7 Truths for Parenting

I recently walked out of an OB appointment before seeing the doctor. With tears in my eyes, I tried to avoid the nurse’s gaze and keep my voice from shaking as I gathered our things and told her I would have to reschedule. Because of a change in my husband’s typical schedule, I had both boys with me at the appointment that day (something I don’t normally attempt), and it was a complete and total disaster. I came armed with snacks, books, and the ipad full of movies. Regardless of all my gear, the boys were their usual active (read: wild) selves! They loudly ran about the waiting room and then got into a screaming, yanking fight over a bag of veggie straws right as the nurse was calling us back. That fight carried over to another one over the only extra chair in the exam room while the nurse stared awkwardly as I tried to get my children under control. The iPad refused to work properly, so I couldn’t get a movie started to help settle them down. My stress levels were elevating, and I was slowly coming unglued. Completely embarrassed, I dragged both boys out to the car and pretty much had a come-apart the entire thirty minute drive home. It was a low point in parenting. A real low point.

In spite of the story above, parenting my boys is probably the most significant, joy producing, glorious task I’ve ever been given. It is also, without a doubt, the most challenging task I’ve ever been given. The task of bearing and raising life is such a gift–a miracle, honor and privilege. But it’s also ridiculously hard. Harder than I ever really imagined. I find myself growing tired, impatient, and worried more than I care to admit. Parenting, like nothing else in my life thus far, has driven me to mine God’s Word for truth, wisdom, and hope. Below are seven significant truths from God’s Word that I am continuously turning to and meditating on through both the good and hard days of parenting (but especially the hard days):

1. Children are blessed gifts from God’s hand: On the days when our children are acting impossible, we must dwell on the truth that they are undeserved gifts from God’s hand, and they are great blessings to our lives regardless of their actions at the moment. No new life is an accident or a mistake. Every child, regardless of the circumstances through which he or she is conceived and born, is a purposeful gift from our good God’s hand. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3).

2. God is sovereign over His creation–each child is created exactly as God intended him or her to be: Individual personalities, full of their various strengths and weaknesses, are more than just random genetic combinations. They are the careful handiwork of an all-wise and sovereign God who does not make mistakes. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14).

3. God possesses all the wisdom and strength we need to faithfully parent our children. This wisdom and strength are made available to believers through faith in the shed blood and finished work of Christ. Through Jesus, we must draw from this strength and wisdom daily. Because Christ’s strength is perfect and is magnified in our weaknesses, we can rejoice even in the greatest parenting struggles that we face. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

4. Our children (and spouse) are our closest neighbors. Jesus calls His followers to love our neighbor(s) as we love ourselves. Contrary to common belief, no one has to be taught self-love. All people naturally seek their own happiness and well-being and naturally look out for their own interests, although this takes different forms in different people and varying circumstances. Jesus radically calls His followers to pursue the happiness, well-being and interests of others with the same intensity that we pursue those things for ourselves. Upon close examination of the heart, all of us will find that self-love often tries to dominate and overpower a love for others, even in the case of our own children. But, by God’s grace and power, we must see to it that our parenting is not tainted with selfishness or driven by our own idolatrous desires for security, peace of mind, a good reputation, convenience. etc. The way we parent must flow from a self-sacrificial love for both God and our closest little neighbors–a love that seeks to point our children to Christ through and in the midst of challenges. “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first great commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).

5. Anxiety and worry are sin. When it comes to our children (and our parenting), anxiety and worry can so easily creep into our hearts and minds. Am I doing this right? How is this child going to turn out? How will we make it through this tough season? Is something wrong with my child?!?!? God calls believers to stop fretting and turn to Him for everything, resting in His peace and trusting Him to help and supply us in every need. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. . . And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, 19).

