Sometimes the best thing to do is to be grateful for the things that are hard.
The daily grind, the un-ending energy of a three-year-old, the messy kitchen floor, the black hole of a laundry basket, and the crazy of the every day. The past two weeks I’ve been down my better half and picking up the slack of the every day that he usually handles has made me realize how lucky I am to have such an active, hands-on husband. (You’re really the best Dan Monaco!)
Two weeks of completely crazy made me realize I’m so lucky to have the chaos, the mess, the sick kid that will only sleep on me, the time-outs, and, of course, the dance parties. Oh, the dance parties. I am soaking up every minute with these little ones, because the truth is, someday the just won’t be that little anymore.
What are you taking for granted today? What grumbling could you replace with gratitude?
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.”
Yeah, me too. It’s usually when you’re reaching for the second cookie, or the Cheetos or ding dongs or something really terrible and processed…and delicious.
Here’s another “Garbage in, garbage out.”
I usually would hear that one when I was pressing play on another episode of “Friends” growing up. I still hear my mom’s voice saying those words when I’m choosing to watch something like “Pretty Little Liars” or “Breaking Bad.” (Yes, I did just admit that I was a PLL junkie for a while. Woops.)
I was reminded of all these phrases this morning. I took a little break from writing for a couple of weeks in order to ensure that what was coming out of my mouth, or fingertips rather, was a reflection of what was going in. And, that what was going in actually worth sharing with you, dear friends. The truth is, sometimes it’s really not. A lot of times what we feed ourselves is lies. We snack on lies all day long, from when we rise to when we lay our head to the pillow, we hear these lies and we feed on them. Here’s what they sound like:
“You’re not good enough”
“You’re not _____ enough.”
“Someone else could do that better than you’re doing it.”
“Another mom would have more patience with them.”
“He deserves a kinder, better wife than what he got when he married you.”
I could go on and on but you get the picture. They are lies! First of all, I have to take a minute to remind you that we are handpicked for our children, for our husbands, and we are the right woman for them every single time. Our role in their lives is God’s appointment. Trust that as truth ladies.
As for the not-good-enough’s, perhaps this one isn’t a complete lie. Maybe it is just that we are only good enough with Christ. In John 15:5 he reminds us that we are to remain in Christ, and he will help us to bear fruit because apart from him we can’t do a darn thing. No good thing can come from us, that isn’t first from him. So in Christ, as we abide in him, draw from him, lean on him, we are more than good enough. We can do all things (Phillippians 4:13)
Next time you feel that not-good-enough-feeling, or you start feeling malnourished like maybe what you’ve been taking in and consuming isn’t sitting well with you. Remember this: You are what you eat — so abide in Him and feed on His truth. Garbage in garbage out, so put down the empty and pick up the word, and you will do all things with Him.
God made us to reach out, not pull back. Don’t let the empty and the lies beat you down. Reach up, reach out, and grab onto some truth and I promise you, it will pull you through.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Do you ever feel desperate to hear from God, but life doesn’t seem to slow down enough for you to be still?
Maybe you are a mom who is surrounded by baby toys, a house to be cleaned, and small humans that depend on you.
Maybe you are a young woman leaning into your career with an around-the-clock-demanding job from which you can’t escape the stress.
Maybe you’re a single mom, or working mom, that balances both kids who need you and a job that demands.
Whatever your atmosphere, whatever your lot in life, there is no escaping that our culture is one that delivers a full schedule, a long to-do list, and many high demands. As women, we tend to want to do it all. Inevitably, no matter how great at juggling we are – and we can get pretty good – something usually has to take a back seat.
Perhaps you’ve resigned to not hearing from God. Maybe you think it’s not your season to dig-in with Jesus and you just can’t find the time to be still and hear from him. Perhaps time with him – quiet, still, and unrushed – just isn’t a reality for you today, this week, or this year! Well, God has recently been showing me something I’m desperate to share with you. When you limit God, Satan wins.
I tend to think that maybe I can only hear His voice when my bible is open and I am knee deep in bible commentary. Whatever your place is to hear from God, I promise you, it’s not the only place.
When we get overwhelmed with commitments and don’t make time for God because we feel there just isn’t enough time to carve out space and time to hear from him – Satan wins.
In John 14:23 we are told Jesus makes him home in us. He’s always with us, we know he never leaves us. So, why would an all-powerful God be so hard to hear from?
My quiet time was interrupted this week by a screaming baby who couldn’t sooth herself to sleep. As I sat in her rocker I was grateful for the cuddles but honestly frustrated I had to put down my devotional book and would be tied to the rocker for the next hour as I coaxed her back to sleep on my shoulder. And then, God whispered something.
