The Guilt Trip of Motherhood. Guilt-FREE ZONE!
Here I am folks, hazelnut-caramel-coconut coffee in hand, 3 sleeping babes (and one that refuses to nap but I gave her organic popcorn and put a movie on so I can escape to the almost unfamilair writing world), and a heart full of convictions.
It’s been too long. Lack of inspiration for the most part. See, I mostly write when I am inspired. I could not muster such inspiration in the midst of adrenal fatigue and being sick for the past 2 months. We now have 5 beautiful little ones, well, one not so little. My oldest will be 11 this month. OHHHH MYYY GOSHHH, I will have a teen in 2 years! :O
No, but really…I am super excited about this stage in his life. He is the most amazing young man I have ever had the privilege of meeting. He is loyal, loving, dedicated and sweetest boy EVER! He is definitively set apart for the Lord. See, I will not get to do certain things in my life because of my past/sins but Franky will. Just like David and Solomon. 🙂 I pray for nothing more than for God to bless my babies with salvation and wisdom.
Abby, the latest little Lightner is 6 months now. She is the sweetest thing ever ( well, by now you should get used to me saying this! LOL). She is such a constant source of Joy in my life, I don’t know what I would do without that little princess.
Having all 4 in 4 1/2 years (for a while there I had 4 under 4 and in diapers!), my adrenal glands were seriously exhausted! I did a round of whole food supplements which made the fatigue disappear but lo and behold, it came back when I finished my supp. So I found myself nearly at crashing point with no parachute. I am on a second round of whole food supplements and im starting to feel better.
During this time I have had time to think, get convicted on a few things and learn about the infinite grace of God. I am a type A. I need things in order the way they need to be done (according to your highness me, if that isn’t bad enough!) Being as fatigued as I was I just couldn’t do it all. No my house was not a mess (not completely) but not good enough to my standards, so I did alot of beating myself up over it. Which brought me to thinking..hmmm…I am always measuring myself ( my salvation to be specific) according to Jesus’ perfection hence I am always coming up short and it’s depressing. He is the standard…I know this…but my salvation is not dependent on “my abilities”, “my standards” or what I think is “good enough”. Even with all the theology I possess, I still have times in the valleys like everyone else. No one is exempt from valleys. The apostle Paul had them too. Spurgeon suffered from crippling spiritual depression and so did Calvin…I mean great men of faith dealt with severe valleys in their lives. Internal struggles. I have always known and believed that salvation is by faith alone. But somehow, without even knowing it, I always measured my salvation according to what I am currently doing or not doing for God. Let me explain. If my prayer life is improving then God is happy with me. If I am being “nicer” to people, “holier” or whatever the case may be THEN God is happy with me. Needles to say when my prayer life was nearly non-existent and I was less than “nice” God was furious with me, He had abandoned me, I was not saved and I am going to hell. Yep. That will plummet any good christian into deep despair. You would of thought I knew better!
Having 3 toddlers and an Infant to care for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is a huge responsibility. Especially when your health is failing you. Throughout my day I prayed. I thank God for my kids, for my blessings, for whatever I can think of. Always keeping God in mind, always reciting scripture in my head but never having the time or energy to be on my knees for 30 minutes or do a bible study hours on end. This is the reality of the season I am in right now. God understands that. My husband works 60 hours a week and I take care of everything and everyone in the home by myself. When I crash on my rocking chair at night, my heart cries out “Abba, forgive me for my lack of faith, forgive me for the times I dishonored you today and for being less than gracious to my kids, forgive me for not wanting to pray…Abba I am soooooo very tired! Will you please restore to me the joy of your salvation? Would you please have mercy on me and give me the time to spend with you without little ones tugging on me (I cant even go potty without tiny ppl…I mean that WOULD be a vacation, nonetheless do a bible study) and when I have the time ( at 10 pm) would you give me the desire to pour myself into your word?”
I am so tired, so very tired of reading blogs on “you should always put God first in your life, the first thing in the morning you should do is to spend time in the word…read your bible for a few hours daily…study your bible daily…blah blah blah.” I seriously wonder what planet some of these ppl come from? You know what, I am not knocking down those moms that CAN wake up at 4am to read their bibles with little ones in the home. If you are one of those, you are a blessing and my hat is off to you. But if I go to bed at 11-12 after my babes last feeding to wake up at 5 before my children…I would end up in the hospital. But me….I am not a supermom…I am not some super spiritual being. I am an exhausted human being in this season in life. There will come a time when I can get up earlier and read my bible…there will be a time when I can do bible studies because my littles will be more independent. Right now, this season…everyone needs mom. My older son needs me, my 3 toddlers are very demanding (my 2 girls wake up 3 times at night to come to our bed!) my infant depends on me for everything. So my time of sleep is precious and a much-needed source of energy. My Lord knows that. That doesn’t mean I am putting God last. That doesn’t mean I am less than others. That doesn’t mean I am less committed. That means I AM IN THE SEASON OF BABES.