6. Parenting failures are inevitable. If we confess our sin and repent, God is faithful to forgive and cleanse us.  Believers in Christ will not be made perfect until we meet Him one day and, therefore, we will not be perfect parents during our time on this earth. All of us will fall short. We will all lose patience. We will sin against God and our children more than we care to admit. But if we come face-to-face with our sin through confession and repentance, God through Christ is faithful to forgive us and make us clean. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

7 .Our job is not to produce godly children. Our job is to be a faithful parents. God has not called us to produce godly children because we have no power to do so. As parents, we do not have the power ultimately necessary to turn our children’s hearts away from sin and toward Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can draw people to repentance and light the fire of true faith in the heart. Parents, however, are called to put as much “kindling” around our children’s hearts as possible. We are called to teach our children the truth about God, themselves, and our world. Through our everyday interactions and conversations, we must help our kids see their brokenness and rebellion against God and point them toward the good news of the gospel of Jesus–the only one who has the power to transform their hearts and lives. We are responsible to hold up the glory and goodness of God before our children and teach them that a life apart from God our Father is really no life at all. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise’”. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).  


May our parenting be guarded and guided according to the blessed truths of God’s Word, and may we seek to steward well the good news of the gospel by holding it out to our closest little neighbors. It is our greatest hope…and theirs.

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On Making the Most of our Time

Faithful time management is an ever present challenge for me.

Each day, there are {seemingly} too many things vying for the best of my time, energy, mental and physical attention.

What is most important? What can be dropped? How do I prioritize well and balance the various roles, responsibilities, and opportunities the Lord has given me? How do I minimize wasted time?

All the things I need and want to do each day just cannot be done and certainly cannot be done well. I have to prioritize, plan, and ultimately make decisions concerning the use of my time. Although your own roles, responsibilities, and opportunities may look very different from mine, you have to make those same decisions.

In struggling to best manage my competing responsibilities, I am continually returning to Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesian church:   ” .  . . and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph. 5:10)I often quote his reminder to the Corinthians to my own heart: “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him” (2 Cor 5:9). I certainly don’t earn God’s favor by using my time in ways that please Him. No. I seek to use my time for Him because He has placed His undeserved favor on me through the Gospel of Jesus.

How do I discover which uses of my time are most pleasing to the Lord? The only place to find these answers is God’s Word, His written revelation of Himself. The renewal of my mind through the Bible enables me to discern and think rightly about what pleases God (Romans 12:2), and the Holy Spirit’s power enables me to do what pleases Him, even when my flesh would rather have its own way. Here are three biblical principles I’m using to shape the way I think about and manage my time:

1. Time spent faithfully fulfilling God-given responsibilities for the purpose of Him receiving glory is pleasing to the Lord. The principle here is that God is pleased when we concern ourselves less with what our God-given jobs are and more with how and why they are fulfilled. For most people, the greatest chunks of time each day are spent in one particular vocation. God has given different roles and responsibilities to each of us, and he expects us to do them. But we need to ask ourselves how and why we’re doing them. Colossians 3:23 teaches that we please the Lord when we recognize that all our work is for Him, and, therefore, work heartily {vigorously, thoroughly} at it. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” A good question to ask is, “Am I giving 100% in fulfilling my responsibilities today {regardless of whether I like them or think they’re significant}?” 1 Corinthians 10:31 teaches what the motive behind our faithful work should be: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  Ask yourself, “Am I spending all this time working hard to make God’s name famous or to make my name famous?” When we use our time working faithfully in our ordinary tasks for his renown, He is pleased.

2. Time spent working for the eternal, rather than the temporal, is pleasing to the Lord. Matthew 6:19 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  Spending the limited time God has given us striving after things that won’t last is a waste of time. Ultimately, the only things that will carry from this life to the next are God’s Word and human souls. When you spend your time intentionally seeking to know God through His Word and helping others know Him through His Word, you are using your time in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. A good question to ask is, “Do the things I spend significant time doing have any eternal value?” Now, by suggesting this question, I am not inferring that everything you do must be “churchy.” For the Christian, there is no dichotomy between the sacred and the secular. The gospel and the mission of Christ permeate every part of a believer’s ordinary life. Eternally-motivated activities are woven throughout the every day. Nonetheless, your day should include intentional time to know God (Bible intake, prayer, etc) and to make Him known to others.

