I am going to need you to take a moment to breathe. Deep in through the nose; push out through the mouth. Do that a few times.
Then, I want you to relax your shoulders–I know they are high. Isn’t it crazy that the more that is “on” your shoulders in responsibility that they tighten and move up instead of being weighed down? Let’s admit you feel that weight…some put on by others, some put on by you.
Next, take a moment to identify where you are today. You know that “you are here” sign on a map? Or, possibly the blinking dot on your map app? Right here, right now, what are you feeling? Anger, sadness, anxiety, joy, endorphins? Exhaustion, depression, desperation? Numbness, hopelessness? Write it down.
And now, I want you to take a moment to trace back where that feeling is coming from. What are you thinking or believing that is leading to that emotion? Identify what’s going on in there subconsciously. Were you scrolling and seeing what others had accomplished and believed that you were behind? Is something critical that someone said to you in the back of your head clanging around your every move? Are you thinking on a scripture that is illuminating life? Are you operating on assumptions from past failures?
Here’s what I bet you are thinking…”who has the luxury of time to do this? I have already been interrupted 49 times! and, plus if I do think, I might be in a puddle of tears…Get real, Jen!”
Here’s what I know…it is a necessity to examine your heart and your mind because life is lived out of them. What you think on and believe leads to your feelings about life, children, relationships, and your feelings in the moment lead to your behaviors which affect others around you AND YOU. Those experiences feed back into what you think and feel and do.
You might be thinking, I don’t have time to feel or think!! You are already doing it, sister. And, without awareness, you are not living fully. We are all guilty of living half-lives of numbness, shame, anger. Who does that rub off on? Those in your house, your family, your friends. And…guess what? Where you choose to turn your heart (moment by moment and day by day) slowly makes you what you are.
You were made for more than being a machine that checks off the boxes of getting your kids the “right stuff” or chasing after success or appearing like you have it “together.” You are made in the image of your Creator, but sin has muddied up that image. It can be really confusing to navigate this playing field, and having kids truly shows you that you “do not got this.” It leads to more noise in life to confuse us.
If you do not take time to breathe and to examine yourself and to get to know the One who made you, who can save you, who can give you abundant life in this upside-down world, you are missing the whole point.
“But Jen, when am I supposed to do that? You are just adding another ‘should’ to the list of life! I don’t need that!”
And, I confidently say, from experience, that the list of to-dos does not matter apart from this. The list is forming you and killing you at the same time. There is true LIFE to be lived that is often opposite in rhythm to what the noise out there is telling you to “be.”
After you identify what you are thinking and believing, you need to ask if it is true. What if you are running on assumptions that are simply not true? What would the fruit of that be?
A little hint…all of us are. That is why we need to examine what we are believing and then counter it with what is REALLY true.
Jesus, who knows a bit about what is true since He created the universe (Colossians 1:16, John 1:3), is eternal (John 1:2), holds all things together (Colossians 1:17), is TRUTH and the WAY and the LIFE (John 14:6), and MADE a WAY for us to be set FREE by the TRUTH (Ephesians 2:1-10)…He is the best place to see truth.
God, by the Spirit, revealed truth and preserved truth in His word that we might know HIM, love Him, delight in Him, and be changed in Him. He made a way through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to bring us into relationship with Himself. When His word (His very character) illumines our way, we walk away differently.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Psalm 119:9
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth. Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:103-105
So, dear Momma, today I call you out in the most gentle and gracious of ways to tackle what you are believing with what is really true. Take those shackles off. There are so many things that we tell ourselves and believe that are unconscious. We gotta bring em up. Then, we need to tell them what is really true. First…from God’s word–those are called big T eternal truths and then little T truths about experientially what is important.
For example: I am failing my kids because I don’t do ____________.
Big T truth–God is sovereign. He will never leave me or forsake me. He gently guides those who have young. He told me to come to Him when I am weak and heavy laden and take His yoke upon me. I entrust my children to Him–I cannot control their hearts.
Little t truths– Just because someone else is doing something with their kids, doesn’t mean that it is a necessity for us. We cannot do all the things, and we are taking time to examine what is a priority to our family. What is most important is spending time relationally with my kids–am I investing in that way? My son’s needs at this time do not look like our neighbors. I am being faithful in things that I don’t give myself credit for…I will stop to remember these instead of scrolling and panicking.
Momma…breathe, listen, remember with gratitude, set your mind on truth… If Social Media is killing you, kill it for awhile. If the schedule is eating you alive, see what is truly necessary…It might be killing your kids, too. This time is precious, and your child will most likely be a regular citizen with a family and no professional sports in their career. Don’t regret the time you have now. And, Momma, show up today with truth girding you up. Show up knowing you are weak, but you can take hope in One who gives grace and mercy and has no anger toward you. The greatest gift you can give your children is pointing to your weakness and being satisfied in Him–because that is the hope for your children, as well.
With love and understanding,