So we've established that parenting is incredibly hard. And I am so thankful that when I share my heart, it touhes people and helps them feel a bit more "normal" whatever normal may be.
I mentioned in this post a few weeks ago that I often forget to give myself grace when I fail at being the mom I want to be. Well, I started practicing what I was preaching and began to show myself some grace when I mess up with the kids. I began verbalizing my shortcomings more frequently in my prayers and asking God to transform my attitude and negative thoughts so that I could not waste another minute feeling sorry for myself.
You know how kids go through so many "phases" and some are so much harder than others? Just when we think we can't take whatever it is they are up to at the time, it turns around and we sail through whistling along the way until something else takes its place. Well, I believe adults are the same way. I can go weeks feeling overwhelmed and downright discouraged but then all of a sudden, things start looking up and I feel joy and peace come over me in a powerful way. Well, I was stuck in the overwhelmed and discouraged phase for way too long. I knew something was missing, something just wasn't quite right but I couldn't pinpoint the problem. Of course there was the typical sleep deprivation and the overhwhelming task of raising four small children but it was more than that. I just was not feeling like myself.
You see I have never had issues with taking time to pray. That comes easily to me. Reading the Bible, however does not. I have been off and on with it ever since I was a teenager. But thanks to "smartphones" and YouVersion, I found my groove again. Nursing is a wonderful thing because it forces a busy momma to stop and provides for times of reflection that I love. Now I make it a priority to read the Bible on my phone each day during one or a few nursing sessions throughout the day. It is amazing the positive effect the Word can have on your life if you give it a chance.
Jason and I both firmly believe in building a foundation for our home based on God's word. We read the kid's Bible to them every single night before bed and we memorize short verses with them so I kind of excused myself from reading on my own thinking that was enough for this busy season of our lives. And for a time, it was enough.
We also firmly believe that what we take in our hearts and minds is what will come back out. We are very serious about this with our kids as we make it a priority to keep their eyes, ears, hearts, and minds free from "yucky" stuff as we call it around here. So it was again that I was focusing on my kids and trying to build their faith, their love for others and each other and showing them grace while I was neglecting to build my own faith and work on grace and love with myself.
I have been hearing the Bible my entire life, but it has just recently become more real to me and more powerful than ever before. I am excited to read each day instead of feeling like it is another task to complete. Somehow along the way of having kids, I became so focused on their spiritual well being that I forgot to take care of my own.
He gives us so many opportunities to grow but we aren't always willing to take Him up on His offer. At least one person has been sick in our home at any given time since before Christmas. There is some serious growth opportunity in that and I finally decided to take it. He is working on me in a big way and I love that feeling.
Of course my attempts to lead the kids to a relationship with Jesus was only in vain if I was not growing and thriving in my own relationship with Him. I know this and I am so thankful that God is renewing my mind and heart once again.
If only this all meant that things are smooth sailing at home. Ha. That is definitely not the case. I still get frustrated and overwhelmed and unfortunately our kids fight like cats & dogs. Things are as chaotic as ever, but I am noticing the sweet little moments again just like I used to before I allowed life to wear me down.
I am just so excited and thankful that He brought me out of my funk and covered me in His grace once again.