Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mud pies and abiding in Christ

I loved every single day of October. It is always a favorite month of mine, but this year had so many great memories. Camping, several trips to Bernheim, a visit to the zoo with the kids, Jenna lost her two front top teeth, trips to the pumpkin patch, sewing projects with the girls, watching Joseph enjoy hunting season, Brady learning to write his name and Joe and I even found ourselves with a Saturday with just the 3 littles.
It's not been all easy and fun, this motherhood thing is difficult. I've struggled alot this month with feeling like a failure. It sounds dramatic to say that, but I have. I've struggled with feeling lost in the midst of all the things I want to accomplish and don't, or accomplish but it's soon undone. The housework, the schoolwork, the laundry, the cooking, the grocery shopping, it's all been monotonous. I've found myself wishing for grander things, for new experiences.
I think that is why I have clung so tightly to the weekends, the trips outside of the house, the hours away from the schoolwork and the mundane tasks around the house. It's been a struggle and I've had to work really hard, and failed terribly at times, to not have a giant pity party. It's hard to keep the right focus, to define the guilt I carry that needs to go and the guilt because I need to change. Sometimes it seems like I'm not getting anywhere with my kids. How much of their faults are my fault and me needing to change my methods and how much of it is me just needing to stay with the program? Sometimes I give up and shouldn't, sometimes I don't give in when I should. Did I say, it's hard?
I've been searching God's Word for encouragement, good books for motivation and good friends for understanding. I'm thankful for all three, because sometimes I just need to get back up and keep trying to be better, to give more of myself, to offer grace, to re-surrender and acknowledge I don't have the answers, I don't know these outcomes, but I do have a Father who cares about all of it and He can help me.
I've cried out asking God to show me what He wants to teach me, so I can fix it. I can fix me, I can fix the kids. Seldom does God work in my timing and I've found that often He chooses to guide me through seasons and teach me much slower than I'd like. Like I can fix anything on my own and I'm definitely not a fast learner when I comes to these heart lessons. He is faithful and constant, so I guess what is the hurry really?! And, really, are these challenging days of motherhood, feeling like I have nothing left to give up, feeling like I'll never have it all together, are they really something new? It's just new issues and new trials for me to grow more in Christ.
The beauty and blessings can be so hidden by my selfish blindness, by my constant busyness and reckless usage of time. I push my kids away for social media, I snap at them for interrupting my plans, for making another mess, for the house being a wreck, for wanting to eat when I just finished wiping up the last meals mess. The trash can is full, the floor is sticky, the laundry is filled with mostly clean laundry that no one wanted to put in their drawers, the bathroom counters are aqua from toothpaste painting, the inside of the van looks more like a garbage truck than a 12 passenger and crumbs on the floor seem like mountains because they are just 1,000 more tiny things to do and be undone.
I'm searching for ways to speak kinder, for more patience when I've already lost it, for self control to stay off my iphone, for awareness to listen when my kids say, "Mommy?", for the wisdom to train them up right, for courage to keep going when I want to give up, for the ways to tell them and show them I love them and I forgive them.
God is pointing me to Himself and teaching me about His grace. I want to extent the grace I have been given. He has also reminded me I am called to serve these little people, in doing so, I'm really serving Him. When it seems I'm not appreciated and no one has a clue what I give or what I give up, He sees. Sometimes I'm so settled in being the mommy martyr that I refuse to see my faults and areas I need to change and grow.
This past month has been a season of searching and praying. I'm praying for the Lord to show me my own sin, to help me not miss the important moments of listening and loving my kids, to give me a new heart for serving my family and giving them grace. I fail every day and I cling to new mercies every morning.

John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

This scripture speaks for itself and I have needed to remember that apart from Him I can't do anything. I desperately want to bear much fruit and I am continually striving to abide in Him. 
Abiding in Him is all that matters and when I do that, all the other things don't seem as hard and tiresome. 

"It is no abstract thing - the state of your heart is the state of your home. You cannot harbor resentment secretly towards your children and expect their hearts to be submissive and tender. You cannot be greedy with your time and expect them to share their toys. And perhaps most importantly, you cannot resist your opportunities to be corrected by God and expect them to receive correction from you.
God has given us the job of teaching His law and demonstrating His grace. We are to be guides to our children as they walk with God.
Sin is just a fact of life. It is the way we deal with it that changes ours."
-Loving the Little Years- Rachel Jankovic
If you'd like more details on many of the pictures I posted you can visit my instagram feed.

No comments: