"I'm always the last one to eat. Nobody helps me. I'm always the one who gives, gives every last part of me. I'm always having to put everyone else before myself and it is never enough, never enough. I'm so tired of this. So tired."
Ah, yes, the gripes and complaints of a burnt-out mom. This is the mom who others come beside and ask, "Are you taking time for yourself? Find someone to help you. You need to take care of yourself."
That mom definitely needs a break. She needs to center herself. She needs rest physically, emotionally, and mentally.
That rainy day we had this week caught me off guard. I had other plans for that day but the weather kept us all indoors. And with the close quarters came a thousand demands on the wife, cleaner, chef, mom, and entertainment manager--aka, me. The pressure built. I wanted to run outside into the rain and scream. The whole thing seemed unfair and my complaints about the day bogged me down with growing anger.
And silly me, I stood at the kitchen sink and prayed something like this, "Oh, God. I know you are telling me that I need a break. But there is no way right now. Why would you allow me to feel like this and have no escape plan?"
God probably rolled his eyes before responding. "Oh, no, daughter. Those thoughts are not from me."
I looked up into the gray skies and the soggy world and realized once again what a sneaky monster the devil had been. Those well-meant words of advice to mothers had settled into an unexpected place in my heart. They made me feel beaten down. They made me feel like a victim. And then the lies had started. The lies that whispered that my life was too hard, my problems too big, and that everyone asked too much of me.
But when I look at the truth I can feel the amazing power in this life I lead and the loving choices I make.
Because the truth is this:
I eat last because I have the honor to cook and serve food to my family.
God helps me every day and every moment.
I have more than enough love and strength to give to my family everything they need from me. God will not allow me to be bankrupt.
And yes, a break would be lovely, but that to will be provided when the time is right. Until then, I am just fine.
No. I am more than fine. I am winning and loving and being everything God has made me to be, right here in this moment.
How did I begin this habit of embracing lies? Of seeing my world as so difficult and trying?
How did such benign thoughts morph into words that were tearing down my heart?
We all need a break and mothers of small children have so much on their plate.
But we are not victims.
We are warriors.
With the great challenge that comes with doing this job, God has set before us amazing portions of grace, patience, and love.
We are some of the strongest women on earth. We run a tight race while constantly under siege.
We do not just survive.
We build homes. We conquer bad attitudes and poor habits. We potty train and do budgets and cook meals and teach manners.
Come on, you can say it, WE ROCK!
Under siege from all directions we face it all with the power of a mom.
And the never-ending grace from God.
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"...and God was already there with me."