Tuesday, January 29, 2013

just leave me alone vs laying down my life

I get up in the morning and I'm tired (what else is new?) and just not in a very talkative mood. I'm feeling blah!
My husband asks "what's wrong?" and I reply "nothing." to which he gives a skeptical look.

Really, nothing is wrong.
But I could say, "Well, what's wrong is that I'm selfish."
I have a list of things I NEED to do (housework and such), I have a list I WANT to do (hobbies, relaxing, etc) and I basically want to just be left alone!

What do you do as a mom when you find yourself telling everyone (only in your mind, of course),
"I just want everyone to leave me alone!"?

Basically, in a heart that is to prone to sinfulness because of my flesh, I want to live for myself!

I'm thankful for reality checks that God brings into my life to to refocus my perspective on what's the most important and to reveal how my heart needs to change.

This past Saturday morning, I went to a Ladies Morning Out with a few of our sweet church ladies. We took a little drive together to another church about 40 mins away, and spent the morning learning some fun domestic skills and hearing a devotional. (I learned some easy soap making, and picked up some great tips from cake decorating and bread making!)

Over lunch, we talked about being mothers.
Three of them are grandmothers now and one has teenagers.
I was the only one there who had used this morning as a break from the demands of my kids, and I was loving every minute of it. It had been a rough week, and I was not proud of the attitude I'd had all week! But the ladies sat there talking about how enjoyable their families became as their kids got older, but how you really struggle to find the time to spend together when they get in the busy teenage years.
And one dear lady said the familiar phrase all of us young moms know: "And before you know it they're gone!" and in that moment I became so sad (instead of smiling politely and wanting to roll my eyes) thinking about that moment in my life that will one day come.
But she added, "But as sad as that is, what is sadder is having regrets..." And that hit my heart! 
The other ladies chimed in in agreement, and they encouraged me to not let all the frustrations of the kids get me bent out of shape because they don't really matter and one day I won't even remember them!

I thought of all the times the past week I'd frantically reacted to every little thing and had shown myself to be a great model of impatience. I always have lots of things in mind that I want to spend my time on, and have been viewing my kids as obstacles to getting done what I need/want to.
I was ashamed! And I've realized how selfish I've been living lately!

Pretty soon they will be gone! And what's going to matter then isn't that I got to drink my coffee uninterrupted, it won't be the full hour of sewing I got to do, or the nap I got to take...

I won't have regrets if I'm confident that I served those kids to the best of my ability, engrossed myself in play whenever I got the chance, and took every snuggle I could! I won't even remember the bad stuff, and I'll be ashamed of my self-service.

So although life is really hard and exhausting, and requires me to pour all of myself on my family (with hardly left for much else), I realize that on the day Norah gets walked down the aisle, or Titus gets dropped off at college, these are the things that will make me feel satisfied with how I mothered them.
And all the days that I spent living selfishly, whether in action or just in my heart, I will regret!

So here's to a fresh week, living in the Lord's new mercies... (Tuesday is like a Monday for me)
And I'm keeping "the last day" in mind to help maintain my focus so I don't get bogged down in life's many frustrations. I'm trying to make the most of  every moment with my kiddos, and instead of frantically reacting to every little mess, naughtiness or frustration, I'm instead trying to show grace and love! After all, that's how God loves me, and I need to model that to my kids!

And God reminds me of this verse often when it comes to parenting:

And as a mom, that's what we've been called to do: lay down our lives for another! 

Today I'm choosing to lay down my life and put aside my agenda, so that I can serve my kids without regrets, showing the grace and love to them that God shows to me!


  1. I needed that today Mary Beth. Thank You! It's always good to have a reminder as a mom that selflessness has greater rewards in the long run despite our sometimes long nights and overly worn emotions. Keep up the good work hunny :D

  2. I teared up reading this. I needed to hear it :). So easy to get caught up in myself, and forget my calling and purpose. Thanks for refocusing my heart!

  3. Thanks, Mary Beth. I thought I had learned all about selfishness right after we got married, but I'm finding more and more just how selfish I am when it comes to my kids. I'm striving to do the same as you, and it's amazing how by switching gears in my mind, living by God's grace to mother my children, I enjoy them much more and the frustrations don't bother me as much. Love hearing your heart.


I love to hear what others have to say! Please share below!