Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dear weary mom who finds herself underwater

Dear Weary Mom,

Your ship is in a storm.  Rain is pouring down and waves are tossing you around more than ever.  You have a map and a charted course, but you can't see through the water rolling off your forehead.  And maybe even if you could see, the strength to turn the rudder just wouldn't be there.  Life is crazy hard.  You are not accomplishing what you'd hoped - heck, you're barely accomplishing what's required.  You're looking backward over the past few choppy weeks, months, (years?) and you're looking ahead at waves and wind and could that be a whirlpool?  You're thinking: it's. all. too. heavy.



I write to you and I write to myself.  Last week I went down under a wave of expectations and obligations: being a Jesus-follower, wife, mother, friend, chef, nutrition coach, bedtime enforcer, community member, housekeeper, educator, hostage negotiator, dispute arbitrator, encourager, lost-toy finder.  Someone I cared about made an off-hand comment that (I thought) slammed home what I'd already been thinking - despite my best efforts, I was just not keeping up, measuring up, or even looking Up. That comment communicated (I thought) another way I was failing at everything.  The hurt simmered for a few days and then came out in a flood of frustration, misplaced guilt, and deep discouragement.  It was ugly.  I do my share of exasperated sobbing, but this was a downhill slide toward the kind of hysteria preteens exhibit when you take away their texting privileges.  I didn't know if I would write about it, but this week there have been comments online reminding me so many other mothers are feeling the same way.  So I tell you, weary mom, that I have some idea of what you're going through, as you look around at all the tasks you can't muster the energy to even begin.  I know that feeling of the water rushing in from all sides . . . thinking, maybe I could swim a little if I could just get my act together.




But here is what I'm sensing from my Lord today - that this is where we do the hard work of not giving up.  Stand firm, beloved.  We remember sailors in a fierce storm don't worry so much about their heading, but instead focus more tightly on keeping their ship intact.  We count each little blessing and believe progress is being made, even though we can't imagine how.  This is where we choose to believe the friends who surround us with love and verbally affirm all that we are already doing well.  We hang on to our dreams, even if we have to put them on the shelf for a while, and we understand that the one-day-at-a-time mantra is actually a prayer of profound trust and grace.


You are my blessed home, "where I can enter and be at rest even when all around and above is a sea of trouble."
Andrew Murray, as quoted by Ruth Myers in 31 Days of Praise*

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