If you’re like me and have grown up in the church there are likely verses you memorized or picked up over time because they are spoken of or taught about quite often in Sunday school and church.
This verse falls in that camp for me.
The most helpful part of this aspect of church culture is that the verses seem to stick with you through the years which means the Holy Spirit can dust them off and pull them out when you need the reminders the most.
I have found myself needing this particular reminder about being able to do “all things through Christ” a lot these days.
My daughter has taken me through the wringer with her fussing lately. I could not totally tell you if it is from tummy troubles, sickness, teething, a growth spurt, a Leap or pure bad attitude. But a few weeks ago the Holy Spirit decided to remind me of this passage when I was at my end.
Every day that week was a royal challenge. Guys, it was the kind of week you dread before entering this parenting journey wondering how “they” do it……”they” meaning those other people with screaming kids. “How do they do it?? Don’t they want to quit?! Give up?? Ship them back??” I’m mostly kidding…. well maybe not because I felt like quitting a lot that week.
One of the surprising things I’ve noticed about staying home full time to parent is how lonely it gets. I notice lonely creeping in on days where I keep reaching for my phone to jump on social media or fiddle with an app. I hate that I do it when I’m with Ellie because I see her watching me watch my phone and I get all yucky inside thinking of what she is learning from watching me prioritize my need for company over time with her.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about taking time to refuel so you can be filled up so there is something from which to give your kids attention and energy and all they other stuff they need. Normally that works best when I’m going to the Lord to be filled up but it doesn’t always happen and I use other things to take His place and this is what was happening with the phone too.
So, I’m praying a lot these days and thinking back to that week in particular, I was doing a lot of repeating of this verse.
It was the Holy Pep Talk I needed from God reminding me that while this felt impossible and I had nothing left to give, this truth was I had never-ending buckets of the “stuff” I needed to get me through those hard moments, hours, days, and weeks.
Mostly it was perspective I needed. I needed to be reminded how I want to be loved on my bad days. And how much patience I want others to have with me when I’m not feeling good and my nasty side comes out.
And you know what, I made it! And I managed to not loose my mind and start yelling at her.
And you know what else?
It has not really gotten better. Ellie has been having some really whiny and fussy weeks that I have had to walk through with her.
I have lost my patience some days that resulted in just putting her down in a safe place and let her cry for a minute while I recalibrate, take a deep breath and dive back into the bad day with her, comforting her and telling her we’ll figure out what’s making her feel lousy, then praying with her that God helps us understand.
It’s hard and it requires all of me plus more and God has faithfully filled me back up each time I’ve gone to Him. And we make it through another day and I am amazed at what God can do through my broken helplessness. The whole “When we are weak, then He is strong” passage comes to mind.
So, that’s my moment of mommy truth this week. Parenting is hard, it keeps me on my knees and requires everything I have most days. But I’m making it and I’m learning. And it’s good.