I can't remember what prompted it, probably just the normal things, but this week I yelled at Noa so badly and I knew my intent was to break her spirit and make her understand what a difficult day I was having. My sin was palpable in that moment and I did break her spirit. And then I cried. What kind of a mother does that to their beautiful, tender-hearted, 3 year old daughter? If I were listening to someone else tell the story, I might say, "what a terrible mom. Get a grip." Hmmm. That would be me. I have only started to see the depravity of my heart.
Ruthie is 2 years old. I have to remind myself of that when I expect her to think like an adult. She is not only 2 but has been waking herself up incredibly early and is just not getting enough sleep. It not only makes for very longs days, but super frustrating days. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, "if I just didn't have to take care of Ruthie today, life would be so much easier," or "Lord, why did you give me this child? I don't know what to do with her or how to make her behave." And my sweet Ruthie is unloved and uncared for in those moments as my thoughts take me captive and I long for comfort over responsibility. My sin is ever before me.
Lydia is still pretty sweet, for the most part, but as she gets older and especially now as she is mobile, she's requiring more and more supervision. I try and try to manage it on my own, confident in self rather than God. And I think all my plates are spinning and spinning perfectly until one falls and I am reminded of my sin of looking to myself for all the answers. Why do I still think I can do this on my own?
And then there's this new life inside me. Most days I don't feel good. I'm frustrated. I'm tired. I'm hormonal. And I think of all the doctors appointments and all the diabetes stuff that goes along with pregnancy and I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I kind of explain away this child, saying things like, "Yeah. We're so crazy. What were we thinking?" because that would be the culturally acceptable thing to say when you find out you're having a 4th kid in 4 years. People think it is crazy and I collapse under that pressure. Not all the time, but sometimes I look for people's approval rather than thanking God for giving life. Truth is, I can no more make a child grow in my belly than I can stare at the ground and make a plant grow. God gives life. I want to live in that place where I am excited about all that God is bringing to our family and our lives. But sometimes I question Him. I question His plans. Sometimes I don't want to be a part of them. And I am painfully aware of my sin.
So, this week I am feeling ridiculously weak. And today He reminded me that from that place I am miraculously strong. Rather than serving a God who requires me to do everything perfectly to gain acceptance, instead the Word says that His power is perfected in my weakness. If I did not have these kids, I wouldn't need to look to Him so constantly throughout the day. If I wasn't being sanctified and stretched, He wouldn't be a good Father. If I knew how to do it all, I would totally miss Him (and others) in the process. Perhaps then, my glory is my weakness. When I am weak, there He is strong. Miraculously strong. I am ransomed. I am forgiven. I have been set free. I have been redeemed. It is from this place that I will live.
It bothers me when people think the crux of the Christian message is to behave perfectly and think Christians are hypocrites when they don't. And sure, I guess we do fall into that trap from time to time, I mean, who doesn't want to do things better? I do. I'm sure a lot of other people do too. But really, the center of the gospel is that we totally suck. And then, in his love, Jesus came to save us. I don't fault those people for not knowing the "correct" message. Maybe it hasn't been told to them or displayed for them. But, I'm here to tell everyone that I am terrible! I am a frazzled parent, a preoccupied wife, an unavailable friend, and really just a selfish person in general. And Christ still saved me and actually thought I was worth saving! That is the gospel. Only through Him can I hope to change any of these things about me.
Thank you, Lord for making me aware of my sin this week. When I am weak, you are strong and from that place I remember what you did for me on the cross.