Summer is slipping by. We blinked and June is counting her last four days. We’ve had our fun but we’ve had our rough days too. I’ve already had many days of white flag waving and complaining. Too many. It’s not fun to feel defeated. To call your husband with the “I’m exhausted” S.O.S only moments after he walks out the door. But my goodness I’ve done it. I’ve heaped all my defeat and unhappiness all over someone who, at the moment, was powerless to help.
One day in the middle of this frustration and unloading I found myself being annoyed with myself. Not with my kids, not with my husband. I was annoyed by my own voice. I’m supposed to be the strong, do it all, working mom. And the best I can muster is a complaining, venting phone call to my husband. Don’t get me wrong, Dad needs to be filled in on the day and the various antics… but what in the world was I expecting to happen with these phone calls. If I didn’t like hearing myself, I can’t imagine what poor Calvin was thinking.
I pondered what a small change in perspective could accomplish during the intensity of summer and sibling rivalry. What if instead of lamenting the hardships of the day I conquered them? Instead of crawling to the finish line and complaining about the challenge I could simply crawl across the finish line and celebrate the fact that I made it.
I’ve run many races, and they have been hard. I’ve wanted to quit and walk. But I didn’t, I pushed through and at the end I was glowing, proud of myself, enjoying ice cold water and patting myself on the back. Why doesn’t that translate into motherhood? Well. It does. It’s perspective. We can either view the day as something to be conquered, lived and celebrated or something to be lived through so that we can vent and complain about how hard it was.
When I prepare for a 5k or 10k I don’t typically just get up that morning and start running. I would either fail, hurt myself or make terrible time. This concept applies to parenting as well. Without preparation we aren’t likely to knock it out of the park. For me, that preparation starts in my heart. A change of the mind is nothing without a change of the heart.
God’s word has so many heart-permeating messages:
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
God’s word is full of promises and encouragement! Not only do we find instruction and encouragement for how to be strong women, but God implores us to seek Him because our strength isn’t enough! My heart’s cry is this: Let me never be found as the foolish woman tearing down her own house. Rather let me be found with my eyes lifted up, speaking words of encouragement to my family. Let me savor the days and conquer them rather than giving myself over to them.
I hope you find encouragement here today, from one tired mom to another. Go conquer your days.