For some reason, this week, I’ve been surrounded by mama’s that are just plain old having a hard time. Can we just all agree that being a wife and mom is not an easy task? It’s just not!
Sure, there are days when we find our groove. When we feel like we’ve got it figured out for just a few hours and we quickly take a picture in those moments to freeze time because we all know the truth. We know that an hour from now we’ve stumbled. Someone has spilled juice all over the floor that we just spent an hour mopping and we got really frustrated. (That was me!) Or someone falls off a swing and our picnic in the park turns into hours at the hospital. Or we have no idea why but things just went from happy to crying chaos in 5 seconds flat.
We’ve all been there. In fact, we all ARE here. Right now! We’re there with you, mamas who are having a rough week. We are.
Because our husbands work long too, or are out of town this week or left last year to be with someone else.
And our kids are naughty too, and they don’t listen to our every word and they cried through dinner and were rude to the lady who was trying to be kind to them at the grocery store.
And our houses. Oh, our houses. They’re messy! And if it looks like our house isn’t then our vehicle probably is and if that’s clean then it’s the garage that is stacked to the roof and if the garage is in order, well, it’s probably because we just loaded up the back of the vehicle (hence it’s dirtiness) with everything from the garage and we gave it to goodwill because we couldn’t take it anymore. And now we need to go and rebuy a Christmas Tree Stand because we’re probably gonna need it again. (This was also me.)
You know what else? We didn’t sleep well last night either. Because our teenagers were out past curfew and our little is teething and our parent is in the hospital and we don’t know what will come of that. And we have a headache and we’re stressed about finances and we’re not even really sure why but we just kept on waking up.
Speaking of teenagers. We caught them with alcohol, or they lied to us about there friends parents being home or about the marks they got on their math test. And our daughter ended up pregnant and our son lost his job and none of them will even consider coming to church with us anymore.
We’re all livin’ it, aren’t we? This life. And can we all agree that it ain’t easy.
It’s so easy to think that we’ve got it so bad or they’ve got it so easy. But none of us are exempt.
Sure, some might be sailing smooth right now but so have you been, at times. And them sailing smooth doesn’t make your hard any harder, or easier, mind you.
The words from Matthew have been on my heart this week. The ones where he said,
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
I like Luke’s version even better though because he says, “…let him deny himself daily…”
So mama’s who are having a rough week, I know. And I’m there with you in the trenches and I’m praying for you. But I also want you to know that what you’re doing, this is holy work. Because everytime you put down your book to attend to a little, that’s denying yourself. And everytime you get out of bed because someone needs you, that’s denying yourself. And when you cook dinner again, sweep the floor again, crawl into bed alone again, remember that this is you doing the work of the kingdom.
Because we’d all rather finish our chapter uninterrupted, or just veg out for awhile, or watch that movie without hitting pause 17 times or be able to go for that run or sew those curtains or put some paint onto that canvas. We would.
I know I’d rather be at yoga, be painting my ugly coloured walls, be the only one eating so there would never be a crumb on the floor (and the grocery bill would be 1/5 the amount). And I’d rather have no one demanding what I should be doing exactly right now, and I’d rather be more fashionably dressed and I’d rather be travelling the world and seeing foreign lands and hearing exotic languages.
But that’s not where God has me. He has me right here, today. And he has you right where you are, today. And it may not be the way you thought your life would look and it may not hold all of the things you thought it would hold and it may seem less fulfilling than you think you deserve and it may even seem beneath your given skill set.
But forget about all that. Because none of it matters. (I’m preaching to myself here…)
Because you don’t just get what you think you deserve and none of us is handed our life on a silver platter all shiny and pretty all the time. I do know, however, that God’s plan is better than mine could ever be and I’m pretty sure it’s better than yours too.
I also know that if we keep living for the future than we will never find joy.
When we say things like, life will be so much better when….and it would just be easier if….and maybe when my kids are…..or if my husband would only…..
I’m telling you right now, this is an evil lie. In fact, it’s a scheme. A scheme from the one who doesn’t want us to find our joy today. Right now. Right where we are. And we’re believing it!
I just want to challenge and encourage you mama’s. I want you to know that denying yourself each day is your calling. Not only is it your calling to your children but it’s your calling before Christ. He says it. He says we must deny ourselves, take up his cross, and follow him.
I know so many of you who are denying yourself each day but your not feeling fulfilled in it. Can we see that it is honouring to our Saviour? Can we know that it isn’t just about getting to the next stage but it’s about obedience today? It’s our saying yes to what we’re called to. Our taking up his cross.
It’s not pretty. It’s not glamourous. It’s not easy. But neither was the cross now, was it? The cross doesn’t hold a picture of glitter and ponies. It holds sweat and blood and death.
If that’s what it took our Saviour then that’s most certainly what it’s going to take us too.
I love you, mama’s who are having a hard week. I do. I’m praying for you. I’m praying that you may know that in denying yourself you are serving your Lord.
Stop living for tomorrow. We have today. Let’s be right there together, deep in the muck, wading through the trenches, knowing that our kids are never going to be happy about eating their beans. But let’s know we’re doing it together, shall we?