I think this is the hardest part to understand for young moms. They are so very hard on themselves. Dragging a bucket of guilt around. I didn’t pray enough. I didn’t read my bible enough. I didn’t…..yackity yack enough. LOL Whatever you may feel you are failing in. As if real spirituality HAS to look a certain way at all times! If that is the case, neither Spurgeon nor Calvin were spiritual enough! How do men who are immersed in the WORD suffer from crippling spiritual depression? But can I tell you mamas that God knows your heart?! He surely does! Dont let someone guilt trip you because they have both time and energy to do things you honestly just can’t right now. You be faithful to God in what He has given you and thrive in the season you are in. Sometimes motherhood is messy. Different seasons require different things from us. God knows if you don’t want anything to do with Him or if your heart cries out to Him in the midst of REAL LIFE. See, real life is me caring for the blessings God has entrusted to me. Real life is not me neglecting my children in order to feel more spiritual. Feelings like this seek to bring us back under the LAW. We are no longer under the LAW my friends, we are under GRACE!
We no longer have to seek to get on God’s good side. If you are found in Christ, you will never be plucked from His hand! You don’t have to perform like a circus monkey to be “good with God”. Now don’t misunderstand what I am saying, by no means do I say we are not to live by biblical principles. If we love Christ, our lives will show it, no matter how many times you mess up (I mess up DAILY!). What I am saying is that if you find yourself in a difficult season in life, or are battling spiritual depression like Spurgeon and Calvin did HANG ON! Stop comparing your walk with the walks of others, stop thinking that if you do not have this specific pattern of religious activities you are less than spiritual.
Love your God with all your heart. Let God love on you as His child. This (season) too shall pass. HOWEVER you can, draw near to Him. Sometimes this looks like ” me on my rocking chair crying out to God in exhaustion for grace and mercy!” Not necessarily….being on your knees 1 hour a day, fasting 2 times a week and doing 3 bible studies weekly. There is no formula for the “perfect” spiritual walk…THAT is what I am trying to say. You don’t HAVE to read a devo every morning IN ORDER to be ok with God or be MORE spiritual. If you are led to do so, I highly encourage it. It surely helps when you wake up to a devo but many moms feel so guilty because they don’t follow a “specific pattern” during a given season in life it sends them into depression.
There’s no need for that. There are some seasons in life that do not have any specific pattern and that’s ok.
I learned that God loves me despite my failures, my lack of super bible studies and theological genius (hardly) posts. He loves me because I am His child. He loves it when I talk to Him throughout the day with a thankful heart even though I dont get to be on my knees. He loves me unconditionally. His loves never depended on me. I didnt earn it, I don’t deserve it and I can’t do anything to lose it.
May your prayer be…”Lord even though I am not on my knees daily, my heart lives bowing down before your throne!”
God is in the business of encouraging moms. He loves to see a faithful woman training the next generation of godly offspring. He understands when you are weary…bring it to Him. He understands when you are tired and don’t want to pray and pray for Him to grant you the desire. Remember the apostles fell asleep in the Garden with Jesus. They were tired….awfully tired. Did God take their ministry away because of their short comings? Did He change His mind on the face of their seemingly lack of…well….interest in Him? No. Because He called them knowing they would fail at times.
We may fail at times but He who called you is faithful.
Love Him where you are at, with what you have and He will take care of the rest. No your life right now may not look as tidy as the woman who doesn’t have small children but that doesn’t make you less spiritual or a failure!
THAT makes YOU a woman who is in a different season in life. That’s all!
DO NOT compare yourself to other women who seem to “have it all together”…I do that too much…Give yourself some grace while going through a difficult season…if God readily gives you such grace why do you deny it to yourself?
Confession: I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN, I AM NOT INVINCIBLE…I am a fallen human being, saved by God’s amazing Grace trying to navigate this thing called the christian LIFE, being as faithful as I can to my God and Savior and THAT’S OK! I don’t need to be everyone else. I don’t need to be super anything for God to love me! I am a super nobody that a Great, Majestic, Beautiful God raised from a life of dirt to proclaim His truth and set His people FREE. Free from sin, free from comparison, free from guilt…and ONLY the abundant LOVE of the savior can do that! God didn’t choose people who “had it all together” to call to be the greatest men on earth (the apostles). He called broken, nobody’s that needed His grace and knew that without HIM they are nothing. THOSE are the kind of people God uses. The broken, nobody’s that depend on His mercy and grace!
Whatever you did yesterday, however you may have messed it up….today is a brand new day. Ask for forgiveness ( 1 John 1:9) and move on! Peter asked for forgiveness, he didn’t walk around beating himself over his past sin. He would have missed the great things God had in store for Him and perhaps you are too sweet friend!
My <3, Laire