“You can hear from me here. You can hear my voice right here and right now. Not while your hands are full of highlighters and study books but while your arms are full of your family. You can hear from me in every moment if you would listen.”
And just like that, the lie I had been believing broke open was exposed. God is NOT limited by my schedule and my ability to find an uninterrupted hour. He walks with me, he talks with me, and he calls me friend. He makes his home in me, in my household, and he is there in each moment that I invite him in to. Whether it’s a dance party with my toddler in the kitchen, or a quiet moment at 5:30 a.m. when the house is quiet and my bible is open, he is there.
I’m so grateful that his voice can speak into our life no matter what our schedule looks like. I hope he too can remind you today that he is listening for you to call out to him in the midst of your busyness, and if you will learn to listen for his voice, he too is calling out to you.
I’ve been searching my house for a backdrop that I can use to continue learning this new hobby of mine. I realized our homemade headboard is kind of perfect. What better subjects than these two?!
I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but when I am hurt, I shut down. Do you find yourself emotionally checking out when you are hurt? Do you find yourself putting up walls of protection that leave you feeling numb instead of protected? If so, have you asked yourself why?
Often times it’s something that we do without even knowing it; in our subconscious we are wall-building.
Whatis even bothering me?
Why am I hurt? Where are these boundaries coming from?
Am I hurt because I feel rejected?
Am I hurt by God, because it feels like he doesn’t want good for me?
Can I trust His actions even though I don’t understand them?
When the questions have been asked, I usually find that at the end of the day it all comes back to me and Him being a more important relationship than any other in my life.
If we are backing away, building up, and shutting down because we aren’t trusting him, we better stop.
If we want closeness with Jesus, we won’t find that in building walls or following anyone but Jesus Himself. He is the one to let down the walls for, He is the one to welcome in, and He is the one we must pursue.
I recently submitted a free write to the Her View From Home blog, all about imperfect mothering and messy love. Take a look here and copied.
Originally posted on the Her View From Home blog!
I am not habitual. I am not routine. I am not particularly disciplined, though I’d very much like to be.
I am spontaneous. I am adventurous. I am random. I am sometimes brave, and always passionate.
The world tells me to be a good mom I need to set my alarm at 5 or 6 am every morning to achieve a certain checklist before my kids are awake. That happens some days – not every day.
There are weeks I have a glass of wine – or two – before bed while my husband is at work and I’m in complete survival mode. My alarm clock is usually my 10-month-old the following morning. There are weeks I go to bed at 7:45 pm right after my kids doze off, and I’m up at 5 am for a spin class at the local YMCA. The point is, it’s not ever the same.
I have a planner. I have a few actually – one for work, one for our family, etc. I’m obsessed with planning, scheduling, and laying out our life perfectly – but the reality is life doesn’t follow my perfectly planned playbook, does it?
When did being a good mom start to mean sticking to the family planner and daily routine? Does it mean the same alarm clock beep every morning, the coffee pot set and scheduled the night before, and the same bedtime every night? Because if that’s being a good mom, I can’t do that.
The thing is, God didn’t pick a creature of habit to mother my children… he actually picked me.
He picked me.
He picked the one who is ADHD about her workout routine, diet, and sleep patterns. One week I’m an avid runner, the next I can’t be bothered to put down the latest Kiera Cass, Suzanne Collins, or Beth Moore, to head to the gym. One week I’m eating strictly paleo (or gluten free) the next week all that’s on the menu is coffee and chocolate. One week, I’m spending 5 hours a week at the public library with my growing readers, the next I’m deciding it’s educational for them to watch the Hallmark channel all day long in honor of the Christmas season. You get the picture, I think.
My kids might not learn about alarm clock patterns from me. But, they might learn to book a flight with two days’ notice to see a dear friend. From me, they probably won’t learn about nutrition (thank gosh they have their dad for that), but they’ll learn to be 10 minutes early, rather than one minute late, to everything. They might be confused about my discipline methods, always changing, and never consistent (probably the one thing they should be), but I’m hoping that they will learn I love them immensely. They’ll learn I tried everything in the book(s) to be the best mom to them, to show them how head over heels crazy I am about them. Always wanting their life to be exciting, adventurous, meaningful, and never boring or predictable. I didn’t ever aspire to be a good mom to them, really, anyone could do that. I wanted to be a great one.
Not a lot of time for writing so far in 2017. It has been a season of Monaco birthdays. (We’re nearly all winter celebrations.) My new three-year-old wild man and this little almost-one-year-old stinker are keeping me quite busy. I am soaking them up though, believe me.