3. Time spent working to reverse the effects of sin through restorative action is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:16 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. The curse of man’s sin has left no part of our world untouched. We live in a broken world, corrupted by evil because of sin. Christ came to bring restoration and to reverse the effects of the curse. The reversal of the curse of sin was inaugurated with Jesus’s death and resurrection and will be completed when Christ returns to fully restore and recreate {Revelation 21}. In the meantime, all believers are to be working toward the reversal of brokenness in our world. Restorative action happens when we do things God’s way for the purpose of His glory and the benefit of the world. This looks a million different ways in our lives and can be practiced in any vocation, but the goals of our actions should be motivated and driven by the Gospel {the good news of what God has done and will do for us in Christ}. Working toward a more godly marriage by spending time with your spouse, parenting biblically, cultivating beauty, creating beauty through art and music, getting proper rest, caring for your body through right eating and disciplined exercise, learning,  developing healthy friendships, working for social justice, enjoying and cultivating creation, orphan care, service and enjoying God’s good gifts are just a few examples that come quickly to mind.

I’m young, but the truth is that I don’t have all the time in the world. And neither do you. Let’s make the best investment of every moment He has given us by using our time in ways that please Him. And let’s not live like this is all there is. Our brief moments on earth are just the “pre-life” of what’s to come.

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Laundry and the Gospel

Anyone else just {a tad} behind on laundry? Sometimes it’s comforting to know there’s another mom right there with you buried under the pile. So, here’s a reality picture for the sake of solidarity {and, yes, that print on the wall is crooked and too high}. For the past three days, this is the first sight my eyes have seen as I walk through my garage door into the house. No instagram filter can make it prettier. . .
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But the Gospel of Jesus offers beauty and rest {to my type-A-would-prefer-everything-neat-and-orderly-soul} in the midst of this chaotic mess that I just haven’t had time to get to this week.

Jesus’s purifying and cleansing work through the blood sacrifice of his own body on the cross is preeminent over the dirty [or in my case, clean but unfolded] laundry that is threatening to avalanche soon.” —-Gloria Furman in Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full. 

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—-more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness [which clearly might be my family soon!] or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! ———Romans 8:31-37

So, friend, whether you’re buried under a mound of laundry or a much, much greater mound full of sorrow, suffering, pain, grief or spiritual warfare; rest in the gospel today. If you are in Christ Jesus, you are more than a conquerer. What Christ has done for you, and the power and inheritance he has given you, blows any hardship { from the smallest to the greatest} out of the water.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. ——Psalm 43:5

Hallelujah and amen!

Hey there, ol’ bloggy blog

I feel like the blog is an old friend that I need to get to know again. We have a lot to catch up on. I’ve missed being here, documenting bits and pieces of our story. Maybe I’ll be able to play catch-up over the next few weeks. Or maybe not. Life is full during this season and especially full this spring as I’m working to complete my biblical counseling internship class.

The internship has been really helpful and challenging and exhausting all at once. With every class I take, I learn and grow and feel more equipped to adequately counsel God’s Word and minister the truths of the gospel to the women in my sphere of influence. This class has been no different. My supervisor has been a wonderful and unexpected God-send. She is such a theologically solid biblical counselor, and I have loved sitting under her and watching her speak truth in love to these women who are desperately trying to rebuild their lives for God’s glory. I’m learning that even though these women have stories vastly different from my story, we aren’t all that different. We are once-broken-now-redeemed-sinner-sufferers, desperately in need of the gospel of Jesus both to justify (save) us and sanctify (grow and transform) us. And God’s Spirit and Word are sufficient! Praise God for that. I’m so thankful to be involved in the gospel mission happening at The Refuge of Grace. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to counsel and disciple several women from our church and to see the Lord doing a work of change in their hearts and lives.

