This last week, a friend (who shall remain nameless!) accused me of being “The Ultimate Mom complainer” on Twitter. Because of who it was, I pretty much laughed it off, threw an insult back at him, and moved on. But then, I got to thinking, “Am I?”
My days are filled with my children. Many days we don’t leave the house and I don’t see another adult until Michael comes home at 5:30 in the evening. Those are definitely my hardest days, as I’ve been wired to be a people person. My children are my greatest gift. Truly they are. There are so many days I sit and listen to Claire giggle at her brother, or hear MP tell me I’m his best friend, and I stop to thank God for the gift that is them.
They are also my biggest challenge in life. I am constantly concerned with how I am caring for them, raising them, what I am teaching them, do I spend enough time with them? They make me angry, make me cry, make me worry, and so many other emotions. And, I am so guilty of trying to mother them in my own power, rather than relying on the power of the Great One who gave them to me. I think this is when I tend to “reach out” to the outside world through my social medias, just so someone knows I’m still there, they’re with me, and it ain’t easy.
This past weekend, Michael was out of town on a fundraising trip for CCF. I am the first to admit: I suck at parenting solo. I absolutely hate when Michael has to go away and I dread those times. Thankfully, my mom came up this weekend to help out but, it was an overly trying weekend. Without too much COMPLAINT, both my kids were very sick (found out later that Claire had a severe ear infection) and, we were housebound a lot of the weekend. Couple that with still trying to get the hang of having my nephew in the house, and it was a toughie. But, still, I kept trying to do it on my own. I don’t know about you but, most of the time, I don’t even realize what I am doing when I leave God out of my struggles. Maybe it’s that I don’t think He has time for something as mundane as the fact that we haven’t slept in 3 nights, my husband’s gone, my son is PMSing, and I can’t control these boys any longer. Or maybe it’s that I think I’m just so darn strong, I can figure it out.
But, that’s the thing about God. He is the God of the Universe who has time and power to simultaneously care about and tend to the mundane of my life while dealing with the BIG issues of the world. And, as I was so gently reminded yesterday, He cares to.
1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” He cares for me! He cares for you! He wants our anxiety, our cares, our worries, our needs. I sat at Urgent Care with Claire on Monday night with my baby whom I’d never seen that sick. I saw the temp of 104.6 degrees on the thermometer and I cried. Did I mention, Michael wasn’t there because he was at work? It was hard. Are there harder things I could have been going through? Yes, for sure. But in that moment, God knew I was weak. It wasn’t until the next morning when I finally got to sneak a shower that I realized what I’d been doing all weekend. In my weakness, I’d been relying on myself, or other human beings-flawed and weak themselves.
It was then that God reminded me of the simple truth found in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Boast in my weakness? What? This is so contrary to the independence and strength we are expected to have. At all costs, I must cover my flaws and put up a strong front for all to see. But here, Christ pleads with us to recognize our need for Him.
So, whether it’s a sick child or a dying parent, He cares. He cares for us. He wants our anxiety and our weakness and he means to replace it with the power and strength only He can.