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Monday, May 20, 2013

For The Days You Don't Know If You Can

I woke up achy and stiff. My legs didn't want to put one foot in front of the next to even walk out of my bedroom. I had spent an entire day in the garden pulling the weeds, turning the dirt, and incorporating fresh soil to help my new day lilies take a bit better.

If the ache in my muscles wasn't enough, my throat was feeling scratchy and raw and swollen on one side. My sinuses were full of pressure and I felt exhausted. 

All of this feeling came at once and I was supposed to be up for my quiet time in The Word. I kept pushing past the physical symptoms, gathering my breakfast and coffee, grabbing my Bible and iPad. I was determined to meet with Jesus. I was not going to miss time with Him.

And then my oldest boy woke up wanting breakfast. 

I fumbled through the kitchen to get his bowl and spoon. I dragged my feet over to the fridge to grab his milk followed by his cereal  and vitamins. I sleepily poured it all into his bowl and pushed it to his placemat at the breakfast bar. Grabbing my coffee, I slowly made my way out of the kitchen, back to the dining table, and opened up my Bible. 

I began to read when I was interrupted.

"Momma? I'm finished but could I please have more?"

I sighed a big sigh. "God, I'm not sure I can do this today. Help?"

I went through the song and dance of getting the cereal and milk, pouring it in to fill his bowl, and putting it back away. When I was back in my seat with my Bible, I started to pray. I was almost whining, to be true. "God, I don't think I can do this. I don't want to go through the day like this! I'm sick and I hurt."

True, this is not the very first day I've had like this. This is not the first time I've prayed these words.

Maybe you can relate? It sounds like this:

I can't...

break up one more fight
clean up one more mess
give one more time-out for sass and backtalk 
make one more bed
do one more load of laundry
make one more trip to the pantry because someone is still hungry
and on
and on

Isn't that the way it goes sometimes? 

I remember one time someone tried to encourage me with the blanket answer of "Jesus experienced all we have. He was tempted in every way." I wanted to laugh out loud and be very cynical. I wanted to say, "Jesus was not a mom, OK? Please exit to the left and take that with you."

I'm just being honest. And trust me, God heard what I was thinking and He had a way to encourage me. After a prayer just like the one I prayed this morning, God revealed to my heart just how well Jesus could relate with me and He wanted me to take courage in that. {And it didn't at all sound like the blanket answer I was given.}

"Amy, read again about Jesus the night he was betrayed." 
Matthew 26:39 - And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as you will."
Friends, I have days when I literally fall on my face and pray telling God how much I doubt my ability to do what He's asked me to do. He gave me three, beautiful children to care for but I dare not try to do life on my own strength.

Yes, Jesus paid the greatest price and went through the unthinkable to make a way for you and me to have access to heaven. And with motherhood, He's not asking us to go through that kind of pain every day. That's not the connection I want you to draw because it's not right. We do not need to suffer.

But in our obedience, we do take up a kind of cross, don't we? The sacrifice that comes from pouring all of who we are into nurturing our families and caring for the home we share is not to be taken lightly. And when I come to a place that I feel powerless, I have learned I can lay down my hands and give up my own strength. I AM powerless. But in these places where the surface begins to crack, God comes to back me up and mend those cracks and keep me going. 

Because it is His will that I keep going today.
Because "this cup" of 3 kiddos is not going anywhere anytime soon. 

So my home may not look perfect while my body heals. I may decide to neglect the laundry for today and that's OK. It's a good thing to let go of the chores and the busyness if that's what I need to do to be there for my little ones who need all of me. There's grace in this and I'm taking it...with a side of coffee...lots of coffee.

And you, my friend. You can take some grace too. Look at what He's given you and remember what He's already done. Smile at those little faces who need you and love you unconditionally. You've got this. You can make it through the day, even if it's one weary step at a time. Lean into God with all you have and let Him hold you up.

Take courage. Take grace. Take coffee. {I freely share coffee!}


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