So much depends on . . . hormones, chemicals in the brain, the weather, children's energy levels, napping or non-napping, and the state of my heart that's so easily affected by everything around me--from a news story to a social media post that makes me sad or reminiscent or insecure.
If you're a new reader, I'm a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooler, and a pretty solid introvert. I love people, my people, my church family, my friends. But that's only because Jesus has been working on my heart for a long time. Being around people a lot used to really grate on me and although much of that is gone, even now, Sunday mornings usually leave me drained. Social events call for a follow-up nap, and my normal days--well, they require a couple of hours of quiet in the evenings.
My choice to homeschool did not spring from my endless supply of patience for my children. To make our days work for us, we usually have mandatory rest time for at least an hour and a half in the middle of the day. The girls either nap or play in their rooms, usually while listening to a book on CD.
But right now the baby is taking a late second nap because he still takes a good morning nap, which allows us to get our read-alouds done. So we are all up until about three in the afternoon to ensure that everyone is down for rest time at the same time . . . and going that long without a break is draining me. We will probably need to make some kind of transition at some point, but this is where we are right now.
God has given me beautiful, creative children. One sings and talks her way through life with a vocabulary beyond her years. Another bounces constantly and knows how to make the other crazy. Another is just too sweet for words and has a love for dirt. I'm so blessed, but they drain me. I adore them, but they annoy me. I hold these contrasting truths in constant struggle.
Today, my mom, bless her, is spending the afternoon with my kids while I sit in this quiet office I have carved out in our laundry room. Mama bear in her cave, I say. And I'm typing out my heart.
In some ways I feel so unsuited for full-time motherhood, and especially homeschooling. Why would God call me to something SO HARD. While most of the time I feel confident that I heard God call me to this and that it's what He's prepared me to do, sometimes I wonder if we'd all be happier if I was doing something else.
But I think at the heart of my question is maybe a false assumption--if something is TOO HARD then it must not be God's will for me.
What is God's will for me anyway?
My pastor keeps repeating this verse as God's will for us: "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
But that doesn't make a great motivational poster, does it? I'd prefer "Choose happy" or "Dream big, work hard" or "Darling, let's be adventurers." So much cuter than "take up your cross and follow me," right?
But we forgot Who is saying "come follow me." We forget that God is a Father, a loving Creator, a walk-alongside, Helper kind of God at the very same time that He is all-powerful and all-knowing. He is not oppressive. His plans are perfect, a banquet compared to our measly rice-and-beans dreams.
Did you catch God's will for you in the verses James wrote? God's will for me is to persevere through situations that require my faith to grow and thus produce perseverance.
In my experience, the maturity that God has built in me has made my life so much easier on the other side of it. It's astounding to think that God knows my future and is preparing me for it right now, right here in my messy struggles.
It's also His will that I ask Him for wisdom in those situations, and it's His will to give it to me freely. He also offers me His Spirit, like He does for all who come to Him in repentance and faith in His Son. I'm not special in that way.
Proverbs 2:1-5In my struggling, I have choices. In my pride, I can feel silly for struggling so much. I can condemn myself for not being stronger and bear a burden that Jesus already bore for me. A friend recently counseled us that we needn't stand as judge and jury over our feelings because they are just that--feelings that are a natural reaction to our world. Condemning myself doesn't change my feelings anyway; it just piles up more negative ones.
I could also attempt some kind of escape from my struggles. Quit, give up. This isn't really an option.
Or, I can call out for understanding and insight and wisdom from God. I can stand in full assurance of faith (not "double-minded and unstable") that God will give me what I need for today (James 1:8).
I have started to simplify my praying a bit lately and pray whatever Scripture I'm reading over the people in my life. So today's prayer is like this:
- That in our struggles, we'd call out for the Holy Spirit.
- That we would let God work in us so we can be mature and complete.
- That we would call our for wisdom from God alone and that He would give it.
I know this has been a bit rambling today, but such is my heart. Thanks for sharing in it.
I'm sharing this Bible verse coloring page today as a reminder of God's work in you. You can download is HERE or by clicking the image below (usage below).*
Questions to ask about this verse (and James 1:2-8):
What is God's will for you from this verse?
How does He accomplish this plan for you?
What does God promise to give you when you ask Him?
*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy, please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!