My friend posted this on Facebook a couple of nights ago on our MOPS group page:
Hey ladies. I had quite a rough day today with my kiddos. My 2.5 year old is very strong-willed. aggressive with brother and disobedient. My 15 month old is teething and extra clingy/whiny. I am pregnant and sore from holding the crying 29lb-15-month-old, while trying to reign the wild 2.5 year old. Prayers please! And advice if you have any? I sometimes feel so ill-equipped for this gig. I'm just feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of having three under three and hormones don't help. Trying not to complain here, but would really just love to have some prayers lifted and some encouragement or biblical help perhaps. Thanks MOPS friends.
I was so glad that she reached out to our group for help, encouragement, and prayer. MOPS is so wonderful that way, it is an instant connection with a group of women in similar situations and like-minded desires. But sometimes I find myself offering less than helpful advice. When I feel the way she did (which is often) the only then that actually helps is truth from God's word about who he is, who I am, and the ultimate plan that he has for His glory and my good.
Here was my response:
Sorry to hear about your rough day. I would like to offer you encouragement like "you can do this", and "it will get easier" but the truth is, I don't think you can do this ('this' meaning creating an environment where Jane behaves and is nice and sweet and everyone is happy all the time and the house is never dirty and mommy knows exactly what to do and say all the time) and I don't know if it will get easier as the kids get older, or just much much harder. I think perhaps why we get discouraged as moms (at least I do) is because I love these kids sooo much and I want to see perfection in them.
But what does that say about what I believe about God?
Do I believe that he demands perfection from me in order to be satisfied with me and to love me? Yes, I do. But I also believe that he knew that would never happen. We were all condemned, lost, hopeless, unable to be better, unable to even be enough, unable to raise nice kids, unable to love our husbands like we should, unable to keep a clean house, unable to stop grumbling and complaining, unable to finish commitments, unable to think about anyone but myself.... but thankfully it didn't end there. Romans puts it like this, "but now....... God."
"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law... the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe." Romans 4:21-22We are free from the fear of our kids being mean and our bodies not being strong and our frailty at the end of the day.Free from the guilt of disciplining out of the selfish desire for my life to be easier instead of seeing God glorifies through the lives of my children....and what does this freedom produce in me? GRATITUDE that I know something other than the wrath I deserve. Does that make sense? It may not seem on the surface like I am answering your cry for peace in the storm of today, but I am offering the ONLY thing that gets me through. The knowledge that when God looks at me, he sees his Son and His perfect righteousness. I can take the burdens of this world (even if the burdens are sweet 29 pound toddlers) and praise Jesus that no matter how I am messing this up, he is redeeming it through the gracious gift of his blood on that cross.And even if you are not messing up, but just tired... Jesus came to offer rest!"Come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28I hope this rather long message resonates with you. I think it probably does, sweet sister! But even if it doesn't it has served to brighten my spirit and refresh my soul after a tiresome day myself. Praise God for the life-giving words of the gospel.It is "good news from a distant land... cold water to a parched throat" Proverbs 25:25