As much as I’m loving the relationships I’m building and the opportunities for real, gospel ministry, it’s hard to balance my time. My family is my primary ministry. My children require full-time, hands-on care right now, and I want to be the one to provide that care (for the most part). It is my joy to take care of them and shepherd their hearts, and I feel certain that is my primary calling during this season of life. But it’s exhausting. Add in counseling, reading, a 38-page certification exam, and trying to provide food and clean laundry for four people, and it’s double exhausting. No, triple exhausting.  The pace I’m keeping right now is not a pace I can keep long-term, and (I hope) summer will provide a much-needed break and time of rest. Maybe then I’ll catch up on blogging…

Until then, I’ll hang on and seek to be faithful. Hope to meet you here again soon. 🙂

The new year (so far).

As ususal, we’re living life in the fast lane. If we did nothing BUT take care of our two kids, our life would be a wild, crazy, busy adventure. {Take our lunch today at Firehouse, for instance. The poor people eating around us had no idea they would have the joy of witnessing the circus we are: John Wicks throwing-up his entire lunch and Luke circling the table and screaming, “MAMA’s GONE TEE-TEE! MAMA’S GONE TEE-TEE!” at the top of his lungs as I’m walking to the bathroom.}

Add in all the other things of life and ministry, and we are really busy. I’m excited about all we have going on right now, though. Adam is teaching through Colossians on Sunday nights this month and essentials of a healthy church on Wednesday nights. We have lots of small groups in our church forming to go through Multiply by Francis Chan. I’m excited to get to walk through this with a few young women as we seek out what it really means to be a disciple of Christ who makes other disciples of Christ.

Adam has gotten a chance to go hunting some this month {probably the first time since before we were married?!?} Life in Louisville with school and jobs just didn’t afford many opportunities for hunting, or any hobbies for that matter. I’m glad he has been able to enjoy it again recently. He’s also been working on building a swing set for the boys for about 2 weeks. Little did we know when we ordered it what a project it would be! Adam’s doing a great job, but it’s just been hard to finish when the only opportunity he has to work on it is at night in the freezing cold. He’s been burning up the roads on his off days, traveling to Louisville with me for class and drill for the army. He’ll get it done eventually!

I’m starting my biblical counseling internship this semester {Only 1 class left after this!!!!!}, and I’ll have the opportunity to observe and counsel at a residential center for women coming out of prison in our area. I’ve been getting to know my supervisor, and I’m thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that the Lord has provided someone who is theologically sound and serious about following Jesus, loving people, and counseling the Word of God into some of the hardest cases and life situations of women. I know this internship will stretch me and take me out of my comfort zone in so many ways. I pray the Lord will shape me, change me, and make me a more faithful and experienced biblical counselor because of it. In addition to counseling and observing, I’ll have a substantial amount of paperwork and class work to keep up with, so I covet prayers as I seek to manage my time well. Balancing my time and responsibilities has been my biggest struggle since having children. Even when I’m not taking classes,  I always have more on my mental “need-to-do” and “want-to-do” lists than I have hours in the day. Praying that I’ll have wisdom to let go of the things that don’t matter so that I may accomplish the things that do matter for the people that matter.

Speaking of the people that matter, I want to give a quick update on Luke. JW has his monthly update posts, but I haven’t taken time to record anything about L lately. Oh my goodness, y’all, he is the talkingest child you have ever met. I do not exaggerate when I tell you that if he is awake, that mouth is running. At times it’s cute and sweet. Other times, hilarious. Other times, disrespectful or wear-you-out exhausting. I need to record a few of the things he’s saying these days, so I can remember.

We’ve been working on using the potty a little here and there . . .

Me: Luke, what do big boys do?

Luke: Tee-tee in the potty, poo-poo in the potty, and crank Daddy’s truck!

Somehow he associates being a big boy with using the potty and getting to help Adam crank the 4runner.

