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"He tells you what you need to do"

The Word has the power to fill us up and compel us forward. I experienced that this morning as I approached it very empty. I had felt the life draining out of me little by little yesterday as I met the shrill demands of the 4-yr-old. It seemed that the requests were relentless. The previous day I had been interrupted by a child's need nearly every time I opened my mouth as well, and the combination of all of it together caught up to me completely this morning. As I learn to meet the pressures of preschoolers and pre-teens simultaneously, and working to make our marriage work even ahead of that, there have even been days where the word "violated" comes to mind to describe how I feel. No one is actually hurting me. I think just the feeling that anyone feels like they can approach me for anything, at any time. And I want to be that for them at all times, I want to be available to them - and yet at the same time I can feel disrespected sometimes, and used. I remembered the words of a friend who recently commented to me, "I feel like they have taken everything from me" and motherhood can feel so much that way sometimes... so depleting, so endless, either on the physical or emotional side or both.

It causes me to turn inward in self-protection I think sometimes, building up in me a focus on how I feel instead of a focus on how I can help, turning my opportunities for service into a self-pity party and cringing at the word "Mom". I have a friend who counted how many times a day someone in her house said "mom" a few years ago and I appreciate that -- mostly from a relatability standpoint. It's just a really frequently-used word. I want them all to know how important they are to me and how much I love them each one, and how each of their needs are worth my attention, and at the same time I feel taken for granted sometimes, a little bit strung out, and really, just tired. I want to love them all well but I feel insufficient to do that and I don't really know how.

So it was timely this morning to be reminded of the sufficiency of Christ. It wasn't even any one particular verse, or any one particular theme. It was just the sitting quietly in front of the Word, being reminded that Jesus is central (not me), and that He will supply our every need.

It was also timely to read this post from Ann Voskamp this morning. I feel like she just summarizes many of the tensions of motherhood really well, and also emphasizes the importance of self-reflection (not self-focus, and they are different) to work toward growth. It is good for us to sit down quietly with Jesus when we cannot move forward any more. But it is also good for the focus of that time to be moving forward, in repentance and grace, rather than just pity for ourselves for where we are at. I must approach the Word with hunger and thirst to actually propel me, rather than just affirming me in place. "Reflecting on Christ leads to being a reflection of Christ", she writes, and that is where I find myself this morning... able to see myself more clearly after time before the throne, and able to see how I can be His hands and feet to my children today.

As I write, the same 4-yr-old who was screeching yesterday is sitting on the table next to me stitching a project with yarn. Her stitches have improved tremendously just since yesterday and today are nearly flawless. It is a testimony to the power of practice, and keeping going forward even when you want to quit. But as she stitches, she suddenly comments to me: "God takes really good care of us. He tells you what you need to do, and you have to do it. And so, God is the boss of you, Mommy, and you are the boss of me."

Amen. Everybody in their proper place, and everybody doing what they're supposed to be doing. That's how The Plan works.

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Hi, I'm Hannah.

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