I have wrestled with the thought of putting this journey down in written form for a while. My personal insecurities tell me that it’s insignificant and can’t/ won’t affect other people. But my heart tells me there could be someone else riding a similar path and this could be a difference maker. A few days ago, I was doing my morning devotional and came across this verse:
“We have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power is from
God and not from us” 2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
How much more clearly did God have to tell me to share my story?! And sooo…
Due to my husband’s job, August is a hectic month in our house. He works crazy hours which means I am running the show solo. August 2016 seemed to extra hectic; Moose was two going on sixteen and Fox was 9 months wanting to do everything her older brother was doing, but jut physically could not. Enter baby frustration in full force!!! Mama was treading water and sinking fast (I even entertained the idea of an extended trip to my parents’ until college football chaos calmed down).
A dear friend of mine invited me to join a growth group through our church. I was definitely intrigued, but just didn’t know how it would work with the extra hours the hubs was putting in. On the day the group started, she invited me again; despite the fact that Dad was working late, I worked things out so Fox and I could attend the first night. I walked away that first night optimistic, but not anticipating that change that would take place.
The following week, I showed up to the group with both kids in tow. I met another mom that night who invited me to join a mommy and me group with her the following morning. Within this group, I was surrounded by three moms each Wednesday who helped me realize:
it’s okay to NOT have it all together; we are going to have ups and downs as moms.
The important thing to remember is to immerse yourself in a community which will not only celebrate your successes but overcome your struggles. This group definitely helped me feel more confident as a mom, but God was still working on something better. Tuesday nights, we studied Priscilla Shirer’s “Armor of God” and learned the importance of strategic prayer. (If you want to see a difference in your prayer life, I highly- HIGHLY suggest taking part in this study.)
In October, my parents vacation in Panama City Beach for about two weeks. This is about a 4 1/2 hour drive from our home. They invited me to drive over for a visit, which wouldn’t have been anything to think twice about- except Fox DOES NOT like car– as in I am lucky to get a peaceful 20 minutes in the car. My husband had to travel for work this particular weekend so the cards were stacked against this trip. I began to let it eat at me that my parents wouldn’t offer to make the drive to come visit me instead (even though I never voiced my displeasure).
That very same week, we studied the peace of God.
Ephesians 6:15 says, “And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”
In the video for this week’s study, Priscilla stated “Nursing grudges turns into poison and turmoil.” I knew I had two choices. 1) I could stay home and (most likely) sulk over being alone and not having parents willing to visit or, 2) I could pack up the kids and dog (who would be staying at my in-law’s in Florida) and make the most out of a trip to the beach.
I chose the latter. The visit was short, but good. Even better though, was the peace that had taken up residence within my heart. I knew I had done what I could to make the visit happen and that was the most important part. From this, I also began to fully enjoy being a stay at home mom again. Things are still chaotic; Moose is the walking embodiment of Mr. Independence, Fox is a full on one year old diva, and, strand by strand, I am earning my gray hair.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7