I have had a rather challenging week so far... Nothing really disastrous or "big", just countless little irritations and frustrations that have had a huge impact on my frame of mind. I am relatively new at the whole "abiding in Jesus" thing, and obviously need some practice. As usual, God has provided me ample opportunity to work on it! I don't really want to recount all of the details and particulars of the last few days. If you are a mom then you can probably guess what that list would be... However, I do want to journal some of the conclusions I have come to in analyzing (or over-analyzing) the mini-meltdowns I am having lately.
I am tired. Exhausted is more like it. I, like most of you, run myself ragged and still accomplish little that has any tangible value. Sure, I know the importance of the intangibles, quality time with the kids, investing in their spirits, laughing and playing with the babies, etc. But you and I both know that to spend an entire day in your house and not manage to get a single lasting thing crossed off of the to-do list (I am not counting dishes or laundry in this statement, as I do these round the clock) can make a mama batty! And irritable, and snippy, and just generally unpleasant. So, I ask myself, "If others can do this, why can't I?" And if I am not careful about whose voice I am listening to (and no, I don't mean audible voices, I'm not that batty just yet), the answers usually sound a little like this: You're not disciplined enough. You're not organized enough. You're not capable enough. You're not good enough. You don't try hard enough.
I was definitely hearing those voices loud and clear yesterday. I put my head on the kitchen table and began to cry. I got up to do the dishes and cried some more. I sat on the couch to watch tv and cried some more. You get the picture. Overwhelmed, tired, and feeling hopeless. When I woke up this morning with a puffy face and a headache from all the crying, I determined that today would be better. If for no other reason, then for vanity's sake! With a prayerful heart I sat down, opened my devotion book to today's reading and this is what was on the page (I get teary eyed all over again just typing this):
"Thankfully, I am not defined by what I'm not. The 'I'm nots' of life aren't true. They are lies that the enemy wants me to believe...For every "I'm not" Satan plants in my head, God says, 'I Am.' What I'm not, He is.
'I Am the unconditional love you are able to give your kids. I Am your Redeemer. I forgive you... I Am your provider. I Am there for your friends, you aren't supposed to fix everyone. I Am living in you; therefore, you have great things to say and write. I Am your audience, not the whole world. I Am your husband, kids, and friends. The hole they can't fill in your heart, I can. I Am your Creator. Love the body you were given and take care of it.'" ~Melissa Taylor, from God's Purpose For Every Woman, a P31 Devotional
Wow. I get chills reading those words, even now! All the things that the Enemy of my soul whispers that I am not and will never be... My father in heaven Is. He is all that I need to be completely equipped to fulfill every task in my day, and meet every demand. He is in control of my world even when it seems to be spinning out of control. I am so thankful I can find my identity in Him, the only One who knows my heart. Even today after I read this wonderful word of encouragement, I found myself getting upset over little stuff, like Gracie losing her brand new pink hairbow in Target, and having to firmly "persuade" the twins to take their nap. So, what did I do? I sat down and read it again! I may have to read it ten more times before bedtime, but maybe then the words will be firmly planted in my heart for tomorrow's challenges. He is Enough. That is a truth that trumps all the "I'm not enoughs" I can think of.
"It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people, that smothers the burning heart - unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus" (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)
Psalm 143:8 "Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul."
James 4:7-8 "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you."