the complaining experiment: defeating core lies about motherhood | part 3

read more about this experiment in part 1 and part 2: when it gets messy.

   from the nester. love her!

Week 3 of the complaining experiment: it’s getting better. Much better.

I’m not sure I can say I’ve improved, but I think God is doing a massive work on me.

I feel like this month has been like open heart surgery for me. And I’m awake. {and naked in front of you all! :P} Becoming more aware of your sin will give you some serious pain in your heart, and then God heals it with the truth of His Word.

The first week of the experiment was realizing it how bad it was. The second week brought me to my knees and showed me my sin. The third week, God is changing my core person.

What in the world? How did this happen?

I made the “be” list in about five minutes. I could think of lots of my character flaws, so it was super easy for me to make a list of things I wanted to work on this year.

Little did I know God was going to use that little list to mess me up in a big way.

My complaining had a core problem, and I think God showed me so many things on my weekend trip.

It’s amazing what happens when you get four hours of alone time to pray! {who knew driving alone could be so good!}.

First, I feel like God revealed this to me:

I was being deceived by the father of lies. In so many ways.

I really believed deep down that I wasn’t the mothering type of person. That mothering was something I had to sacrifice my way through. That motherhood was not my gift, not a talent God had given me. I think I am affectionate, and I love them, and know who they are, but I felt like I wasn’t good enough at being a mother.

It began to become clear to me when I was praying on the way to Dallas that my heart really thought that I wasn’t the kind of person that could be a great mom. Then Sally told us about God showing her that mothers were on the battlefield, defending the next generation- a generation Satan wants to kill and destroy. And it hit me- the father of lies will do anything to make me give up on being a mother.

Satan wants me to stop caring. To disengage. He wants me to want to mentally quit, and not even know he was there. And he kept whispering in my heart, “you are not good at this. This is not who you are.”

And it took me a few years, but I fell for it.

And that’s why I think I believed the second thing God showed me was a lie in my life:

“I shouldn’t have to do this.”

This was at the very core of my complaining spirit.

I felt like I shouldn’t have to pick up this mess, or clean up another spill, or wipe another icky bottom. I wanted to be free of what inconvenienced me- free to do what I loved to do. Free to do something I was good at.

My personality, which I’m learning more about in the recent months, is built around productivity and efficiency and getting results. I want to do things in the least amount of time, to get the most out of every effort that I give. And that’s a tough personality to have when you have four little kids.

I was looking at it the wrong way. I wanted to get through, get done, because I was supposed to. I wanted to do what was right, and I wanted to enjoy it but I couldn’t pull it off. It was getting to the point of just doing what needed to be done. Homeschooling, check. Laundry, check. Dinner, check. I did it, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled by it. Just the idea that it was supposed to be fulfilling made me laugh out loud.

My sinful flesh wanted to please itself. Like I learned last week, I complain because I love myself.

My priorities were being shaped by the lies I willingly believed. And it wasn’t even something I realized until this month.

I loved my children so much, but I just didn’t feel like they had the right mother.

When that whopper of a lie came into view for what it was, it was like taking a punch to the stomach.

How could I not be the right mother? Why would I not be the perfect person for these children? God, in all His wisdom, and perfection, and love gave them to ME.

To ME. They are mine.

And I am perfect for them. Because God gave them to me.

Unreal. A blessing beyond measure.

And He wants me to enjoy them.

AHHHHHH!!!! The light bulb comes on!

The truth comes out! Sally said it so well– “you are the best mother for your children.”

I’m their mama. I’m the best person in the world for them.  This is a gift to be enjoyed.

The thankfulness list from last week is even more amazing to me this week. I have laundry, I have dishes, I have dirty floors, because of the GIFTS that God has given me.

My children, my gifts, are my four disciples. And I’m their teacher.

Jesus was so patient with His disciples- that was another thing I was reminded of by Sally at the conference. He offered grace and truth to them. Even though they couldn’t understand and didn’t get it, and took up His time. He spent three years with them full-time, in the midst of His ministry, and He took time to sit down and explain the things of God in depth, because He knew they were going to go out and preach the Gospel someday soon.