Luke loves to use the phrase “this day” instead of “today.” I don’t know where he picked that up, but it makes me laugh. He always says it emphatically.

I saw a cement truck this day!

Daddy’s gonna build my swing set this day!

He will try to argue or manipulate with the best of ’em. When asked to come to the table to eat or go get in bed, he’ll usually say….

I play with my trucks just a few more minutes….or

I watch the baby channel just a few more minutes. 

Umm, sorry buddy. That wasn’t an option.

He uses expressions like an adult, and it kills me.

What was that about, Mama?

How cool is that?!?!?

What a mess!!!

Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness!

Probably not!

For some reason he loves to lie about a dirty diaper, even when it’s obvious…

Me: Luke, do you have poo-poo?

Luke: No.

Me: Luke, if you tell me you don’t have poo-poo when you do, that’s a lie. Lying is wrong and means I will have to discipline you. So, let me ask you again. Do you have poo-poo?

Luke: Hmmmm, I think I DO, Mama!!!

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Dear church member (from a young pastor’s wife)

Dear church member,

Can I share something with you?

Regardless of which local body of believers you are a part of, I can almost guarantee that your pastors really love you.

They take God’s command to “shepherd the flock that is among you” (1 Peter 5:1-2) very seriously. According to pastor John MacArthur, “A shepherd leads, feeds, nurtures, comforts, corrects, and protects–responsibilities that belong to every church leader. In fact, the word pastor means shepherd.”

The spiritual health and vitality of their flocks are continually upon pastors’ hearts and, like Paul, they have no greater joy than to see their people walking in truth (3 John 1:4).

Do you see the depth of this love and why it is so important? It is vitally important that your pastors love you in this way because spiritual health and wellness is a matter of eternal significance. Soul prosperity is crucially important, not just in this life, but for the one to come.

Having said that, can I share something else with you?

You (yes, you) have the opportunity to minister to your pastors. You have the ability to help them and spur them on as they seek to be obedient to God’s call on their lives to shepherd their local flocks.

Dear church member, your words, actions, and even your attitudes, are a powerful force in ministering to your local church leaders.

A positive word of affirmation, blessing, or the promise of faithful prayers can go a long way in ministering encouragement and love to your pastor. Even a word of constructive criticism spoken in kindness with a humble spirit can speak volumes of love and is often helpful and even necessary.

On the other hand, words of complaint and unnecessary criticism, spoken to him directly or behind his back, will lay heavy on the heart of your pastor and likely prove unhelpful in the end.

One of the easiest ways to guard against the latter of these is to check your own heart and motives and to guard yourself against a “church consumer” mentality. The role of the pastor (see above) is not to provide a service to the church members, and the role of church members is not to come to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and consume that service.

In other words, the role of the pastor is not to entertain or even “keep the people happy.” A worship service is not a performance put on by the choir, worship leader, and teaching pastor by which church members are entertained for an hour every Sunday. No. A worship service is a performance put on by the church members, led by the choir, worship leader, and teaching pastor, in which GOD receives adoration, glory, and praise.

Dear church member, check your heart for a “church consumer” mentality by asking the following questions of yourself:

1. In terms of music, are you more concerned about the style or currentness of the worship music than you are about the lyrics being Christ-centered and God-directed? During worship, are you focused on whether or not you know and like a particular song, or are you focused on worshipping God in your heart through the words and message of that song?

2. Is it more important to you that the teaching pastor be a fluid, eloquent speaker (who offers engaging stories and illustrations) or a faithful expositor of the biblical text (even if his speaking style isn’t flashy or particularly entertaining)?

3. Are you more concerned with the length of the pastor’s sermon than his content? During preaching, are you focused on the Word of God (seeking to let it teach, reprove, correct, and train you in righteousness–2 Timothy 3:16) or on whether the preacher is done in under 30 minutes?

