give yourself a break

i’m sure every blogging mama writes about what’s relevant in her life. how else would we be able to write? you go through an experience, you take that experience, good, bad, whatever it is, & you give God a chance to do a work in you through it. i believe that’s probably the main reason we even go through half of what we do – God has a plan for refinement & He knows what we have to offer is needed by someone else out there.

this morning, i literally forced all four little ones to nap at the same time. ava has gotten up the last two mornings in a row at 6:45am. she skipped her nap yesterday, b/c i just didn’t have the patience to do the forcing, but it was clear by 4pm that a nap was sorely missed by not just me. the usually happy girl was an emotional wreck. meltdown city. the babies never need the forcing – they’re all on their schedule & like it for now. so, the push comes when dealing with my almost three-year-old.

anyway, that said, the last few weeks have been especially rough around here. the hubby’s been traveling for work, so the days were extra exhausting & the schedules were extra flexed, which all added to just an overwhelming frantic feeling in my mind. i couldn’t get anything done around the house; i couldn’t get anything done well; i just felt all tattered inside. you ever have days like that? e-mails were out-of-the-question. phone calls were even more of a joke, & it was all i could do just to find a few minutes to read my bible.

well, the Lord has been laying a little message on my heart it seems over the last few days. when i’ve been thinking so incessantly about time & all i can’t seem to manage well or accomplish, & i’m giving myself a hard time about motherhood, marriage, & friendship…i feel him saying “give yourself a break.”

give yourself a break, kristi.

you are not a bad mother. you adore & dote on your children. if you snapped at them for getting on that last, dangling nerve, ask them in their little eyes to forgive mommy for being angry, & forgive yourself. give big hugs. tell them you need Jesus to give you patience & a happy heart. be an example of humility & a person who is confident in God’s ability to help us in our time of need. give yourself a break.

you are not a bad wife. you love your husband. you admire your husband. you respect your husband. as your strong partner, provider, & protector, it’s only natural to want him to come home & “rescue” you. don’t be disappointed, though, when he can’t. that’s not his job. he can’t supernaturally give you grace & revive your spirit & soul. that’s the Lord’s work. instead, expect a big hug & ask the Lord for the rest to help you continue your night’s tasks. God supplies your second-wind, & your hubby supplies the hugs. give yourself a break.

you are not a bad friend. you love your friends. they love you. your relationships are not contingent upon whether or not you were able to call them today. so often you beat yourself up over the “neglecting” of your most treasured relationships, but realize, your phone isn’t ringing off-the-hook either. when was the last time you got a random “hello!” or “thinking about you” e-mail, visit, text, etc. from a friend? we’re all in the same boat. we’re all busy, trying to get our kids to take a nap, preparing meals, trying to have devotional time, get in a chapter of that book we desperately want to finish. we are all there. you give your friends & family members grace & aren’t quick to think they don’t love you anymore if you haven’t heard from them in awhile, so why are you so quick to beat yourself up for having the same challenge? give yourself a break.

bottom line…keep your priorities in order – God, family, others. if i’m surrendering myself to the Lord first, i can trust Him to guide my day, my thoughts, my actions & my words. that alone helps clear out that frantic “i just can’t keep up” mindset, which directly affects my interactions with my spouse, children, family members & friends. my greatest tool for loving them & myself is prayer. God said through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

doing anything without ceasing should be exhausting, right? not the case with prayer. it is the exact opposite. that whole chapter is a gem. i recommend you check it out. put on your breastplate of faith & love…help those in need…live in peace with one another…be patient with everyone…seek after what is good…rejoice always…encourage one another…pray without ceasing.

don’t make it more complicated than it is. act in love. put God first, & give yourself a break. allow grace to move in your life. the kids may actually not fray your nerves; your husband’s hug may actually just be enough, & your day may not really feel that frantic after all…

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