Dear Mom Who's Trying,
I see you...rolling out of bed to the sound of the grumpy cries (and bickering) of little people...the same crying that drenched your day yesterday, well into the time of night you claim as "me time." You didn't get enough sleep...and you're ready to quit before the day begins.
I see you...trying to remember how funny you used to be, how *those* jeans used to fit, how light-hearted you used to feel -- before the responsibilities and turns in life became weighty.
I see you...doing the next thing, cleaning up from the last meal in time to prepare for the next...perpetually chasing the tyranny of the urgent.
I see you...checking social media like a drug, hoping for that thing that will inspire you, but find yourself crushed in your spirit with discontentment, guilt, and anxiety.
I see you...clinging to your favorite Bible verses, but really longing to cling to Christ himself -- Christ, who you know is closer than breath, but yet feels elusive somehow.
I see you...loving and holding your children tight, but so quickly letting their hearts crash to the floor with your piercing and angry words...and you say, never again.
I see you because I see me.
I see us giving ourselves pep talks, and pulling ourselves up by our boot straps, and proclaiming, "I am enough. I will be brave. I am an overcomer!" And yet, in the quiet, honest moments of our day, we know that pushing through, pressing on, being brave ...in themselves, is simply NOT ENOUGH.
And so, some of us, who aren't brave enough, strong enough, optimistic enough...give up. Because striving in our own strength can only result in pride or hopelessness, greater self-righteousness or greater discouragement. You can't win by might.
Sister, of course you feel like you can do better tomorrow. Of course you think you'll be less grumpy when your circumstances change. Of course you want to be beautifully brave like everyone else you see. It's only normal that we think more trying, more striving, more "me making myself more" is what it takes.
"...by my Spirit" is only by faith, only by humbling yourself, only by decreasing that he might increase. By his spirit means that we "cease striving, and know that [he] is God." (Psalm 46:10)
Today, if you feel defeated before even trying...or if you feel confident and on top of your game...
...consider if the on/off switch to your bravery is fueled by might and power...your own.
Dear friend, if it is, you are in for a roller-coaster. You are strapping in for a ride that can only take you high on self, or low on self-loathing.
But, if we might take our Redeemer at his word...that "he is before all things, and in him all things hold together," (Colossians 1:17) we might be reminded that our true identity and state is that we have nothing righteous, good, or noble to offer. Any strength, bravery, overcoming, or victory is paid for by the blood of Christ, who made us worthy.
So, let us not fight for a good day today through will power, pep talks, or peer pressure. The best good we will know this day will begin and end at the person of Christ. To that hope, we sow good works and obedience and let this sink in:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Love to you...
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