Take Courage . . .
If you are presently in need of a family-life cheerleader, this post is for you!
…I’ve got my pom-poms ready!
The stormy waves of family life
It’s no secret that life is messy, unpredictable, and full of bumps in-the-road; particularly when it comes to family-life.
Just the day-to-day routine of juggling marriage and motherhood can cause a gal to pluck out her lashes one-by-one.
And there are so many lash-plucking scenarios:
Perhaps you and your hunk-of-a-husband . . .
- constantly bicker about finances,
- are at odds over how to discipline the kids,
- do not see eye-to-eye on spiritual matters, or
- have opposing views about whether you should work outside of the home.
Maybe as a mom . . .
- you struggle daily with disciplining the kiddos (No! Duct tape and blow darts are NOT options.),
- you’re overwhelmed with the task of managing multiple little ones,
- the daily demands of cooking and cleaning are driving you up-the-wall, or
- you loooooonnng for a moment of quiet and solitude. (Click here for a creative and sneaky way to get a mom respite.)
I’ve been where you are
If you’ve been hanging around this blog for any length of time, you’re well aware that I am no stranger to the hardships of family-life.
You see, I had everything all figured out – that is, until I got married and had kids; and that’s exactly when everything started to fall apart.
Every enchanted notion I entertained about how satisfying marriage could be; every fairy tale fantasy about raising kids and having a happy home – none of it was how I had imagined it to be.
In college, I was a star student, excelling in academics and extracurricular activities – I was a student leader, an all-around great gal (mostly); but when it came to house and home, I was a hot mess!
Barely managing motherhood . . .
At one point, I had three kids under three – all of them wearing pull-ups or diapers, and a 10-year-old.
There was always a diaper to change, a bottle to prepare, a high chair to wipe and a spill to be cleaned; always a floor to mop, and a bath to be given.
Life was so labor intensive.
These little people were needy and were seeking my attention all of the time (stuff that college degree didn’t prep me for).
My arms were always full. They were always climbing up my legs. They drained me emotionally. It seemed I hadn’t slept through the night in years.
That’s pretty much when I figured out birth control. (But before you decide to call it quits on the kids, read this post. It’s one of my favorites.)
As for my marriage . . .
This diplomatic person (moi), who always had a reputation for getting along with everyone, was now constantly bickering with her husband (poor guy).
Turns out that this sweet, smiling face, behind closed doors, was given to fits of rage, and I was not above throwing household items. (Quick! Duck, Honey!)
I was more than a hot mess . . . I was becoming a monster.
(Truth is, however, that my circumstances were simply revealing my true character – and were exposing the areas of my life that I needed to surrender to Christ. I wasn’t becoming a monster, the beast was already within. Thank God for the transformative work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer’s life.)
When I hit rock bottom . . .
My absolute lowest point came the day when all the ugly realities of my life came crashing down on me.
It was the cumulative effect of my realization that: (1) the cooking and cleaning marathon would NEVER end, (2) I was stuck in a difficult marriage, and (3) I was not emotionally mature enough to take on so many kids at once. (Where did all these little people come from? Waiter, CHECK PLEASE!)
In that moment, I ran into my room, crouched down beside my bed and began to sob uncontrollably; holding my head intensely as I rocked back and forth. I was certain that if let go my brain would seep out.
Yes . . . I had an official I am loosing my mind episode.
Down, but not out . . . because of Jesus
In that pitiful moment, I remember refusing to accept my reality.
“No, God, No! PLEASE, No!” It was just ALL. TOO. MUCH.
I’m not certain what happened in the moments following, but I’m sure it involved being scooped-up by my husband and placed in the bed, where I received a sponge bath and was fed applesauce for dinner.
They probably took away my belt and shoe laces, too.
All jokes aside, that has got to be the epitome of what it means to be overcome by the realities of family-life; and if someone like me can rebound from that pitiful expression of “woe is me” and then go on to experience a deeply satisfying marriage and home life, then certainly, you can, too!
Girlfriend, Take Courage!
Yes, the stormy waves of marriage and motherhood were taking me under, but I’m not the only one who’s been in a predicament where the waves were about to engulf them.
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that one stormy night Peter stepped out of a boat that was being buffeted by waves and began to walk on water toward Jesus, but when Peter began to doubt and took his eyes off of Jesus – the One who gives us complete calm and peace in the midst of our storms – he began to sink. (Matthew 14:22-32)
Even so, what did Peter do in his moment of fear and despair? He cried out to the Lord . . .
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30)
That is exactly what Jesus wants us to do when we are battered and weather beaten by the storms of family-life.
Cry out to Jesus for help!
Ask Him for the strength you need to rise above the difficult storms of marriage and motherhood.
When you do, “Immediately” He will be right there – ready to grab your hand and pull you up emotionally and spiritually.
“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” (Matthew 14:31)
He will give you the emotional grit and spiritual strength you need to endure and overcome your circumstances.
Back to the applesauce in bed scenario . . .
Like Peter, I also cried out to the Lord for help in my time of distress.
I grabbed a hold of Jesus’ hand and He was faithful to pull me up from the waves (family-life circumstances) that were certain to take me under.
I not only cried out my eyeballs, I cried out my heart to the Lord in prayer; and I had to get a whole lot more of His word, the Holy Bible, deep down into my heart.
The more I surrendered to the life changing precepts found in God’s word – the more God changed my heart.
The more I obeyed the Spirit’s gentle leading – the more I began to grow in faith and bear fruit in my home.
Listen-up! Girlfriend, Sister, Big Momma, Boo – I NEED YOU TO KNOW ONE THING:
Take Courage! With Jesus, You can do this!
And I’ll be right here with pom-poms in hand, cheering you on. Love, Tiffiney
Come and check out where I party!