I love mornings - dark, quiet mornings spent with my cup of hot coffee, dim lighting in the living room, my Bible and my journal. I would like this picture to be the picture of all my mornings.....but it's not. It's one of my resolves, my resolutions you might say to be in bed by 10:00 and ASLEEP every night this new year so that I can wake before everyone else and have this time. It makes me a better person to have this time - it's peaceful and wonderful and refreshing.
It is during this time that inevitably something else creeps in, something not from God. It's something that breaks my heart, rips me up inside and ultimately keep me from doing His work. It's doubt. It's worry. It's guilt. During these quiet moments at the beginning of the day sometimes I hear thoughts of inadequacy. I hear that I am not a good enough mother - why didn't I spend more time with my children yesterday? Why did I snap at this one or that one? Why didn't I get off the couch and play more? Why am I so tired? Am I not good enough? I hear that I am not a good wife. Why didn't I listen more? Why didn't I snap less? Why wasn't I the one to take over with the kids and give my husband a break? Why didn't I give more of myself, my time to the one I love so much?
I hate these thoughts.
What I hate even more are the times when I BELIEVE these thoughts and they keep me from doing the things I am meant to be doing, the things that God is calling me to do. There are times when I worship my children, my relationship with them more than God. And it looks good, huh? Who can fault a mother for saying that she puts her children first? How wonderful is she? But she's not. I am not. I cannot allow my children to be the reason for everything in my life. I cannot allow them to sidetrack my in the guise of being a better mother. And sometimes they do - through no fault of their own, what child doesn't want mommy all the time, all the attention, all the love. I start to think I can't do things, I can't be away from them because who will love on them, who will care for them, who will protect them if I am not there, being their everything?
Oh what a dangerous path that is..............to teach my little ones full reliance on mommy and not the Father who loves them even more. And what a dangerous path for me.........for someday if I do my job well they will be gone and if I shape my life entire around these three precious beings what is in place when they leave? My marriage - will that survive 20+ years of being ignored in the name of being a good parent? How about my relationship with God - will that survive 20+ years of being put on the back burner while I was busy being my children's everything for every waking moment?
It's a hard balance. Luckily, I have a husband and a group of wonderful people that God has placed in my life that quiet these voices, these voices not from God. I get daily confirmation from a God who loves me and people who love me that, though a work in progress, I am on the right path. Every once in a while I need correction and for that I am grateful if not always pleased with. There are a few, a select few, that have the courage to tell me when I am wrong, when I need a little push back to the path. It's crazy to have that. It's hard to hear, it's probably hard to be that person. But these are the ones that I come back to again and again when I need advice, when I need to hear from Him through others. They are not my daily friends but my forever friends. Their voices drown out the lies that are sometimes placed in my thoughts. They love and they love unconditionally. They see me for who I am and rejoice in who God created me to be, not the persona I WANT people to see but the actual me.
I hope in this new year I can drown out these voices even more solidly. That I can replace it with His voice, His words. I pray that my life can be a testament to His love. I pray that my actions and my words reflect a life built on Him, His everlasting word and love. And to all you who help me drown out those voices, thank you. You have no idea how much of an impact your encouragement makes. Thank you. Love you all.