Encouragement For When You Feel Like You Are Failing. Press on Weary Mama!
Do you feel like you’re failing? I know how it feels and I’m here to encourage you to press on weary mama! How is it that I could manage so much in the workplace; but can’t manage to keep up with my dishes and laundry? How did we get behind in this subject…again? I wanted to read all these books to my kids and now my oldest children aren’t interested anymore. Why do my kids fight all the time? We all know the feeling, at least if you’re an idealist like me. I had all these glorious pictures in my head of what being a stay-at-home, homeschooling momma would look like. Children who are one anothers best friends. a clean and cozy home, a flourishing garden. Here’s a hilarious one: how about a car that’s always clean!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still idealistic, I just know now that there is a journey involved. I’m not going to tell you I have overcome all my shortcomings. I’ve gotten better at some things, but I’m a long way from being the woman of my imagination. I might master some things in certain seasons; then some other crazy season of life comes along and I’m back at square one. As a mother of four ages 7-16 here’s what I’ve learned.
You Are Not Alone
I was so excited when God called us into full time ministry. It was a dream come true! It did however involve moving away from my hometown, my family, life long friends, church and our small group. I had no idea what that would look like. It was a lot harder than I could have imagined. I was young and had a 3 year old and an 8 month old. Even though the nature of our ministry involves a built in christian community; it took a long time for it to feel like it was “my community”. I felt like I had to have it all together and I definitely didn’t. The few young mom’s I knew seemed to have this mom thing down on top of the clean home thing. My constant thought was “What’s wrong with me?” I felt utterly and totally alone, both geographically and mentally.
Then one day we had some new friends over for dinner and somehow we got onto this very subject. She was struggling in the same way. Recently, she had been given a copy of Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae’s book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. The second she left that night I ordered the book via two day shipping. I wasn’t sure it would help but I was, well, desperate. From the first page I was hooked! I cried through pretty much the whole book, it was a cry of relief! I was normal! There were Godly women who loved their children who could relate to me and my struggles! For the first time in a long time I didn’t feel alone.
Let It Drive You To Your Knees And To Your Bible
I excelled in the workplace. I was often in leadership positions in church, in school clubs and in work. But when it came to the day to day balance of keeping an orderly home, cooking, parenting and such; I seemed to be utterly incapable of it all. My kids were my focus. Loving on them and meeting their needs came first and the rest was in utter chaos. Another aspect of our ministry was that people were often dropping by unannounced. My home was never in a state that could or at least should welcome visitors. Not to mention the fact that I was likely still in my pajamas.
I was not at all used to these feelings of inadequacy. I needed help. Around this time my sister in law encouraged me to prioritize having a quiet time over everything else. God would help me with the rest. I took this advice and started to get up and listen to the word each morning through my Bible.is app. Then spend time in prayer. I realized it was good to need God’s help. He wants us to know we need Him, He wants our dependence. I am reminded of Gideon’s army. God made it smaller and smaller so there was no doubt who truly won that war. God called me to a job that was hard for me, too hard so that I would depend on Him. So that I would know that anything good that comes from me is because of Him.
Give Yourself Grace, It’s Usually Not As Bad As It Seems
This is one that having older children I can look back and see that many of the areas that I thought I wasn’t doing a good enough job in turned out well. Homeschooling is one of these areas. I wanted to do it all with my oldest. But now I am seeing the fruit of what we did do and it is good fruit. Sometimes our expectations of ourselves are unreasonable or too much.
His Grace Is Sufficient
This is my favorite! Again having some older children and having walked through times when I didn’t accomplish what I wanted or I flat out failed I have been blessed to see how God’s grace is truly sufficient! He makes up for what I lack. Someone once told me if we were perfect parents our children would have no need for God. We are not all they need, He is.
He Makes All Things New
As much as we wish it weren’t so, we live in a broken world, but God is at work. God is working in our lives, our children’s lives and our husband’s lives. He can make things new, he can restore what the locusts have eaten. God is making a new heaven and a new earth and he is also making us new.
He Uses All Things For Good
We are going to face hard times, hard situations, disappointments, and heartbreaks but He will use it for good. It may seem cliche but it really is true. For encouragement in this area, take the time to speak with Christians that have been walking with Christ for a long time and ask them how God has used bad things for good in their lives for good or read books by Christians like Corrie Ten Boom or Joni Eareckson Tada.
Don’t Give Up! Remember to Press on!
There will be seasons where working on developing new habits or new solutions to housekeeping, homeschooling, discipling children or just arriving on time somewhere will just be too overwhelming. That’s ok. It’s ok to just do what you can do, but there will also be seasons where you have more energy. Don’t look back and say “Well , I’ve already failed!” What’s the use now? No, press on weary mama! I have felt that way too at times, but I’m just too stinkin’ stubborn to quit trying.
For encouragement I read blogs, follow women I look up to on Instagram, and find ideas for tackling problems. If one of those solutions doesn’t work out or stops working for me, I try something else. There is something that matters more than all these however and that will give you the most success and that is to continue praying, continue having your quiet times with the Lord, continue seeking His direction and His help. If you feel like you don’t ever have time alone and you have no idea where you will ever carve that out, ask the Lord. In the meantime listen to a great Bible app, and pray while doing dishes or laundry, while driving the car or nursing the baby.
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