My two year old was out of his bed for the fifth time claiming he had to go potty. We were on day 4 of him only ever “needing” to go potty if he was supposed to be in bed. I rolled my eyes and trudged over. “Why!?!? Why are you doing this?” I thought. I might have muttered it under my breath, but for sure I thought it.
“I can’t do this any more.”
“For crying out loud!!”
I caught myself saying this a lot this week. The arguing, the whining, the accusing about who took which lego from who, the complaining about every meal I made…I was just over it.
There were probably better ways to handle it, a mommy time out, a child banishment to the room, all of the above?
Instead I said screw it.
Screw it all!
Screw the potty training and screw the disciplining. Screw the food. And for the love of gluten, screw all the dietary restrictions. Bring on the dairy-laden, sugar-full bowl of cookies and cream!
Daddy was going to be at work late and I was done. A person can only handle so much.
I ate more chocolates than I can count and I wallowed in my self pity and mom guilt. With a glazed gaze I basically let my children do whatever they wanted (within reason, I’m not a totally negligent parent).
What’s the point? And with those three words a series of pain points came flooding through my mind.
When I was in college and felt overweight and my eating felt out of control.
When I was a new mom and trying to navigate postpartum depression.
When we moved to Visalia and I was so lonely I would make a pan of brownies and say to myself “at least this will make me happy.”
And right behind the memories came truth ringing loud and clear. The same phrase that has followed that thought many years now…”to honor God.”
The point is always to honor God.
Ugh, I wasn’t ready for that just yet. I just wanted a little more time to stew in my self pity and blame shifting. This was a bad day and it was everyone’s fault that it was bad!
But I know better than that.
How did I get here!?! Unrealistic Expectations. Being tired. Doing my agenda and not asking God for his. Doing God work without enjoying God.
How do I get out of this mess? Admit my failure. Humbly accept my limitations. Rest and reset, and a maybe solid cry for good measure. Sleep more, plan less. Enjoy playing and not distracting myself at any and every opportunity.
I’ve been walking with God for over a decade and every so often He has to reteach me the lessons I’ve often forgot.
The point of this life is to love and honor God. And it’s always possible. He is not asking for perfection in the execution he just asking for a willing heart to attempt the task in front of me.
And speaking of execution, that’s precisely what I need to honor him. To die to myself- my self ambition and vain conceit. To submit my “great” plans to God and ask what parts of my day or to do list are what he wants and what parts he wants me to leave for another day.
I am so thankful for God’s word that always gives us the truth we need. Thankful for His Spirit that reminds us and makes the word real.
“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:8-9
In my flesh I am naturally selfish and wanting the whole world to revolve around me. My plans, my desires, my ideas, my timeline, my success and certainly my comfort. This will clearly lead to my destruction because I am not all-knowing, powerful or good.
And so I must submit all the things I hold dear to my God. My good and gracious God. My all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good God. And when I yield my will to His something beautiful happens. My heart is not as frustrated, I’m not as prone to throw in the towel and yell “screw it” to all the things that seem too hard or unattainable. When I surrender to Him and trust Him then there is always more grace and more strength and more perseverance. It’s obviously of God because I just don’t have that on my own.
I started writing this post last week and got distracted, probably by a potty incident. I am back at it as I am currently on “poop watch” and loathing it. What a good place to come back to. I am teaching a child a life long lesson. This will benefit him the rest of his life. I can’t just stop because it’s hard and not as successful as I thought it would be.
I am so thankful that when I am weary that I have a God who is with me and for me and offers more grace and strength and endurance. And that he promises a harvest for these days of hard work.
Where are you wanting to give up? When are you saying, “what’s the point?” May you hear the gentle answer, “to honor God,” and may He give you the strength, the grace and endurance to keep going, for your good and His glory.