i’m sick of me

I’m so sick of myself!  I say that in the least self-loathing, self-centered, depressed way possible.  But really, I am.  Ever since I became a Christian fourteen years ago, I have heard people say that all you need is a humble spirit and a teachable heart.  You read your Bible, go to Bible studies, say your prayers, love others, serve others.  Eventually you will become more like Him.  I find that defeating.

Think about all the work that list entails.  Overwhelming.  If you get married you are then to be a good and loving spouse.  Serving your spouse when they are undeserving, and being okay with whatever they say and do with no bad attitudes.  Be in the perfect frame of mind.  Live life fully in the Spirit.

Do all this while dancing around with a smiling on your face.  Singing praises to God in all situations.

Now have children.

Multiply the Earth with a quiver full of arrows.

Now, be always giving and loving.  Nurture those babes with the fear of the Lord.  Direct them in the ways they should go all the days of their lives.  Read Proverbs 31 and be that person.  Forever.  Motherhood is always.

Really?  We don’t need to work our way to being a person who reflects the image of God?  We are supposed to help the poor, serve our families, teach our young ones, volunteer at church, keep our houses orderly, cook wonderful healthy meals, all while having a patient attitude even when the kids that are a blessing from God are smearing poop on the bathroom floor.  Even when your spouse who was hand-picked by God hurts your feelings.

Take it Christian women.  You can choose to make the best of all things in your life.

This is all partly true.  The missing piece is this:  “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.”

How have we become exactly like the Hebrews and not realized it?  We want Jesus as enough, and we want to be perfect super women also.  If we’re strong in our life who is it that’s weak?  Christ, right?

When we’re weak He is strong.  I seem to forget this all the time.  I know this in my head, but in reality, I fail to remember that Jesus is ALL I need.  He is sufficient always!

Do you need to remember this too?  You cannot do life on your own.  You weren’t meant to. Christ wants your humility, not your strength.

I was recently given a book by my dear and sweet friend.  I read the preface three times before I could read the first chapter.  The book is Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Harnard.

As I read the following bit, I knew that all the head knowledge I’ve gathered up in Bible studies and life and devotional time wasn’t sinking into the reality of my path here and now.

“But the High Places of victory and union with Christ cannot be reached by any mental reckoning of self to be dead to sin…”

What?  I can’t choose to be dead to my sin?  I don’t have the ability?

“…or by seeking to devise some way or discipline by which the will can be crucified.”

Reading my Bible everyday and going to church and going to Bible study, and serving and being a patient (yeah right!) mother, and hosting Jesus Birthday parties for all the neighborhood kids, and NOT doing things I shouldn’t doesn’t count?  *MIND BLOWN*

“The only way is by learning to accept, day by day, the real conditions and tests permitted by God, by a continually repeated laying down of our own will and acceptance of his as is it presented to us in the form of the people with whom have to live and work, and in the things which happen to us.”

Ummm.  Read that again!

“Every acceptance of his will become an altar of sacrifice, and every such surrender and abandonment of ourselves to his will is a means of furthering us on the way to the High Places to which he desires to bring every child of his while they are still living on earth.”

She goes on the explain that the lessons of the book are a journey to accepting grief and pain and triumphing over evil ect.

Seriously.  Do you know what she stated to be true?  In your heart?  In your life?  In the way that you live?  I think I missed something along the way.  I truly believe that God’s Word is true.  I know it’s by His strength, in His Spirit, by His will, for His glory.

What I’m really trying to consider here is that I must accept every thing that happens as an oppurtunity to humble myself, and by God’s grace and mercy accept the fighting kids as tools to sharpen my patience.  I am set on thinking of disorder that drives my recovering OCD mind crazy, as a way for God to instill his order in my heart.

I am forever and always until Jesus comes, going to be struggling.  I am eager for God to work into me a heart and Spirit that shines His light into darkness.

What if my life brought others to knowledge of Him?  That won’t happen if I’m complaining about how someone built an awesome thing inside our house and sanded it inside our house.  It won’t happen if I pretend to be strong when something is hard.  Honest humility.  We are to bear one another’s burdens,  You get the point right?

I have had plenty of opportunities to accept His will in my life recently.  Each time, I’m reminded of this passage.  My only real job as a Christian is to act on those opportunities.  Sometimes that looks like scrubbing my neighbor’s house because that’s how they need to hear the gospel.  Other times it looks like NOT freaking out on kids and being humble and loving.  Choosing to accept the challenges they throw at me as an oppurtunity to teach instead of punish.

It’s not going to be easy, but I am so excited to start letting Him work his will in my life.  I’m also excited to allow his will instead of impose my own.  Are you with?

 

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choosing to trust

Yesterday was a rough one.  The three younger children have the chore of putting away the dishes.  They were fighting and arguing constantly.  Each attempt to redirect and reason was met with more arguing and more fighting.  By 9:15 AM I was ready to hid in my room and read with a locked door.  Do you ever have a morning that seems to let you know the rest of your day will be and uphill battle?  I called it yesterday.

I didn’t call it out loud.  I pleaded with God that it wouldn’t be.  I prayed we could turn it around.

That didn’t happen.

It’s hard for me to see the good in times like that.  Suddenly, I’m worn out.  I become very unproductive.  Nick and I had a dinner date that night.  Right up until we left the fighting continued.  I was to meet him after I dropped off the kids.  I was running late because of all the talks and attitudes that resulted.

I felt bad that I was even leaving them with their grandparents.  Naturally, they were no trouble for them at all.  I was relieved, but sheesh!  I would have liked to enjoy a bit of that.

