Giving Up or Giving In: Motherhood and Daily Surrender


There are so many moms that I admire, my mother in particular, that I can’t help but cheer them on and praise God for these precious women.  They are all so varied in personalities, gifts, backgrounds, cultures, and parenting styles.  I learn from them and desire to be a better mom by watching them love and lead their children.  There is a common thread running through these varied moms and myself as well.  It is what makes us most similar besides our relationship with Jesus.  Our common thread is that we try REALLY hard at many things, but mostly at being mommy to our kids.  We want to do this parenting thing right and be the best mothers we can be for our little ones.  There are many days when we feel discouraged or weary, though, and we wonder if we are trying enough- all of this effort and concern we pour into motherhood.

 

Chore charts, lists, time out chairs, reward stickers, allowances, tips, tricks, bells and whistles (literally and metaphorically)- we will do what it takes to get our kids on track and stay on track.  If we are overachievers, then we want our kids to be 20 yards ahead on the track.

Sure we pray for our kids, for ourselves, and for our homes.  We know prayer is where the power is, but sometimes I think we forget to go there continually for that power.

How do we pray without ceasing as moms?

I just shared with Kara last night regarding obedience when it is hard that you don’t need to tell God in what ways you need Him to help you- He already knows.  Simply pray, “Lord, help me!”  After I said this, God gently but clearly spoke through His Spirit “This needs to be your prayer to Me.”  So often in my prayer life, I in my “wisdom” diagnose problems, give ways God could fix them, and then ask Him to show me how he will fix them when all along God is calling me to surrender not just my problems or concerns, but myself to Him completely.  Daily.  Praying, “Lord, help me!”

If I can be flat out honest here, this year has been hard for me.  Without going through a laundry list of trials, it has been one thing after another much like how as a child I would wade out into the ocean on the beaches of South Florida with my body board in hand, nose down, but still getting pushed under by each passing wave.  Now when the waves come I am not holding a body board but three precious children, and I have to stay up because if I sink under the sea so will they.  That is a lot of pressure and it leaves me utterly exhausted.  I pray for them.  For us.  I pray that God will intervene constantly with his grace upon grace.  That He will be my strength when I am weak, which is so often these days.  I have scripture verses that I pray over my children with specific prayers for each child.  I’ve come to conclusion that I have one of two choices to make.  I can either give up, or I can give in.

Giving up says…

I failed
It’s too hard
She is a better mom than me
My kids don’t really need me

The other option, and the right one I believe is to give in to God’s power and will.  Surrender, not in the theoretical, cerebral sense, but in a real way with guts and a practicing faith.  Truth is, I think us moms try TOO hard and fail to pray hard enough- not with many words, but with few, holy reverent words of praise for a mighty God, infinite in wisdom leading us to cry out, “Lord, help me!”

Because praying like this, trusting like this is giving in to God “who alone works wonders” (Psalm 72:18).

Giving in says…

God is good (Psalm 136:1)
God does good (Psalm 119:68)
God lives in me (1 Corinthians 3:16)
God is for me (Romans 8:31)
God will fulfill His purpose for me (Psalm 138:8)

When we give in to God’s power and will He enables us to have wisdom and strength to lead our children every day.  The progress we cannot see now, and the journey may be hard, but God is transforming us more and more into the image of Christ not by our doing, but by His grace and through His Spirit.

So moms, when the going gets tough (and discipling our kids is tough), God is there to get us going, not by our might or power, but by His Spirit.  The waves will come, and we may fear we will sink underneath the current, but they will not destroy us (2 Corinthians 4:8).  Christ is alive in us, so He is in our homes.  That is enough.  He is enough.  Try we may, but pray we must!

 

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