And that’s the way I should see it too. I know my time with my little disciples is very short, so I need to sit with them and teach them the things of God.

My time is limited here on this earth. I long for God to change me- to make me like Him. I used to have this section in my heart that would say I want you God, but don’t give me cancer. Don’t go there, please God.

I dreamed I had brain cancer the other night, and I was given 9 months to live. And I was heartbroken, because I regretted all the days I hadn’t spent more time with my children.

I woke up right away, and it hit me. I kind of do have cancer. It’s called sin, and it’s stage 4. It means I will physically die.

I only get a few days on this earth. I need to live like it.

What’s important? What do I know God wants me to do in these days of my life?

He wants me to love my husband and my children.

To control my self {and my own desires}, to work at home, to be pure and kind and submissive.

He says it here in Titus 2:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

Oh that it may be true for me in these days I’ve been given.

Oh, God, you are so good to me. You bring truth, you bring life, you bring peace, and love and hope to my heart. Thank you for revealing your truth, and for defeating the lies of Satan. God, please let me be the woman and mother you have called me to be. Don’t let me go, in spite of my ugly flesh, and ugly heart. Jesus, Holy Lord, thank you for your sacrifice for my sin. Thank you that I am pure and spotless because of you. Give me strength to face motherhood as the battle it is. Keep my eyes open for attacks of the enemy. Teach me your ways, Holy Spirit. Make my words and heart reflect you- reflect the fruit of your Spirit. Holy, Holy, Holy, God, we praise your name and give you all the glory and honor. Thank you God, thank you, sweet Father for your discipline. I pray for the mothers that might be falling for the same lies that I did. Reveal yourself to them, show them the enemy and make them aware of his attack. Keep us from the evil one, God. We love you with all of our heart. In the name of Jesus we pray.

86 comments

Danielle said...

Thank you so much for this post! I have been felling the same way about parenting lately. Thank you for the insight. It is just what I needed to hear.
PS I am a new follower of your blog and it is too cute

Donna said...

Mandy.... Your life is so much like my own. I have been struggling with these same thoughts & feelings for several months now & unfortunately with all the new goals either I or my husband set for the new year, I have become even worse & am now my own worse enemy! I am so tired of picking up after everyone else, doing everything around the house, listening to everyone else & no one listening to me or rather hearing me & understanding my desires & needs. I would LOVE to have something done for me to make my life easier ..even if were just a cup of tea..The bitterness in my speech & heart is so strong. I pray more & more & somedays God shows me the BIG picture. But more days than I care to acknowledge, Satan wins & weighs me down. Please don't get me wrong, I love my daughter & my husband. I am blessed with a wonderful gift & I do cherish that. I use to manage and entire office & staff....and I say all the time, being a stay at home Mother & "homemaker" is the hardest job I have ever "Tried" to do. I constantly feel like I am always falling short & never good enough for this job. I just want u to know, you are not alone in any of this. We are here to share with....and thank the Lord, he is constantly there for us all, just waiting for us to call out. Thank you for sharing your thoughts...it does help me to know that I am not the only one struggling with these issues.

Kendra said...

Hi there! I tried commenting on part 1 of this little series but I don't think it went through. This is very timely for me! I needed to here this! So thank you thank you thank you!! God is at work in ur life! I appreciate u being real and opening ur heart! I just found ur blog through the Nester. I hope to continue reading ur words of wisdom! Kendra

Blessedbyhim2day said...

Such an encouraging article! Thank you , thank you, thank you!

Linda Marshall said...

I really loved this and saw so much of myself in what you said. My children are all grown up now, but what you said was so very true. Keep up the great work! It is so worth it! God bless you and your sweet family!

Angie Guymon said...

