You know how you have all these thoughts rattling around in your head? And all at once, one day, standing by your washing machine/sitting in church/ laying in bed (hating insomnia)- you get it- and it all matches together.
And you feel like the oddest little conversations or encounters with people you had in the last 3 days, something your little daughter said in passing, verses you came in touch with, a sermon at your church and a fight you had with your husband (only hypothetical!!) ALL tie together with something that GOD is trying to show you.
And then you feel you want to try to share it all with someone (I do), but you aren`t sure if it will all make sense. But here I am. And I will try.
So help me God.
And, that sounded like I was cussing. I meant that literally.
Let me start with yesterday, our pastor, Burnell, preached on the New Birth, and what stuck out to me the most, was what he said at the end, about God and how He brings us to growth. He isn`t the grating, sinister voice of condemnation I hear rasping in my ear. He is the gentle, LOVING voice calling me to deeper conviction. Calling me to be more in tune with him than I was yesterday.
So. Condemnation/Satan. “Just try harder, Jenny. If you could just be more disciplined on your own- you could maybe, possibly one day be the mother you dream of being. Pull up them bootstraps. The Bible is ok and all- but read more parenting magazines and chat with your friends more. They are so much more practical for everyday life and easier to digest”
Gentle Calling/God. “Be with me. I love you. I have the answers you are looking for. Read my book.”
This whole train of thought was not new with me. But felt new again.
And as I was praising GOD for showing me this again; I really came captivated with this passage- below.
Romans 8: 1 -8
(English Standard Version)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Isn`t that so good? It`s like the whole passage was new for me again. ha. Actually, maybe new for me for the first time- really.
And now I want to talk a little bit about the parts of the passage I highlighted.
No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Mom guilt anyone? I am going to be completely honest. Sometimes mom guilt almost completely eats me alive. I still remember before I had children (and was wanting them badly) I heard a Focus on the Family program about that very thing- Mom Guilt. My mouth was just kinda hanging open. I didn`t have children- I had no idea this monster was out there. I thought about that program for DAYS after- and just chewed on it in my head.
And then I had two (thank you, JESUS.) And ever since then, MG has kinda hung out with me.
Here is how it manifests itself for me. It`s Monday- everyone/everything needs me. The house is all piled up with work. My calendar looks full for this week. So MUCH on my mind. Words, sad stories, and relationships- all that other stuff is crowded in there too. I feel so HEADY. Like my head is all stuffy and I have no visible path to walk on. Well, the girls are going to be knee deep in playdough, movies, and art projects on the table for today. My girls are almost-3 and 4, and they can go “auto- pilot” pretty easily actually. They are happy mostly- it kinda works.
typical kitchen table.
We go this route for 2 maybe 3 days, and I am axing things off my mental “to do” list.
On day 3, once life has slowed down for the week, any of the following could happen: I am inspired/condemned by all the “do it with your kids” pins on Pinterest. Someone in my Facebook feed really goes out of their way and does something amazing with their children. I dwell on the fact that teaching is not my gift. I am horrified by a sad story of a homelife of someone else- fear grips me- I think, what if that happens to us if I don`t Quality Time my girls enough. I read a Bible passage, and it condemns me- not convicts me. I let MomTalk make me feel failing. I feel too tired (I have nothing left to give) to read stories, and dream of being a better me.
Then that night, resting festering in bed- I let MG take over. I feel condemned for my weaknesses and any TINY fault I see in my girls I think.
Have I made them this way with my dysfunctional, human ways?
I lose sleep that night. The next day is rough. I feel, not clinically depressed, but down. Feeding the guilt and feeling empty with nothing left to give- I take some “Me Time” that day. I need to relax, maybe.
I take a long walk, I read, I watch a movie, I take a hot bath, I sit on Facebook, I buy groceries alone, I surf Pinterest, I text or message with a friend, I read a magazine.
NO. ARGH! THIS IS NOT WORKING! THERE IS NOW SO MUCH “I” IN MY LIFE!
This is making it worse! Now I am snapping at my family and my husband comments that he is a little concerned because my disposition seems a little bit…. grouchy???
…who walk not according to the flesh; but according to the Spirit.
Ah…. I get it now, God.
I had “Spirit” on a diet- and meanwhile was bingeing, and having midnight feasts with “Flesh”. What you feed, grows apparently.
No wonder I feel so gross mentally, spiritually, emotionally.
…but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Life and peace. Yes please! I`ll have more of summa that good stuff. The WORD refreshes and encourages. It starts my day right, and guides it with wisdom for my girls, and STRENGTH & STABILITY for my emotions that I didn`t even know was humanly possible. Oh wait, it`s not (humanly possible).
And here are my wants for today:
I want to find myself drawn to my recliner, and Galen`s awesome new Study Bible when I have free time.
I want to feel woo-ed and drawn away from, Hulu or a chick flick that in no way brings glory to God. I want to eject it in the middle of watching it if i need to, and walk away in peace, knowing I do not “need” what it has to offer me.
I want to start my day praying. Praying that when I see “odd people” in town I will see a heart that Jesus is in love with.
I want to spend time watching YouTube videos/online radio of teachers I love that speak TRUTH in a dark world. Louie Giglio, Chip Ingram, Beth Moore, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Alistair Begg, Paul Washer, David Platt, Al Menconi, Francis Chan, and Mark Driscoll are a few I have loved already in life.
I want to speak kindly to my family- not because *I* am so sweet or so self-controlled in myself, but because mom is so full of Jesus, His JOY just spills out of her.
I want to want to give more of my time to others. Hard for me.
I want to enjoy the little earthly things in life: a lovely new bowl-set from the thrift store, the morning sunlight coming through the window, a bird singing, my new Country Living magazine, the fact my windows are clean (they aren`t- that was hypothetical), a clean house, something fun I sewed, a girl`s night out, a letter from a friend, a long walk alone…
…as part of the joy of my earthly LIFE, but not as my Soul Food.
That`s all, friends! I don`t fancy myself a Bible teacher, and if you got anything out of this- well, praise God. Part of the reason I blogged about this was to make is more real for me. Something outside of just my head.
I`d love to hear what is on YOUR mind in all this. There is so much joy in being open with each other and honest about what our lives really look like. And when you pray- pray for the christian women in your life. You can pray for me!
We need each other- christian women looking out/loving/encouraging other women- is a beautiful thing.
PS. This post seems like a little bit of a joke to me- since I had to neglect my girls while I wrote it. Life.
PPS. If you want to read an “Oh my stars great!” mom-style blog-post- then do not miss this one.
God bless your day!
A few pictures:
they love rough, fun play.
this daddy is nuts about his girls- all 3 of us.
gingerbread making expectation!
failure in every way.