My children and I watched the Mercy Me Live concert online a few days ago. And it almost brought me to tears…multiple times. The lead singer Bart has recently discovered a new freedom in his faith with Jesus and is bursting at the seams to share the good news. Here is the link to hear him talk about his new album “The New”. Please take the time to watch!!! (If you can’t watch the whole hour, watch minutes 16 through 28. It is only 12 minutes but it is awesome!)
As a mom of four, all aged eight and under there are days when life just gets the best of me. I am chronically sleep deprived. I find myself repeating the same things over and over thinking I am talking to a deaf, blind, but not mute child. I have days where I feel defeated and want to quit. Other days I battle guilt: “I am not doing enough. I shouldn’t have said that, at least not in that way…” And the list goes on.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with a dear friend and was pouring out my heart to her. I was stuck in a place that I didn’t like. In a place I knew God did not intend for me to be, but I didn’t know how to get out or what to do. People tell you to enjoy these years because they are wonderful and they will go by so quickly. Let me tell you, I so badly want to enjoy these years and I do, on a lot of days. But on other days I battle to find joy in what I am doing. I want to be able to drop everything and play UNO with my son every time he asks, instead of focusing on my to-do list. I want to cherish the innocent conversations that I have with my daughters. I want to patiently sit down and communicate loving words of discipline with my child when they for the eleventh time that day have disobeyed in the same exact way. But I am not quite there, at least not every day.
I firmly believe that children are a blessing from The Lord. I love my kids with my whole heart and would do anything for them. I just wished I could be more joyful, patient and kind in the moments when their flesh is waging war against my flesh. I want to win this battle not only for my sake but for theirs. I want them to see Jesus in me, so that my love will draw them to His love and they will fall head over heels in love with our Savior and King.
But how do I get my flesh under control so that I can enjoy these moments, treasure these moments, and bring life to these moments??? I have searched and searched for “The” parenting book that would give me the answers. I want it to show me how to parent perfectly so that our home is a home of happiness, joy and fun 24/7. And much to my surprise, I haven’t found the golden book yet. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some good books out there, and I have gained some important information from them. But the hope that I desperately need in the crazy season of life hasn’t yet boldly broken through the gray skies. I picked up a book the other night that showed promise but after one chapter I had to put it down. This author’s main point was your parenting style isn’t the problem; the problem is the parent. Until you deal with all your junk you won’t be able to love your children in a way that they need. I do believe that this point is valid. As I deal with my sin and become more like Christ, I will behave more like Christ and make parenting decisions more in line with Christ. But the condemnation that I felt as I read this book left me more discouraged than hopeful. Yes, it was truth, but I needed truth plus something else.
I found the something else as I watched Bart from Mercy Me in his concert. He made some points that brought peace and hope to my soul. He said,
“You don’t have to hope to get through it, you are already equipped to overcome.”
“You already have what it takes.”
“Greater is He that is in you. He is ALREADY in you.”
As I have been studying these last few months God has consistently shown me that He can use whatever you have. You don’t need more of it, you have all that He needs. You just have to be willing to give it to Him to use. As we grow in our faith we gain more knowledge and wisdom, but we don’t have to reach a certain level before God can use it. He can move and work with us EVERY step of the way.
Here are a few lines from one of his new songs, Greater
Bring your tired
Bring your shame
Bring your guilt
Bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not your name
You will always be much more to me.
Everyday I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright
There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed.
There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
‘Cause the cross already won the war
I want to put all of the words to this song on here because they are that good but instead why don’t you listen to it instead? Greater by Mercy Me
Feelings of guilt and condemnation are from the devil not from the Lord. When you find yourself in that place, stop and command those thoughts to go away. Remind yourself that you have all that you need to do all that God wants you to accomplish. There is grace and forgiveness for any and all mistakes we make. Allow that grace to come into your life. As we just celebrated Easter, we were reminded of the best gift that we could ever be given. What Jesus did on the cross was enough! His sacrifice took care of it all. When we focus on our sins we become hindered by our guilt. We allow Satan to creep into our thought life and tell us that we are worthless and a mistake. Do not allow this to happen. Allow God’s grace to come into your life. When you mess up with the kids or your spouse, ask for forgiveness from them and then from God. Then let it go. It is over, Christ already paid the price. You do not have to keep punishing yourself for something that has already been taken care of so long ago. Learn from it and move on. Determine each day to start anew.
To quote his song again, you are holy, righteous and redeemed. Make a decision to live that way today!