Thursday, October 7, 2010

You are Not Alone

(Because of the way this one starts, I want you to know upfront that it was taken from Sharon and Laurie's book Hold You, Mommy. No less relevant today in new stages than it was 6 years ago, but neither of the girls have a newborn at the moment!)

As many of you know, I have entered the world of diapers, strollers, and middle-of-the-night feedings again. Most of the time "I'm loving it," but other times I think "I'm losing it!" I don't know about you, but I find myself forgetting things (primarily my children's names), or I'll go to another room to get something and forget why I'm there. Sometimes thinking of a simple word can bumfuzzle me! And have you ever put something away and then for the life of you, you can't remember where you put it? Please tell me you can relate...or am I just getting old? I prefer to think that it is postpartum brain loss.

Feeling "confused and disoriented" is a problem for most moms. A common occurrence in our house that can almost bring me to tears is when everyone needs me at the same time. The baby awakens from his nap, crying because he's hungry, and my five-year-old is in the bathroom calling, "Mommy, I neeeeeeed you!" My eight-year-old, standing on her head, determined to keep her balance, is breathlessly saying, "Mommy, Mommy, look at me, look at me!" And at the exact same time, my ten-year-old is asking, "Mom, can I buy these new bracelets off eBay? The deal goes off in five minutes."

Of course all this is happening as I'm preparing dinner. And while working quickly to put out the various family "fires," I find I've started one of my own on the stove! I've often had the thought, If one more person calls my name, I'm gonna scream, only to hear my husband say, "Honey, have you seen my glasses?" Aahh! I can't take it anymore!

There are days I think, Lord, I can't do this. I don't even have the energy to try anymore. Some days the challenges of motherhood are too demanding, too overwhelming, too exhausting.

Do you ever feel like giving up? Is your burden too heavy? Are you afraid because you feel out of control? Don't worry--you are not alone.

Isaiah 41:10 says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (emphasis added).
It isn't all up to you. God longs to fill us with His strength if we'll just let Him. It is in recognizing our weakness that we realize God's strength. Isaiah 40:29 says it well: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

In The Message, Isaiah 41:9-10 reads like this:
"I've picked you. I haven't dropped you. Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm you God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."

Just remember: When you are out of control, He is in control. Get close to Him. Seek Him, and He'll empower you to handle the challenges that overwhelm you.

Lord, I want to stop trying to do everything on my own. I need you to calm my spirit, to give me strength, to hold me steady. Give me self-control so that I can respond gently instead of harshly, set loving limits instead of rash rules, and seek to understand before making demands. Lord, I am weak, but you are strong! Thanks be unto God! Amen.

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