Y’all, motherhood is hard. Real hard. As I’ve been writing this post, it has been a hard day with my little ones. I’ve been an awful mom for not letting my oldest eat all the candy and junk food he wants or watch tv. Then there’s the whining, crying, and tantrums from everyone. It’s days like today where if someone asked me how my day was, I would sigh and say, “We’re just trying to survive through the day.” I’m just trying to make it to bedtime with what little bit of sanity my kids have left me with. Sound familiar?
Having a bad day is okay, but I feel like my “survival” days happen way too often. It starts with just trying to survive the newborn days then the infant stage then the toddler phase. Does it ever really end? You survive one stage of parenthood only to be faced with brand new challenges in the next stage. When I first started writing after my son was born, my tag line for the blog was “Surviving Motherhood Anchored in Christ.” That’s what it felt like – a wonderful journey that was hard and I was trying to survive. The word surviving made it seem like I was constantly on the verge of death when it came to motherhood, like I was barely hanging on. The truth is, there are days where I feel like I’m barely hanging on, but I felt like God was telling me that there was so much more than just surviving. Motherhood isn’t something to survive through, but something to thrive in.
How do you thrive in something that can so easily wear you down? For this answer, we turn (like we always should) to the Bible. Recently, God brought Proverbs 31 to my attention. Every time I flipped through my Bible, it would land on this passage. Initially, I thought, “I already know what this passage says. I want to read something else.” But, God made it known that this was the passage I was supposed to read. So I did. This time, as I read the verses I have read and heard so many times, verse 30 caught my attention:
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:30 NLT
I’ve heard this verse before, but in the context to not get too caught up in looks. This time I heard God telling me that this was the answer. Fear Him. Love Him, talk to Him, walk through motherhood with Him. All of the attributes we admire and want from Proverbs 31 are only possible and attainable when we shift our focus to God. Motherhood will only stop being something we survive when we realize that we can’t do it on our own. It’s a heavy weight to carry every day and we simply aren’t strong enough to carry it. Luckily, our Heavenly Father is. We just have to be strong enough to hand the load over to Him and trust that He will be our strength. This is easier said than done. Trust me, I’ve been there many times in several aspects of my life. It sounds so great to just trust God and have this huge weight lifted off of me. My flesh though still wants to be in control, to be the one to make everything okay. That way of living though, my friends, is exhausting. It may sound crazy to some, but there is freedom in surrender. I have found that a few things make this easier.
- Prayer. Being in constant communication with God, asking for strength, guidance, wisdom, or whatever else may be needed in a situation, helps to calm my heart and feel peace amongst the chaos.
- Reading God’s Word. There is an indescribable peace in reading the Bible. When I’m not regularly reading my Bible, I can tell in my attitude and perspective towards everything.
- Memorizing scripture. One of the best things you can do is to hide God’s word in your heart. If you’re not sure where to start, think of something that you struggle with and memorize scripture to help realign your thoughts with God. Maybe it’s anger, anxiety, or doubt. God speaks to us through His word and being able to quickly recall scripture about our circumstance will help us to keep our eyes on Him and act accordingly.
The key to motherhood is making sure that we are walking daily with Him. It’s not easy, but when we keep our focus on God and allow Him to be our strength, we are able to go from surviving to thriving. Motherhood becomes sweeter and even more of a blessing when we do.