I’m wondering how many mothers out there are feeling like 2015 ran over them like a truck? I can’t believe I’m the only one….the past year has been crazy for a lot of reasons, none of which are my stories to tell, but all of which left me a little shaken and depleted. I found myself writing this in my journal:
“I feel like I am absolutely lost right now. I am running around without any kind of routine. I am wasting my life on things that really do not matter. I am spending so much time checking out of life on my phone that my senses feel numbed. I am ignoring my responsibilities and my children. I am just not doing a good job at anything right now. So much has spun out of control in life. I need to get back to the very foundation, when I had my priorities in order.”
I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that the first thing in my routine should be meeting with the Lord. I decided to go back to a book that I read long ago when I was a new believer, A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
As I re-read the first chapter, I realized that one of the reasons that having daily devotions is such a battle is that the enemy of your soul knows that if he can defeat you there, he will ultimately be able to defeat you in every other area of your life.
Well, that explains a lot. And as a mother, I have a divine responsibility to keep my priorities in order.
There is definitely a spiritual battle going on for our children’s souls, and I am much more aware of it now that my kids are older, and there is so much in culture that speaks directly in conflict with what is true about God himself, our self-worth, our bodies, and our relationships. When they were small, my concerns were smaller and I really wasn’t thinking about the big picture of the world. I was lost in diapers and goldfish crackers. Now, I have a daughter in the Corps of Cadets at a senior military college. She is being confronted head on with the best and the worst of what you can imagine that a girl would encounter in that male-centered world. My heart hurts for her as she reconciles that environment with what she’s experienced in life as a home-schooled student, and tries to figure out where she fits in in a world that clearly doesn’t embrace the ideals and standards we’ve taught her. Fast forward three years, and she will be deployed to parts of the world where evil people want to kill her. She feels that God has called her to be a combat nurse and that if she loses her life, so be it. She’s not wavered in that conviction since she was a young teen. She’s an absolute rock solid champ. But all of that is hard on a mother’s nerves and more time is spent on my knees because of it. Very often during the day, she weighs heavy on my mind and heart.
But yet, I still have a house full of other children…some quite small and still in the goldfish stage…such a different perspective I have with these little ones. I know how fast life goes. I know my blind spots better. I am determined to cover these children with prayer and teach them in a more focused manner that I did with my first born. God has given me more experience and I am becoming more attentive to his leading. Life is harder in many ways, in the season I find myself. But the beauty is that my desperation has led to clarity of focus. Mainly on Jesus. Who He is, and what He did are the key to my survival, as a soul and as a mother.
Jesus had busy days. Jesus had a lot of demands on him. Jesus had people screaming and clamoring at his door. God goes out of his way to tell us in scripture that He was tempted in every way, just like us. I am sure he had days when he wanted to pull the covers over his head and not head into what he knew was coming for the day. If you don’t think that Jesus knew exactly what it feels like to have someone slide a note under the bathroom door, you are gravely mistaken. Maybe he didn’t have little children, but he had people pushing and shoving for his time, not respecting his privacy or energy levels. and expecting him to be constantly available. Most of all, he knows intimately of the spiritual battle weighing heavily, and how it can take your breath away when it threatens someone you love. And he knows exactly what I need.
I need to be with Him. We all do.
It’s just that simple. First thing, every day. Before I check my phone. Before I fill my mind with my to-do list. It needs to be the highest priority in my life. Without this, I become weary and weak from the demands placed upon me. I become annoyed and impatient with my little ones…that God sent me to serve. I resent and do not welcome them. Oh, Lord, have mercy on my soul.
So in this New Year (which judging from the Christmas decor, I’m getting a late start on) please join me in purposing to meet Him first. Commune with Him. Drink in his presence. Be filled. It is only then that you can even hope to be effective in what God has called you to….Jesus knows what you are facing, has compassion upon you and best yet, he knows what you need.
Let’s just take this baby step together and agree to get up and meet him tomorrow, shall we?
Resources for jump-starting your devotional life: