Freedom from The Mommy Guilt

Aha! Aha! A few weeks ago, a light bulb went off. I was sitting at a women’s conference (Tara Furman’s uh-maz-ing “Making a Difference in My Generation” conference), listening intently, taking notes, when all of the sudden a distracting thought smacked me across the face. Really. She was talking about something mostly unrelated. But, still, somehow in the midst of her words, a thought came over me and I haven’t been able to shake it.

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It’s about that good ‘ole Mommy Guilt. Some of you know it well. Some of you don’t let it bug you. Either way, get this — All of the “mommy guilt” (or, honestly, any guilt for that matter) that we are always talking about/thinking about/fretting about — IT’S NOT REAL! Hello, people! Oh. My. Gosh. It’s just so simple all of the sudden. It’s so clear. How did we not see it all along? It’s just not real. Can it be?! Can it be that easy. Holy freedom! All it is … all the “guilt” really is, is the devil telling us that we aren’t enough. IT’S THE DEVIL TELLING US THAT WE AREN’T ENOUGH. That sneaky little bastard. He whispers it. He yells it. When we are running late. When our houses are littered with toys. When we work an extra hour one night. When we ignore work to read two more bedtime stories. When we let the littles eat waffles for dinner. When we forgot to put a single veggie on their plate. When the library books are overdue. He whispers quietly, “Hhhheeeyyyyy, you should have done better. You should be more. You should get it together. You should be able to do. it. all……” He whispers these little lies in our ears and we believe him. But, y’all, he’s a liar! He’s a notorious liar! He wants us to think we aren’t enough. But we ARE! We are ENOUGH! He wants us to think God doesn’t love us; that God doesn’t have our backs. But, He DOES! We are amazing mothers! We work hard. In and out. Every single day. We love. We give. We pray. We try. We fall. We get back up. We’ve got this. “The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you” (Deut. 33:27a) and … WE ARE ENOUGH! Repeat after me:

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So, whatever is guilting you today. Give it up. Turn it over. March on. You got this! Don’t forget. God made you. He loves you. YOU are exactly who you need to be.

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Learning to Trust – A Testimony

Am I asking all the wrong questions? Lately, I think – yes – I am. I have been. Maybe?

You see, a little while ago, almost a year now,  I (we) … without uttering any actual words because they seemed so cliche somehow and they don’t feel like the right fit … but, I suppose, for lack of a better phrase, we re-dedicated our lives to The Lord. We are trying. One day at a time. To break free. To learn as much as we can and grow as much as we can. To live IN Christ. To walk by faith. To trust. To experience his fullness. To surrender. At this point in my life, I’m ready. It feels different now. I grew up in church. I grew up loving The Lord. Then … I dunno. I drifted. I guess, I drifted slowly, yet steadily, away from God. I took my eyes off of him and looked toward the world. I even wanted to be part of it, to experience it. I was young. I thought it would be living. I spent years and years there, just drifting along. I thought it was okay, and, in a lot of ways, I was okay. I thought it wasn’t a big deal. I thought I was fine. I thought I still had a “relationship” with God. He remained in my heart. I knew he was still there, watching out for me. Yet, somewhere along the way, I got lost. I kept putting Him off … waiting for another day. A better time. When I’m not so busy. When I don’t need to sleep in on Sundays. When R and I are ready. When the baby is a little older. Excuses. Excuses. My whole life was worldly and not of God. I realize it. I always realized it. I just ignored it … to be honest. Which is, exactly what I’m being – honest. Raw. Honest. Vulnerable. Truthful. Me.

You see, I am not a person who generally sees things as black and white. I just don’t. I see gray. I see hundreds of shades of gray. I even tend to live in the gray. I can usually (usually, not always) empathize and sympathize and understand why some people may do the things that they do. It seems to me, that so many Christians that I know and have known in the past are so easily convicted. They seem to see things as “wrong” vs. “right.” I’ve always struggled with this because it’s not always how I’ve been and I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why it seemed so easy for them. I didn’t, and still don’t, always see “wrong” and “right” as defined spaces or things. And, so, for much of my life I held myself separate from other Christians. I was afraid to be part of a church. Afraid of hypocrisy or judgement. I was afraid to feel convicted (I understand that now, but I couldn’t then.) I was afraid of … something. But, I was wrong. I was wrong. I was focused on the wrong thing. I was missing the point entirely. The point was HIM.

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Luckily, His loving grace is so good. He waited for me to let Him back it. Now, I want It in a way I never truly did when I was younger. I realize that my hesitation is unimportant. That the wrong vs. right isn’t really what matters. The “rules” don’t matter. It’s my heart that matters. The Lord will take care of all of the rest. He will show me the way. He will show me my own ‘right’ way. He will convict me, change me, challenge me and inspire me. Now. Now, the desire to truly know my Lord is there. I understand clearly that I’m not in control. That my life is His. Yet, I stumble daily. I struggle with true trust and true surrender.

We’ve been tested lately. I don’t know what else to think … what else to call it, but a test…
October. November. December. Things have happened. Things still happen. Financially, things happen. As homeowners and car owners, things happen. Money is tight. We are unsure. The same questions keep forming. Why? Why can’t it be easier? Why can’t the money come more freely? Why does this keep happening? What are You trying to teach us?
I am trying to throw off my worldly desires … To cry. To yell. To question. To fall apart. To CONTROL it. I don’t get to control any of it. It’s not mine to control. Where is my trust? What questions should I be asking? What lessons should we be learning? Are we not understanding? Are we not getting it?

The truth is, right now I don’t know. I’m not here to tell you that I have the answers. I’m here to tell you that I don’t. I don’t have the answers. Maybe you don’t either. Maybe you are trying too. Let’s keep trying. We don’t need answers all of the time. We need God’s Word. We need trust. Let’s trust. And, until that trust comes more naturally, let’s keep trying to trust. My heart knows that there is a lesson to learn. Probably many, many lessons. Read/Pray/Trust/Obey. Xoxo

Photo Credit: photo from (In)Courage, a lovely online community that’s “Insta-awesome“)