Wow. This blessed me so much. I have struggled in the same way and God has used your writing to minister to me about the value of our time here on earth and our very important task as mothers and homemakers. I am especially blessed by your analogy of our children as our disciples....wow....what an awesome truth! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing and may God continue to bless you. Angie

latoya scott said...

Thank you so much. You don't know how much I needed this.

mandyBH said...

Me too Steph! His Spirit brings so much peace when we let Him do the work! thank you!

mandyBH said...

OH, Mary! So true! I'm a list-maker too! Thank you for being who you are- it's such a wonderful thing to put it out there and have such awesome love given back in response. Thank you for blessing me!!

Sandra said...

Ok... this brings me to tears... Thank you so much for sharing your deepest thoughts. I also think like you did. In the back of my head there was that big lie to and it made me make bad choiches. If the Dear Lord has given me my 2 little angels, than I was meant to be their mother, what was I thinking that I was meant to be something else?
Your message has changed my mind, I can't thank you enough for write it down. I have so much to overthink right now, hugs Sandra

fusfam said...

Mosaics are beautifu! Our lives can be too, even when our hearts are broken into a million tiny pieces. In fact, without brokenness, a mosaic would simply be a picture. Good thing the Father of all Creation is SOOO creative! ;-) Loved this post, Mandy!!

Sarah C said...

Thank you so much for baring your soul. I can so relate to you! This is a new favorite blog!

Lynette said...

"I was looking at it the wrong way. I wanted to get through, get done, because I was supposed to."

That is so me. I'm always trying to grasp for tangible goals to achieve throughout the day. Thanks for the reminder that my greatest gift is right in front of me and the goal is for their hearts to know and love Jesus.

Melissa said...

Oooh, I have so much to think about and pray about after reading this. Thank you so much for sharing your struggle and what the Lord has showed you.

Mary said...

i am so guilty of this, too.
i make these checklists of things to do and if i don't get them done, i freak, and if i do, well, then...i've been a good mommy.
even if i've pushed them aside and ignored them all day to do it.
these are amazing wise words, friend.
i love how you related our children to disciples...yes, yes, and YES!
i'm also very much a ME girl...ughhhh. :/
oh, and satan deceiving you on not being a good mother....LIGHTBULB moment for me!
of course he wants us to fail and give up...but God is so much bigger! we will have the victory!
amen!
thank you so much!!!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

This is an awesome and beautiful post. It resonated with me, even though I only have one child (and one on the way). Thanks for being honest and putting it all out there. :)

Mary Crockett said...

Thank you...you spoke my heart here.

Mama-to-six-below-ten said...

Two things:
1) Ouch.
2) Thank you.

Natalie said...

Hello! I'm new to reading your blog and also a new Christian. Your blog is EXACTLY what I need in my life, maybe one day I will tell you my story of accepting Christ...but for now Í just want to say THANK YOU!!! you're making a big difference in my life with your honesty and faith...p.s I'm not a mother (looooong story very much connected to accepting Christ!) but I am still learning from and appreciating all you share....Natalie (in Australia)

kelly said...

Thank you for this post!

Carly said...

Thank you for being so open and honest! Much love to you, Mandy!

rhenyestheyareallmine said...

Amen to an excellent post! Far too often we, as moms, let Satan twist our views to see our blessings as burdens. Thank you, God, for helping us to realize just how precious our children are!

Kim Absher said...

Beautiful post from a beautiful heart! I can relate to you on so many levels. Thank you for such encouraging, challenging words! I just recently found your blog and have been blessed by you and your spirit! Keep on keeping on:)

Christophersjen said...

This was SO well written! I too have 4 little ones (very close in age!) and some days I'm just so weary. I snap and complain and the list goes on and on and as I come to the end of my day I'm just disgusted with myself and how I CHOSE to mother these precious gifts. I chose to mother without God's love. Thank the Lord HE is so forgiving and patient with us. I totally agree that Satan will stop at nothing to make us ineffective as we guide our children. Thank you for being so open and honest. I love your blog and come daily to see what new pieces of advice and encouragement you may have! Jenni

MAusman said...

