selfishness

Even On Days Like These

Even on days like these

Some days I don’t want to be a mom.

Today is one of those days.

Every moment of motherhood feels like a strike against my selfishness, a blow to my pride, or just utter failure. Mixed in with all of that of course is great piling heaps of joy and abundant laughter. I could not have imagined how much better my life would be before I had them, and I’m very grateful for these two silly boys. But choosing to get up every day and be Abram and Emery’s mom is to choose to die to my flesh, and some days, I’m so sick of it and I just want to do what I want to do.

I want the day to go my way. I want to take off just for fun, and I’d really like to not be responsible for someone else’s well being.

But even more, the hardest part on days like these, is feeling so small and insignificant. Day in and day out, with the diapers and the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the spoiled laundry and the apologies for freaking out over jumping on the couch and the NEVER ENDING teething; it starts to feel like I contribute nothing to the world.

It’s a lie, I know. But in a culture that marvels at dream chasers and hustlers, I get to feeling worthless.

And on these days where my flesh burns hot and wants nothing more than to take over while I’m sobbing next to the crib because the baby won’t nap, and I’m still in my pajamas and I wish I could lose 30 pounds, I’m so glad I have a God to weep to.

There are meltdowns that only my Creator can comfort. I’m always surprised by days like this, and find myself angry for not being better, like HOW COULD I POSSIBLY BE FEELING THIS WAY FOR THE THOUSANDTH TIME… but He’s never surprised and I don’t think He’s angry at me either.

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24

This is what happens when I go to him instead of stew in my own muck. It usually looks like a disaster at first, a few words here and there through the sobs and snot. But once I get it all out enough to approach repentance and ask for help, I start to feel like I’m being given strength. My flesh starts to let up on the clench it’s had on my heart all day, and peace trickles into my mind.

Confessing to others is big, too. Sometimes it takes any shred of humility I can muster up to message my friends and tell them how I’m feeling and ask for prayer. But I always feel a little more sober-minded afterwards, which is one of the beauties of living in communion with other believers.

I know most of us wish putting off our old selves could be easier and look a lot more dignified, like some kind of formal ceremony. It’d be much better if someone could just knight me with a Bible and then I’m magically new. But that’s not what it looks like at all. It’s approaching Him, day in and day out, asking for the same help, over and over. It’s confessing to my people. It’s quiet, it’s repetative, and the reward isn’t instant perfection but the hope that maybe I won’t be such a selfish person all day long. 

God ALWAYS wants to be my father.

Even on days like these.

Flying Abe // JATW

Fly, My Son.

Flying Abe // JATWFly, my son. Fly as high as you can into those soft blankets.

Today, you are filled with joy. Waking up isn’t hard for you.

If anything, sleep is a hindrance to your precious, wild soul.

There’s so much to learn, and I see it happening on your face.

Both good and bad, scary and incredible, you will learn it all.

In time, my little love. In slow and gentle time.

It’s hard not to protect you from the world. “Why?” You ask.

Because I’ve seen the world. I’ve seen it’s monsters.

And yes, there is so much beauty to celebrate, but the monsters…

They do more than go bump in the night.

And sometimes, the beauty seems lost.

One day you will be a man, we will have taught you how to fight.

To slay the monsters, like you do now, with your costumes and toy swords.

But one day, it won’t be a game.

“Why don’t you want me to grow up, mommy?” You ask.

Because I’m selfish. And I’m scared.

And somehow I love you at the same time.

Today, though.

Today, let’s play.

Let’s pretend you can soar o’er the roof tops like Peter Pan.

Today, you will take pictures.

And we will see the world from your perspective.

You will dance in the living room, and watch cartoons.

Keep flying, Abe. Fly as high as you can.

Today, you are filled with joy.

Bits Into the Mouths of Horses

I’ve noticed something lately that leaves me both terribly burdened and deeply motivated.

As I read the constant stream of Facebook statuses and hear the things that come out of the peoples mouths around me, I’m reminded of an earlier time in my life. A time where I thought I knew Jesus really well, and God needed ME. A time of complete ignorance to my innate crookedness and my black heart. This was only 1-4 years ago, but I’ve been proclaiming “CHRISTIANITY!!!” for the majority of my short life.

During this season of life, I was constantly asserting my opinion into anything and everything that allowed it, and I regret to say that 99.9% of it was not of a redemptive, gospel nature. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think I kinda did. I didn’t care though. “Well it’s the truth, and if people don’t like it, oh well for them.”

How incredibly selfish.

How shamefully inaccurate.

I cringe at the reality that I probably hurt, isolated and destroyed a lot of people. This is the part of our walk with Christ, one of those awakening moments, that does not feel good. Oh, how greatly I need that abounding grace, and how grateful I am that it flows in streams eternal.

And I still do it on occasion! When my worth is in question, when I’ve been wronged, or if I’ve simply woken up on the wrong side of the bed, I can say (or type) something that the devil revels in.

When I originally wanted to write this post, I felt real fiery about it. That was a sign that I needed to wait a week or two. Continue to listen and be quiet, continue to receive grace. If I had written it immediately, then I most definitely would have committed the very offense I hate so much.

The reality is, I’m no better than the worst offender in this area. So, I say this with the utmost humility: if you call yourself a Christian, but your opinion constantly comes before others feelings, identities and salvation (or lack there of), then you are not promoting the gospel and all of the love, hope, justification and redemption that it brings. You simply aren’t. James 3 speaks for itself:

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is notthe wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

With Jesus’ blood comes the death of our right to be right.

With Jesus’ blood comes the death of our right to assert our opinion and judgement.

With Jesus’ blood comes the desire to further the kingdom with a pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere heart.

Is that what your heart looks like? If your not sure, read your Facebook statuses over the last month. Think about everything you’ve said since Monday.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.