Some seasons of mothering are hard.
The sleep-deprivation. The frustration. The realization of our own inadequacy. The crushing of our pride. The harder-than-we-wanted-to-work hard work. The many, many needs to be met. The stretched-thin-ness of it all.
Our body and soul react in ways we can’t always control: exhaustion, anxiety, unwanted emotions. We come to the end of ourselves and must cling to something.
Too often, in those moments, we encourage each other with nothing more than mushy hope.
A Mother’s Shifty and Unsure Hope
“It’ll get easier.”
Or “This too shall pass,” we say.
There is an air of age-old wisdom when experienced-mothers encourage new-mothers with these words. Sometimes young moms just need to simmer down, exercise some patience and endurance, and let things play out before determining that their life is officially over.
I’ve benefited from hearing that at times.
However, can we just admit that we don’t know what the future will hold?
That difficult season? –that might just be the easiest you or that young mom in your life will have it during the rest of your (or her) time on this earth. And that’s okay.
Because God is still good. Because in Christ we have a firm hope, an anchor for our souls that transcends any trail or hardship or challenge within this present reality.
When we put our hope in the passage of the trial, we sell ourselves tremendously short of the glorious truth of the gospel of grace.
We choose a soft and yielding hope, when a firm and secure hope is available to us –The hope that God’s promises are true and that God’s grace is sufficient. The hope that God is at work in ways we can’t comprehend, but we can trust. The hope of eternity-soaked blessing.
“It could always be worse.”
Could it? The hope of comparison is empty indeed for the Christ-follower.
The deeper truth is that those who suffer and endure, who face trials and remain faithful, will be rewarded in eternity. This eternal glory will FAR exceed the troubles we are now facing. We need to encourage each other with that truth!
So is “worse,” in fact, better in some mysterious way? Perhaps. One things is sure,
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Rather than try to bolster our failing hearts with comparison, let’s make it our mission to faithfully walk out the life God has given us.
Let’s not disqualify ourselves from ministering to and discipling others (our own children and spouses included) because we didn’t sleep last night or things out of our control make life hard.
Instead, let’s look to Jesus for the grace needed to live for Him moment-by-moment. Let’s test the Solomon’s wisdom in Proverbs 11:25b which says,
“whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Perhaps comparison can provide some fresh perspective, but the hope it fosters is only as bright as the dimness of the other’s situation. This is undeniably wavering and unstable, since it all hinges on who we’re thinking about.
If we compare, let it be to open our eyes to our own apathy. Let it lead us to gratitude –not gratitude for our cushy lives –but gratitude for our firm hope in God’s unwavering promise for all those who trust Him.
I read a post just this week that has had me longing for heaven and grateful for God’s future justice and mercy. This is the hope that is sure. This is the hope that will not disappoint us.
A Mother’s Firm and Secure Hope
Mothers, if you find your current season of life to be hard, if you find yourself to be struggling, this is your hope:
God is good. He is faithful. His nature is unchanging.
God is completely trustworthy. His promises are true.
Your light and momentary troubles (and indeed, that is what they are) are achieving for you an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
God’s grace is sufficient for you. His power is made perfect in your weakness.
If you know a mother who is struggling, rather than telling her “it’ll all work out” or “it could be worse,” preach the gospel to her failing heart.
These are the words soaked in life and truth. And God will move in.
Romans 5:3-5 says,
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Those very trails and sufferings, when lived out in trust and faithfulness, will develop in us the very thing we long for, the very thing we need most –hope! And that all because of God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
There is supernatural work at play in your mothering –and never more than in the suffering of it. Press into God and trust Him as you persevere and choose joy!
*reposted from April 12, 2016
Want more perspective?
The Heavenly Minded Mom Online Course
You may have noticed this, but my Christian life has been radically changed as I’ve learned to see life from an eternal perspective.
This one simple thing was my undoing. It caused a massive shift in my living and thinking, it crushed idols in my life and set me free from fear. It lead me to set my heart on heaven and figure out what hope means. (hint: it has nothing to do with this world). Through seeing clearly, I have learned what it means to surrender my life to Jesus down to its last drop.
And now I long to help you to see what really matters today so that you may live accordingly. We only have one chance to take up our cross today and follow Jesus. And it’s so easy to be distracted by the things of the world.
That is why I am SO excited to finally launch something that I first imagined over a year ago!
This course is designed to till up the soil of your heart and cultivate the seeds of eternity. It’s the “why” behind my desire for a simpler life.
…It’s about setting our hearts on heaven, throwing off the things that entangle us, and running the race with perseverance as moms.
…It’s about seeing things as they truly are, and choosing to store up treasures in heaven rather than wasting our lives chasing after the wind.
…It’s about realizing the ridiculousness of our idols and being cut free from them by truth.
The Heavenly Minded Mom online course includes:
- 4 individual lessons
- 15-20 minute video teaching with each lesson
- Daily Bible reading assignments
- Beautifully designed printable Bible study companion journal
- 3 eternal perspective coloring sheets to help you continue meditating on God’s word
Enroll now for $10! The Heavenly Minded Mom online course
Note: I tried to make this course really affordable, BUT there are scholarships available! If you can’t swing $10 right now, I totally get it. Just shoot me an email and let me know!
Because this is launch week, there some extra special things going on!
The Limited Time Bonus!
When you enroll in the Heavenly Minded Mom online course by Monday, June 12th, you will get access to a two week guided Facebook group with bonus content!
Between June 13th through June 23rd, I will be doing four live video sessions to answer questions and add further discussion to each of the four lessons in the course. These will be on Tuesdays evenings and Fridays afternoons.
Let’s go through the course together as a community. Share your takeaways and questions right in the group!
The Facebook Party!
We’re celebrating this launch with a Facebook party!
Everyone is invited to come hang out at the Embracing a Simpler Life Facebook page on Sunday night, June 11th at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific). It will be fun-filled hour, complete with discussion, community, hundreds of dollars in prizes, freebies and… fun!
This is one of my favorite ways to connect with and get to know Embracing a Simpler Life readers! I hope you’ll come!