Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62: 6
Many Monday mornings over the last nine years, I opened my weary eyes and glanced at the clock, only to feel as though I was already behind in every way. Not enough time, not enough sleep, not enough exercise, not enough quiet space before the Throne of Grace.
Many Monday mornings, I looked down at these feet and wondered how they would take each of the steps required of them.
Many Monday mornings, my first inclination was to billow with strategy, to rank my To Do’s in order of priority, and to hustle. As I scurried around, I tried to breathe strength into my own heart and bones, simply by flexing my measly muscles beneath the weight of it all.
And I usually ran out of steam and patience about 8 minutes later. Cheeks flushed, eyes of furry, an unruly snippiness in my tone, and a gut-deep unease that I’m not cut out for this job…all by 7:38am.
Oh mamas, how do we steady our hearts and minds so that we’re not getting buckled up in the minivan already heavy with defeat, when the sun has only been up for two hours? Don’t we all ache to be steady, unflappable, not so easily thrown?
Each morning, we resolve, don’t we?
We resolve to keep our feet on the ground, as the waves of big feelings and defiance strike.
We resolve to leave wiggle room for those expectedly unexpected delays.
We resolve to do it better.
But the clock is unforgiving, and our strength can only stretch so far.
And so, the cycle perpetuates, with nights of guilt and mornings of resolve, with each passing day a little heavier, the kids a bit older and more likely to remember, our hope ever- waning.
So many of my nights ended in guilt and so many mornings began with resolve, until it broke me. And I timidly began to ask God for a better story for motherhood. And sisters, by God’s sweet mercy, I am finding one.
I no longer believe that daily discouragement and constant failure are meant to be the whole story for us, mamas. I believe they are meant to be a beginning…an invitation into another story already written about us, through God’s word.
When we dare to look, there is a story of God’s people (mothers, included!), as unshakable.
Right in the middle of the mess, God whispers to you, his Beloved, with honeyed words of invitation…
Sweet child of mine, when you are inclined to trust the strength of your own hands, and constantly face the shame of weakness and failure, let My love hold you. Place your assurance in Me, and through my unfailing love, you will not be shaken (Psalm 21:7).
When you feel heavy, my precious one, with all of the responsibilities of life and parenting… When your chest heaves with worry… When you lurch with all of the “if only’s” and “what if’s,” cast your cares on Me. I will lift you up and put your feet on solid ground, that you will stand firm. (Psalm 55: 22)
My daughter, when you feel you must prove yourself with the things the world loves, stop to let me tell you what I think of you. I find you captivating. Beautiful. The curves of your face and the tapestry of your heart are my creative masterpiece. I made you with deep reverence, great joy, and intricate care. Let my eyes of delight transform your insecurity into confidence, your uncertainty into strength, your fitfulness into constancy. In my love, your identity and your worth rest secure. (Psalm 139)
When you long to speak with patience and grace, but harsh and angry and critical words are exploding out of your mouth, let my never-ending forgiveness humble you, soften you. As you receive at my feet, you will explode instead with grace for others. Those who are forgiven much, love much (Luke 7: 47). Bring me all of your broken, and my grace will reshape you into an agent of my love. Don’t be so surprised by your weakness. Lean it into my strength. Your children will watch and learn how to need Jesus. They will learn to believe that I am their portion and strength, and they will be equipped for every good work.
I am now convinced that this motherhood thing is less about being on my game, and more about being on my knees. So, if you think you are getting it all wrong, look for the invitation to need your King like never before. And choose to believe that the Lord chose you, and intends to equip you, sustain you, renew you, strengthen you, and flood you with his grace, as you bring your need daily before Him.
Psalm 62: 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16: 8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
John 16:33 In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.