Amen - the perfect post for me today.

Amber said...

Thank you for this post. I have been hearing the same lies and they also include you are not meant to be a wife or a mother. It is very frustrating when I start to believe them. But, I must remember to trust God and Philippians 4:13. God has a great plan for my and my family's life. He is always with us along the way guiding and reforming us.

Cassielaing said...

We sat at the same table Friday night! My friend and I were sitting when you and two others joined us! Another friend in Baltimore recommended your post today and I checked it out, saw we were at the same conference and then saw your picture! What a beautiful family! I enjoyed your post and will be browsing around:) Thanks for sharing your heart!

Steph222000 said...

Beautiful post and so true. Thank you for sharing. I feel like I am a failure of a mom everyday, but I am learning God put me here for my kids. I love Him for it.

Adena Harstad said...

Thank you for letting the Lord use you to not only work on your heart but the hearts of so many tired worn down mommies! As I read your blog I feel as if I am reading the story of my own heart/life . Just today I txt hubby and said I am giving him my resignation letter now! I just can't do this anymore!
I have ben so selfish and sinful. It is not my kids causing me to act this way, it is my dirty heart. How do I expect my four kids to have brotherly love, when their mom doesn't

mandyBH said...

Oh how cool!! You were right across from me, right? Do you have a blog? or a twitter handle? I'd love to follow you!! Thank you for your sweet comments!! I'm so glad we found each other! :D

Jenron said...

Wow! That was a beautiful post. Thank you so much for being so open and honest. I appreciate every word. I will be praying for change and asking the Lord to work, and also seeing my family with a new set of eyes today. Thank you!

Erica {let why lead} said...

Beautiful, heartfelt post! Those ARE satan's lies, and they are so easy to fall into, as mothers. I see people all around me who believe that they shouldn't have to be a mother - to a wipe bums and clean messes. How deceptive. That's not to say that I don't fall prey to it occasionally, but thank you for the reminder that this is what I'm here FOR. And that my children were sent to me with divine reason.

Luann said...

getting to the ROOT of complaining. YES!

in preparation for the children our Lord may someday give me to steward, i've come to see it as just that, that they belong to Him. they are His, and i GET to steward/disciple them. i recently had the same mind shift in regards to my husbend. ouch.

Kelly said...

I can't tell you how much this post hit home with me. I actually realized something similar as I began to tell my journey to being a SAHM story on my new blog (houtzhouseparty.blogspot.com). I had decided to go back to work...and KNEW in my heart it wasn't right for us...BUT...i selfishly missed all the kudos and accomplishment my career before babies 2 & 3 (twins) brought. Such a hard thing sometimes...
I REALLY enjoy reading your blog and can relate to you SO much it's crazy!! So glad to find your blog!!!

Lee Anne said...

This is so far my favorite post of yours!

Visit me:
LeeAnne, Style N Season
http://stylenseason.blogspot.com

jessica said...

What a wonderful post! I am bookmarking this to read whenever the lies get into my head!

Ulrika said...

I cal really relate. This week has been tough with Noah bouncing off the walls (and my pregnant belly) and being pretty wild and in my 31:st week of pregnancy and with my remaining weaknesses in my body from my paralysis condition I've really struggled. And I have that exact same thought pattern I tend to fall into... "I'm not a good mom, I don't have enough patience, I don't know how to get through to him, what will it be like when the baby comes if he continues to be this wild not listening to me when I tell him to slow down - I'm not cut out to be a mom" et.c... After a tough day yesterday I cried in my bed for a while and then felt a bit better and today's been ok again. I love that you share your struggles as many bloggers just present themselves as picture perfect. To know that someone like you who is really into this godly role of women as mothers and wives also struggles. I love honesty about our imperfections. I wish women in general could be more open and supportive with our guard down instead of being territorial and comparing ourselves/competing with other women. :)

mandyBH said...

