Here we are two weeks into the new year and I’m already off track on some of my resolutions. I mean — I had a little goal of reading a huge stack of books. I got halfway into “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and I quit. Cold turkey.
For half of my life, I’ve kind of dreamed of reading this book. And then I would put it off. And put it off some more. There it was, a few days before the clock would strike midnight and give birth to a new year and I saw its navy blue binding calling out from my bright white bookshelf. Picking it up, I read the first chapter and decided I would definitely read it this year.
It’s like the old saying: I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
But then life happened. I can’t even blame the kids or my busy life. The plot left me bored. And so, here I am behind on one of my resolutions. Because when I quit reading that book – I quit reading all my books. I felt defeated.
Are you with me? Defeated? When our plans don’t come to fruition…Not a fun place to be.
Failed Resolutions = Moms in the Trenches
I’ve had years, though, where I’ve been perpetually behind on all my life goals. Heck – I felt like I was treading water in the middle of a hurricane. It looked like nothing I tried to do would work out the way I wanted it to. And my distraction level was so high that I gave a bare minimum of effort to a whirlwind of projects.
I call this: moms in the trenches. This happens for a variety of reasons.
You might be one of the moms in the trenches if:
You have 2 kids under 2.
Or when you are just starting out homeschooling.
If you are trying to maneuver being a mom to a newly diagnosed child with special needs.
When your child is undiagnosed and you struggle with how to help her.
Or when you, yourself, are dealing with a health issue.
If you are potty training, pregnant, and juggling attitudes, personalities, and behaviors.
You might find yourself there dealing with broken dreams and crushed hearts.
So, if you are there today mama — you might feel dejected and misunderstood. You might feel guilty, helpless, or maybe like you don’t even know where to begin to pick up the pieces of your life.
Maybe you were ahead and winning not too long ago and now your life looks pretty hopeless.
You aren’t Failing
You aren’t alone. But I want to tell you something and I hope that you are listening.
God made you for this very moment. For this moment in your life that feels like nothing is going right. It might feel that everything is out of control. Maybe you feel that you are a failure or that you don’t fit in. Or you might have tried your best and you still find yourself in the middle of this desert. You are waiting and to no avail. When will your help come?
Turn Your Eyes to Truth
Right now, I’m trying to make my way through Genesis and this morning finished the story of Joseph. Joseph, a man who was traumatized and sold into slavery by his own brothers. A man who, though he did no wrong, (in fact, he did the best with the circumstances in which he was given) ended up being thrown into jail when someone falsely accused him. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was left in jail for years even though he had asked for help and favor from a prisoner who had been set free. He was forgotten.
Joseph would have had every right, in his human nature, to turn bitter. To be angry. To feel that life had handed him a bowl of lemons. And yet he waited on the Lord. In God’s perfect timing he gave him the ability and the knowledge to interpret a dream for Pharaoh – the King of Egypt. After his careful interpretation, he was given a job as Governor of all of Egypt.
I share this with you to say that maybe you have had a bum deal today. Maybe your life isn’t turning out the way you had hoped. People have turned their backs on you. You are left waiting – never knowing when help will find you.
Take heart, mama. God sees you. He knows you. God has made you for a purpose.
Miracles Happen Every day
Last night my husband was watching the NFL playoff game between the Vikings and the Saints. He called me into the room to watch the highlights of the last several minutes of the game. I stood there, my jaw hanging open, as the lead changed back and forth four times during the final three minutes of the game.
Finally, there were only 10 seconds left and the Vikings were in an almost impossible situation. Their odds of finding a way to win were less than 2%. All of a sudden, the Vikings QB passes the ball and Stefon Diggs catches it. Amazingly, the defender completely misses him, Diggs turns and runs to the end zone, and the Vikings find victory just as the clock runs out.
Minutes later as a reporter is interviewing him on the field, he recalls the pass that would lead to their win and he states that “God took care of the rest.” Later giving Him praise and glory for what He has done.
We were all left wondering. What just happened? That just doesn’t happen. It shouldn’t. It was impossible.
Diggs was just in the right place at the right time for him to catch that pass, run as fast as he could – to do what he had trained his entire life to do. And the rest is now history. They’re calling it the Miracle in Minnesota.
Yet, that is what God does with you and me. He trains us. God places us. He makes us wait.
You are Here for Such a Time as This
What I mean is that God has created you with a very specific personality (those attributes which make you “you” – from the cognitive functions of your brain to the way you relate to others, and even down to the way you view your environment).
He has put in your path a set of circumstances which He knew would shape you and mold you (in a different way than it would have shaped your sister, your neighbor, or your friend), and He has created you to be in a relationship with Him.
Mama, we are to wait upon the Lord, but in the meantime be seeking His guidance, His encouragement, and following His ways.
Join me in this new year by praying about your life. What does God have for you? You were created for a purpose. If you are a mom, one of your purposes is to share God’s love, message, and instruction with your children.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
It’s Time to Wake Up and Follow Where God Calls
Some of you have been sleeping. Maybe 2017 was a year of rest. But it is time to stand up and be bold. It is time to look around you and see that the time is short. Look to what we’ve been called to do.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-16
If you go back to the story of Joseph you’ll see that what his brothers had intended for evil – God meant for good. God placed him in Egypt for many years in anticipation for 7 years of famine which could have potentially wiped out his entire family. These years weren’t serving as a punishment for Joseph but as a time of preparation.
Mama – if you are following Jesus then you are a missionary (even if you don’t know it!). God is preparing you for a purpose. He has placed you in your home with your children, your next-door neighbors, and the people you come in contact with every day. You might be in a holding place right now, but never doubt you are on a mission field. Join with me as we turn to Him with our eyes and ears open as we wait in anticipation of His job.
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