Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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.

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