Thank you Carly! Thank you for listening- and for your sweet encouragement!

mandyBH said...

thank you for sharing, Ulrika! Sometimes it feels good just to cry sometimes, doesn't it! I think God made us emotional creatures for a reason too! Thank you for your sweet comments, they mean so much to me. It's hard to put it all out there, and you ladies are the kindest, most loving readers a girl could ever have. Thank you!

mandyBH said...

Thank you Lee Anne! You are so sweet!!

mandyBH said...

I know, it is such a huge thing to see the major reason behind what you are doing. We have such a short time here on this place, and nothing is ours in the first place. Thank you for sharing, Luann!

mandyBH said...

Thank you Jenni, for your kind encouragement! It's been a hard journey for me, but you ladies are so sweet and loving and encouraging! It's such a blessing to me! Thank you for reading!

mandyBH said...

Thank you Erica! You are so right! God has a purpose for our lives! Thank you for your sweet comment!

mandyBH said...

Oh, thank you for reading it, and accepting me with such grace and kindness! I'm so glad you are here!

mandyBH said...

Thank you Kim! You are so sweet! God uses your sweet comments to bless my heart so much. THe Holy Spirit is so awesome to bring comfort to me through you! :D

mandyBH said...

And it's for His glory and our good- so true, Amber! I'm so glad God reveals these things through His Word. Thank you for reading, and for commenting too! It's such an encouragement to me!

mandyBH said...

Oh Adena, we are so much the same! It's been such an eye-opener for me- I'm so grateful God is using it in you too! Thank you for your sweet comment!

mandyBH said...

Thank you so much for reading, Kelly! It's so cool that we are so similar! I'm so glad you are here!

mandyBH said...

Thank you for being so kind to me, Kara! I'm so glad you are here, and your comment blessed my heart!

mandyBH said...

Oh, I would love to hear it! You are such an encouragement to my heart!

mandyBH said...

:D love that!

mandyBH said...

:D thank you for reading!

mandyBH said...

So true! Jesus, we praise your NAME! God you are so good to us!!

mandyBH said...

Thank you for reading, Kelly! :)

mandyBH said...

Thank you for your sweet comment, Mary! I'm so glad you're here!

mandyBH said...

Oh, I'm so glad it was helpful to you. Thank you so much for your comment, Melissa- it's such encouragement to my heart!

mandyBH said...

Oh, and it's such an immeasurable thing, isn't it? So hard for our personalities I think. You are so right- our goals live right in front of us!

mandyBH said...

Ohh, so true!! The thing that I keep telling myself is if I don't have sin, then I don't need a savior. Being broken is such a good thing, and so hard at the same time! Thank you for your sweet comment!

mandyBH said...

Oh, thank you! I'll be praying for you as well!! So glad you are here!

mandyBH said...

Oh, Sandra, we are so much alike! Satan wants us to give up- and it's sooo merciful of God to show us that so that we don't give up on them. He will do anything he can to get to us and take us down- but God has won! Oh praise Him for His goodness. My heart goes out to you, sweet lady! I'll be praying for you this week!

mandyBH said...

Oh thank you Jessica!! I'm so glad you're here!

Michelle said...

Such a great post - you hit the nail on the head! Thank you for being real - you make all your readers feel it's ok to "put it out there" and not strive to be the "perfect" anything. It's all so much more fun that way too :)

Cooperkelly4 said...

Seeing your kids (they are still so little), it reminds me of myself just a couple years back and the lies I was believing. I think part of the lies is where you are at in life (ie your kids ages, etc. righ tin the thick of it with potty training, etc. and more demands with homeschooling the older ones). Let me just encourage you that:
1) getting past the lies is so liberating-freedom really is in Him, at His cross, but with repentance comes that resurrection power that lives in YOU. The lie I was believing was that if I failed them in little life things that surely that would add up to bigger things and ultimately that they would not choose salvation. =( Totally not true!!!! It is crazy what we choose to believe.
2) A couple of years will make all the difference!!! Don't get me wrong, I still have challenging days (hello!) but life is not so overwhelming. I also have 4 kids: ds11, dd8.5, ds 6.5, and ds 5. =0) And now that they are just that much older they are more able to really help and serve in our family. It was during these past earlier years that making the decision to be diligent, STAY diligent (and keep staying diligent) that hubby and I are finally beginning to see the fruit of training our children up in the fear of the Lord.