By the middle of dinner I was ready to give up the farm and move to the city.  Won’t it be easier if there’s less work? Wouldn’t it be nicer to be closer to supportive friends.  To say it lightly, yesterday was a bum day.  I real bummer.

This morning; however, I woke at 5:15 (usually I get up at 6:30), and things seemed up.  I read my Bible, had a cup of coffee, and milked the goats before Nick rose.  The kids are still sleeping.  I’ve even thrown in a load of laundry.  Here I sit typing away as if yesterday’s woes never were.

Isn’t that just like us humans?  We are such emotional being.  One day, we’re giving up the dream, and the next we’re enjoying every moment.

I was a bit busted this morning as I did my Bible study in 1 Samuel 8.  How many times am I just like the Israelites.  I praise God and worship him.  I want to follow His will.  The next moment I’m complaining about what he’s given me and rebel against Him.  I don’t want his little “gift” anymore.

Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Psalms 40:4

Today, no matter what those hooligan kids of mine throw at me, I want to choose to trust God.  Since they’re not up yet, I’m not sure how successful I’ll be.  I’m ready though.  I trust Him logically, but not always emotionally.

Friends, are you feeling like you relate?  Is there something or someone(s) you’re letting rule your emotions?  I want you to know you’re not alone.  He is with you.  I don’t want to believe the lies that I can’t do it (life).  I can if I tap into God’s strength.

God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33

I pray I’ll be content with whatever great things or whatever struggle comes at me.  I will follow Him.  How about you?  What encourages you when the weight of life is on you?  Do you know He loves you?  He does.  We mamas have so much pull in every direction.  It can be overwhelming!

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

 

i gave in: homeschool mama confessions, part 2

First, if you haven’t read Part 1, please do so now.  If you have, welcome back and thanks for reading.

So, our summer wasn’t exactly fun.  It was very stressful.  I did what some may call “soul searching” after returning from a two-week stay up North.  I say this lightly, since I know very well my purpose in life.  Seek and serve Jesus.  I really meant, how am I going to turn this grief into good.  Out of this tragedy, what is God telling me?  What is He calling me to?

During the last 5.5 months, I have done so much growing.  I have gotten zealous for the right things, and the wrong things.  I started running to expel those swirling thoughts right out of my head, and to work off some grief.  I even ran my first 5K. I’ve signed up for college, and then dropped out.  My motivation for that was purely fear (what if Nick dies and leaves me destitute?).  I’ve gardened, pulling weeds is SO therapeutic.  I’ve knit, I’ve sewn, I’ve distracted myself, and I’ve faced myself.

The kids went to school.

I read at least 4 books.

I had my gallbladder removed.

While searching for my next book on my recovery bed, a title caught my eye.  Desparate: for the mom who needs to breath.  Okay, I’ll bite.  I’ve heard of this blogger before so I went for it.  I posted about my review of this book here.  That’s what God used to show me clearly, precisely what I was spending so much time and energy looking for.  The end of chapter three was a concrete wall.  I ran straight into it.  Whack!  God spoke to me, “You gave up.”

I really did.

The tears came.

Why was I searching everywhere for my new fresh purpose?  My children are my purpose.  I suppose I became discontent with that being all.  Can I just say right here, discontentment is very dangerous.  It drives people in such an oppostite direction, then where the Lord is leading.  I’m thankful that I listened when God called me back at this point.  Discontentment can go farther.  Much farther.  I’ve seen it myself, with people I love.

Discontentment drives people into depression, into adultress relationships, into a money-focused lifestyle.  It drives people to leave their family, into selfishness, into addiction, into separation with God.  Our hearts are the limit here, and they are a bottomless pit of SELF.

Jerimiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Please pray if you think this is taking root in your life.

For me, it drove me to send my kids away, and made my personal call to homeschool void.  I was driven to self-service.  I was looking out for number one.  You may or may not be called to homeschool, but I am.  I know I am.

After a month or so of praying and talking with Nick, we’re back to square one.  I have come full-circle on homeschooling.   I have given in to the Holy Spirit’s convictions.  This is the best possible being to give in to.  I have realized that I didn’t need to give up in the first place.  I needed to seek support for the hard times.

Titus 2:4  And so train the young women to love their husbands and children…

I needed some encouragement to persevere.  That’s all.  I hope you have someone in your life who speaks truth to you, who encourages you in your walk with Jesus. Someone who is honest in the difficulties that moms of young children face.

It’s not easy!

As humans, can we just admit our reality?  Our one picture of daily greatness on Facebook or Instagram, doesn’t happen every moment of our lives.  We aren’t picture perfect.  We aren’t perfect at all.  Our clean houses, happy husbands, and well-mannered children take LOTS of hard mundane work- everyday!

Can we also admit that our houses aren’t always clean, our husbands aren’t always happy, and our children can act down-right uncivilized too?

Thank you.  Doesn’t that feel better?

We don’t have it all together.  No one is a supermom!  Some are close, but everyone has struggles.  I have many.

We are all works in progress.  We need each other.  We’re meant to encourage each other.

So, the Garcia kids are finishing this last week of public school.  It will be a nice end, with parties and plays.  Then, in January, the real test comes.  Will I drink a full pot of coffee a day again, after weaning myself to 1-2 cups?  We shall see.

What are your mama struggles?  What do you need a fresh perspective on?  Why have you not read this above book yet?

Persevere friends.  You will be glad you did.  Be honest.  Be who God created you to be.  As a mom, person, dog, or whoever you amazing people who read this are.

Let the planning begin!

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