Sometimes I struggle. Sometimes I struggle a lot. I hesitated to come back into this blog world because my life just doesn’t feel pretty and blog-like. I don’t have it all together and I feared, would people be disappointed in me? Would they look down on me? Would I fail? And then I remembered the whole reason I started the blog in the first place. Because I was not happy as a new mom, I needed a place to process with other moms, and talking about it helped. My tagline, “An honest expression of the joys and struggles of motherhood” should give me the freedom to share, but I’ve been away for so long. And maybe I’ve been around too many people with more money, more time, more… smiles.
The truth is, I’ve been disappointed in myself these days. And those small disappointments (I forgot to do “this” for work, I left “that” sitting out on the counter overnight and had to toss it, I yelled at Jack for something stupid, I called myself stupid in front of Jack and I don’t want him using that word…) have become a running track in my head which became a voice in my head saying, “You’re not good enough, you’re not loving, you’re not smart, you’re not, you’re not, you’re NOT!”
What’s the toughest thing about these words is that they hit their target. They hit the things in me that I care the most about.
I love my kids more than my own life and to think I would yell at them and harm them in some way…
Or my work! I care about teaching well and really showing people God’s love and to feel like I have said the wrong thing…
I want to provide a home for my husband and kids that is peaceful. I want people to come over and feel relaxed. And to think because it’s messy I’ve failed them…
Uhhh, it hurts!!
The other night, after a weekend that was particularly rough for no specific reason, I said back to that voice: “ENOUGH! I don’t think what you say is true. Maybe it is… No! It’s not true! Especially if I listen to my husband who the other night told me he thinks I’m ‘probably the best mom ever.'”
I prayed to God, asking, “What do I do? I thought I was over this years ago!”
Maybe you’ll think I’m crazy, but I don’t think these negative voices really come from me. I might entertain them, I might dwell on them, I might believe them, but there is something so sinister and personal about them that they do actually sound like external voices coming from someone who wants to tear me down. Someone like the devil. Think I’m crazy? Read these words:
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him… (1 Peter 5:8-9)
He’s looking to destroy.
Jesus said, “The thief…” (read: devil) “comes to steal and to kill and to destroy; I have come that they…” (Jesus’ sheep: us) “might have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Life to the full. Life Abundantly. The Life we long for.
How do we overcome the evil one?
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:7-8)
Yesterday, taking this little advice from James, I got up early and read my Bible and prayed. So simple. And yet so so good.* I went to work feeling healthy and whole, because the Lord loves. He heals. He brings life and light to the dark places. And, when I listen, I hear His voice saying I am His.
For you (you too!) did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of [adoption]. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:15-16)
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-32, 35, 37-39)
*(Have I said “so” enough? I think it’s my favorite word.)