Having kids really does drive the selfishness out of ya. Hang in there!
sorry to go on and on.
ps 1Ti 2:15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

"Preserved" means to save, deliver, protect
"bearing of children"- means childbirth, maternity, and the performance of maternal duties
As moms we are delivered and set free through this whole thing called motherhood. Isn't God good!!!!

Rebecca said...

wow...i needed to hear this...to ponder it...and really to act on it. thank you for your openness...

Ashley said...

Wow this is pretty much spot on on how I have been feeling except you put it into words that made my thoughts clearer. So so glad I read this. Its the devil who is telling me these lies, they are not the truth. Praying I can find joy again in my role as a mother instead of wishing time away...

Cassie A. said...

I just came across your blog tonight. I think that God brought me here for a reason. These are some deep rooted issues that I've been dealing with for quite some time. I sort of feel stuck and have been praying for guidance but seem to keep getting pulled back into those old ways and thoughts. Thank you for this... I am glad I found you and started following you! Keep up the good work!

Erin W. said...

Hi Mandy,
It is just amazing to me how similar you and I are. God has had me read your posts for a purpose. I really appreciate your transparency and humility. I too am such a list-checker, productivity-driven person, and I associate value with quantity of work done in a day, to the point where I get really irritated w/ my kids when they mess w/ my plans. Selfishness, so true. It's my prayer that the Lord will change my heart and it is so encouraging to read posts that I am not alone in my battle. :) God bless you!!

Anonymous said...

I have been dealing with this same problem... but in a slightly different way. I can't have children of my own, but was blessed with three through my husband. I struggle so much with my role as a mom... especially because satan reminds me frequently... "They alreadyhave a mom." Although that's true, my children do need me. Their mother is in a season of life where our children are not a priority to her- and she is unable and unwilling to take care of them. I feel as though I constantly fail them, and that I'm not enoughfor them (or my husband) but God is showing me the importance of my role. Thank you for this post.

LIZ HARROLD said...

Wow...I know you wrote this over 1.5 years ago, but this is the message I needed to hear TODAY!!!

theconfidentmom said...

UGH, I need this today as well. As a mom who thrives on productivity and getting things I often am selfish and push others away in order to "do". I know you shared this awhile ago, but know it is touching people still - me being one! This is an area I need to really put in front of the Lord, as you did.

MandyBentley said...

I'm so glad you shared this with us today. I honestly have felt the same way recently. I actually told my husband today "I don't want to be a mom anymore. I don't want to be needed so much." Being a mom is hard. But God designed us to be mothers of these precious little children. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Danielle Fields said...

Well ya done did it again! I'm bawling all over my computer keys... This is something I've really {REALLY} struggled with. I am 22, my husband and I have a 16 month old, and we just found out last week we're due with another this Spring. To be honest, I'm overwhelmed more than anything right now and satan's really been doing a number on my heart. Lately, I've felt like a horrible Mother, too young to know anything, and have been questioning why God would ever place another person's life in my hands...let alone a second! I am constantly complaining and comparing... I see so many Mom's who seem to have it all together and somehow manage to effortlessly maintain their super model looks, stain-free clothing and pristine homes! I always compare myself to them and it brings me down every time. Anyways, all that to say I really needed to hear this today. Thank you!

Stacey said...

Wow, wow, wow! How did you see into my life? This is exactly the way I've been thinking, and it has to stop! Oh that I would break through...

Rebecca Barr said...