4. Why are you faithful in your church attendance? Does your faithfulness flow from a passionate love for Christ or a passionate love for programs and traditions? Do you love Jesus or do you love churchy-ness?

5. Do you see yourself as an integral part of the body of Christ? Do you seek to use your spiritual gifts to build up the body for the ultimate purpose of bringing glory to God through the building of His Kingdom? Or do you just come to church to occupy your pew space and be “fed?”

Dear church member, I know these are tough heart-examination questions. But we all need to ask these questions of ourselves. Even pastors’ wives.

Dear church member, you are an important, irreplaceable part of the body of Christ. Your church roles and spiritual gifts are God-given and necessary, as are the roles and gifts of your pastors (1 Corinthians 12). You have the biblical responsibility to honor your spiritual leaders (1 Timothy 5:17) and the ability to use your words, actions, and spiritual gifts to minister grace and love to your pastor as he seeks to faithfully shepherd the flock. I earnestly charge you to be faithful in this task.

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. —1 Timothy 5:17

Dear church member, you are precious and you are loved. 

Grace, peace, and love to you in the name of Jesus Christ,

A young pastor’s wife

 

Hard but worth it.

SONY DSCThey may look picture perfect, but there’s more behind those cute, Christmas-y smiles than you can see.

Like the 50 bad pictures taken to score this good one.

Or the fact that Luke was bribed with a sucker or two to get him to smile. (#momoftheyearaward)

Or the unshowered, haggard-looking, yoga-pants-wearing young mom behind the camera.

It’s easy to post pictures that make our lives look tidy and pretty and, well, together.

But, the truth is, there’s always more to the story than the pictures tell.

Some  Most days I feel like motherhood is kicking me in the pants. 

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCYes, there are smiles, cuddles, endearing chatter, and wide-eyed wonder.

Yes, motherhood (and homemaking) is extremely fulfilling at times.

But can I be honest for a second?

It’s hard. Really hard.

I often feel totally overwhelmed, stressed, torn, and really tired. 

Tired of temper-tantrums, unloading the dishwasher, and searching for little socks in enormous piles of unfolded laundry.

Tired of trying to come up with something new and stimulating to keep my children entertained.

Torn between taking a nap or folding all those clothes while the babes sleep.

Torn between taking a shower or cleaning the shower (which quite possibly may be growing something).

Torn about which need (among many) to meet first. Tend to a screaming John Wicks or pour Luke more milk? Nurse John Wicks or change Luke’s dirty diaper.

It’s a daily, mental battle. I want to enjoy and savor every moment of these “little years,” but in most moments, I feel like I’m just fighting to survive them. Hanging on for dear life, if you will. Fighting for more sleep and demanding some “me time.”

I want to never take my children for granted, to remember that they are undeserved blessings from God Himself. I know that this is a season I will miss one day, but in the here and now I catch myself thinking, “Motherhood is so hard! I can’t do it. I JUST WANT A BREAK BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE NO LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!”

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SONY DSCHis grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in your weakness. These are the words that the Spirit keeps bringing to my mind.

My grace is sufficient, Sarah, even when you feel tired and weak and at the end of yourself. And I WANT you to come to the end of yourself so you will see your desperate need for Me. Your weakness is good because then I receive the glory in your mothering. 

In the Gospel Transformation Study Bible notes for 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, I read, “The gospel give us a radical shift in thinking, one that is deeply liberating. For if weakness is something in which we can boast, nothing can ultimately overwhelm us.” 

This is the hope of the Gospel. In our union with Christ, we not only receive His righteousness, but also His STRENGTH. This is the strength we need to press on in doing what he’s called us to do, even when it’s rough. And ultimate joy comes in being unified with and satisfied in Him.
Not “me time.” Not a break. Not a new season.

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As mom was hugging me goodbye after Thanksgiving, she said something that really struck me: “Family is hard but worth it.” 

I think this will be my motto for motherhood, in every season and with every challenge.

Hard, yes. But so worth it.