? I'm not cut out for this!"
God has the final word and He says: "He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young." -Isaiah 40:11
God knows you. He knows you're frail and flighty and unsure. He knows you have a tendency to follow others instead of Him. He knows this tendency sometimes paralyzes you, because you're so afraid you'll head the wrong way. He knows this about you because He is the Good Shepherd and He has made it His job to care for you. He is here to lead you in the right path and to guide you to the safe places. He is here to show you how to parent.
Tune into His heart and you'll hear Him saying "go this way. This is the path I have chosen for you. This is how to handle this situation with your child."
And do you know what else? He promises to take care of your child too. God is so much bigger than you, and your mistakes don't stop Him from working in your child's life. God is the only One Who can redeem your child, so take that load off your shoulders and give it to Him. And then simply follow where He leads you in your parenting, even if it's away from the crowd. Behind the Good Shepherd - this is your safe spot as a Mom.
It's time to stop focusing on what we're scared or incapable of, and start celebrating what God can do.
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I am on a journey to know Jesus better, and be the wife, mommy and friend that God created me to be, all within the walls of my own little home. <3