Thank you so much for re-posting this tonight. The Lord used what He taught you to break my heart over my selfishness. This is a sin that I know has been there, but I have continually failed at "fixing" it myself or chosen to do what I want instead of submitting to the Lord. Submitting to the Lord, letting Him change me, and being content where He has me and where He will place me in the future have been missing pieces in this struggle for me. The reminder that our time on this Earth is short was exactly what I needed to hear. Sadly, the procrastinator in me seems to hold out on things I feel inadequate to do or simply have no desire to do because I feel like I don't have a deadline and I choose myself over the needs of my family. I so appreciate your honesty and I am praying the Lord will help me to see the lies I've believed and change my heart to be like His.

Lindy Johnson said...

Same here! Amen!

Andrea Harris said...

Though you wrote this last year, its what I needed to read tonight. I love my kids, but sometimes i feel i dont enjoy them as I should cuz in so busy making sure chores, homeschool, dishes, and laundry are done. I feel like a warden sometimes. Thank you Lord for helping me see that role as a mom is a labor of love. It needs to be joyous and thankful that you have entrusted their hearts to me to guide. My journey to seeing this role anew begins tomorrow morning when I rise. Thank you.

Heather @ A Nurse's Wildflowers said...

Wow, what an exceptional post. Thank you for your transparency and for speaking what a lot of us feel. I have been struggling with this too....for a very long time. This year has been slowly changing me from the inside out. Something you said stuck with me, about us moms being on a battlefield for the the next generation and how satan is trying to knock us down. That makes so much sense. I think I'm going to have to read this post more than once and book mark it for when I need reminder. Thank you again! I love your posts!

Adina said...

So many tears and conviction here. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I needed to hear this. The devil has been feeding me lies alllll week. About motherhood, being a wife and about being a woman. Thank you for being transparent and sharing.... youve encouraged me. Thank you!!!
- Mom of two little boys ages 4 and 2

Jeremy Smith said...

We men need to hear this too! I stumbled upon this post whilst preparing material to teach on core lies and self worth. I have six children and live near Jerusalem, Israel. I remember many years ago cycling with my young baby in the basket in the early morning on a beach in Florida. It was a retirement area and I past a number of older retired men. Each one of these men stopped me and said. "I wish I had not worked so much and spent more time with my family". I do not want to make the same mistake that many have made before me. I want to allow myself the freedom to enjoy my family in the midst of a shaking world. Thanks for the post

sonshine handiwork said...

I stumbled upon this blog post series today and want to say Thank You. I have had the same battles going on for over the past year. We moved for my husband's career and because it was a promotion it meant it was more demanding and more travel. I was never certain this was the right move for us(first of the lies from the enemy), but I knew each of step of the way it was time I learned submission. I had to step down in my career and in ministry to be a stay at home mom for my little girl who is now three. Now I didn't have to but God directed me that way and I unwillingly obeyed. I never saw this in my future and always thought I would work at least part time and be able to do it all. I struggled with everything to do with the move and struggled with being at home. I have gained weight, and now on blood pressure medication. But I have grown in my spiritual walk more in this past year than any other time in my life. I have been journaling and am amazed at all the things God has set before my eyes revealing my heart one piece at a time. Most recent piece - Stop the Complaining. I heard a lecture while studying in Matthew 4 speaking on the temptations of the enemy. Satan approached Jesus in the desert and tempted him in 3 ways. I heard this and studied this many times but never before caught the true approach that Satan used. He first tempted Jesus' Dependence on God, then His Obedience to the Father, and finally His Surrender to the Father. For some reason, This past year with all that has changed I have been watching for Satan to attack my ultimate surrender to the Father while the entire time he was busy working on my daily dependence and trust in God. The lies of the enemy that you are address were the very things that flashed before my mind that week. I let the enemy in and not only has he been working hard on my dependence and winning little battles, he was winning some of the obedience battles. I let the enemy in. He was filling my heart with all the same lies - telling me that I need to turn rocks into bread or that "I have a right to complain, you were never cut out for this, you're submitting you obeyed and come on it's hot in the desert - someone has to say it." And he was able to tell me that "I can eat whenever and whatever and take all focus off of my health, it's ok God has my back he won't let that effect my health, I'm submitting and giving up other things right." God is amazing and has covered me with grace through this entire year while He has been cleaning my heart out slowly. There is much work to still be done but I am grateful for all He has shown me, and I appreciate hearing others going through the same cleansing. I thank God for your journey and willingness to share.

