Oh, sweet mama. The mama who paces back and forth during the ‘witching hour’ (you know, dinner time, when all the baby wants is for you to hold him and all you need to do is make dinner?) trying to comfort the baby and keep the toddler out of the shaving cream in the bathroom, all while instructing your 8 year old in how to spell c-o-n-f-i-d-e-n-t, and worrying about the 16 year old who has not arrived home from work yet, wondering if your husband will be home soon to help you manage all of your blessings, and doing your best to get supper on the table.
I so wish I could take the baby into my arms and pace with him. I would love to help your toddler wash her hands clean and settle her down to play with a puzzle or build with blocks. Spelling words with my children has been happening for nearly 14 years and how I would enjoy partaking yet again in that activity. I do not yet know the worry of a 16 year old not yet home, but I will. My oldest son turns 16 next year. Oh, how I have longed for my husband to come home and relieve the weight I carry on my shoulders! I understand the desire to comfort babies, teach skills, and bring children and husbands home safely. I understand the need for support and comfort and a break. I know how it all feels and yet being pulled in the direction of the kitchen to prepare a meal, to keep the house, and to do it all well. I really understand the temptations, the seemingly impossible task before you, not to compare yourself to every other woman on the planet, and find yourself lacking. Not because you are, but because it feels to you like you are.
I. have. been. there.
Can I talk to you? Can we pretend we are sitting across the farm table from one another, coffee cups in hand, finding rest in the joy of another’s company. Of one who knows.
I have a message for you. It is one that has been hard-won in my life. I have listened to the evil one more times than I can count when he told me I wasn’t good enough. I have broken down more than one time after feeling the eyes of others looking down on me because I wasn’t serving, dressing, buying, traveling, exercising (and on it goes) as I ‘should’. I have looked into another’s eyes while she smiled and lied to me, all while knowing it was a lie and covering up my heartbreak with a quavering smile. My husband has seen the tears, heard the hurt, and suffered the anger these offenses cause. He has been left feeling helpless.
I want you to know that I have learned, and am still learning, that Satan tries to use these events in our lives to break us. He wants to discourage us. He works tirelessly to discourage us, to cause us to lose our focus, and to get us to believe the lie that we are nothing.
I have believed the lie.
You are not a failure for succumbing to the lie any more than I was, or am today. God speaks to us about this in scripture. He is the one who tells us who we are. Whose we are. We are His. That makes us worth something. He died for us. He would have died for only you. You mean that much to Him!
Don’t believe the lies. Prepare yourself, and put on His armor daily. Prepare for battle. Yes, it is a battle. A battle to steal our peace. To kill our joy. To destroy our confidence in ourselves and in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6: 10-18 instructs us in exactly how we can do this.
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[b] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[c] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[d]
Remember, be alert.
I hope to someday sit down with many of you in real life to encourage you. For now, we must settle for cyberspace.
Please join us over at Teach Them Diligently and read more letters to our 911 sisters!
Oh, and I’m planning to attend a Teach Them Diligently Convention in 2014. Will you join me?
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