626dch said...

Love love LOVE this!!! Even though I have never felt that I wasn't mother material, you have brought to life so many things that I needed to hear! Washing dishes by hand after 10 yes of having a dishwasher has been my thorn in the flesh :) This post makes me appreciate being a mom all the more. Such a blessing - Thank you for being so honest and sharing what God has been teaching you!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this post. I have been falling for the same tricks of Satan. I don't feel "gifted" as a mother. It does not come naturally to me at all. Yet you are SO RIGHT. It is my calling. And the one who calls equips! Thank you for sharing and encouraging me today.

Anonymous said...

I think I had read this post at a different time in my life, and today I stumbled upon it again, and OH MY! I could not believe how it reflects what I'm going through right now. These thoughts have constantly crossed my mind. I feel that I am NOT right for this job, and keep asking God, "why have you chosen me for this?," "I'm not qualified to train these children!" My kids are 3, 14mo and I'm 5mo. pregnant. I feel a strong calling to have a large family and homeschool. But I'm daily drained and exhausted as it is, and feel completely inadequate for the job! The other day ALL I wanted was to be able to send my kids to a school somewhere and only pick them up at the end of the day and just NOT deal with it! How can a sinner train a sinner not to sin??? I more often then not sin AS I'm trying to teach them NOT to sin! It's SOOO frustrating! I've never felt so empty, so completely aware of my sinfulness, selfishness. Children will humble you in a way that I think nothing else can.
I know God is working in me during this season, and I know that He has MORE than shown that whatever good comes out of this family is not because of MY capacity, ability or talent to be a good mother, but because o HIM and HIM ALONE! I already emptied myself of any glory in this...but now it's this constant battle to not let my thoughts bring me down and to TRUST that GOD WILL provide, will enable, will see me through. I realized that I'm great at repenting, but not at TRULY believing. My pastor said last Sunday how there are a group of us that are easily humbled and quick to acknowledge our sin, but keep trying with our own effort to "improve" only to frustrate ourselves more and get depressed about it. That's ME! Then he said, "just REPENT and BELIEVE, that's what God calls us to do!" Then it hit me...I repent...I repent every day, every minute, as I'm sinning, I'm repenting often times. But do I believe? Do I REALLY believe that GOD IS ABLE and WILL accomplish ALL that He has planned for my life? Will HE enable me to raise my children, train them in His ways, love my husband, keep up with the housework, and tame my complaining spirit? I know I don't...because more times than not I'm just feeling helpless and defeated. When we believe, we don't live in defeat but in HOPE! Knowing that no matter how many times we fall, HE WILL ALWAYS pick us up!
Anyway...I SOOO needed to hear this, and God is SO timely! And totally used this post to bless me and provide the encouragement I needed today. Will be returning to read it again soon :) Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

I too turned 30 last year. I thought that by this point in life with 2 small children I would have things in order and managed. Then my mother-in-law dies suddenly and depression hit. I didn't have best friend anymore or someone who could watch the kids when I needed (or rather wanted) a break. I became complaining and short tempered. My kids were seen as a burden and then I was guilty of not loving my kids enough. I felt like I wasn't the mom they needed and that God was wrong when he gave them to me. The lies were killing me. But through reading this blog and relaxing and playing with my kids, I have seen the truth. Thank You for sharing and encouraging me.

Michelle Marren said...

I just had my 3rd child, my first boy! I have been needing a word like this so desperately. I feel like life is a checklist, like you stated. But I have turned being a mother into "religion", if you will. I am so thankful for this awesome blog post! It was EXACTLY what I needed!