Monday, June 22, 2015

When Life Unravels

Do you ever just feel like giving up? We all have those days, and it’s definitely been that kind of morning for me. Our seven-month-old kept us up from midnight until 3 a.m., causing me to oversleep and go into a frenzied, stressful time-crunch for writing an article with an early deadline. Then, just as I gathered my thoughts and began to outline the article, my four-year-old woke up and informed me that she’d had an accident in her bed. Really? This rarely ever happens. Why today, of all days?! So...I took a deep breath (which did little to calm my nerves), waved goodbye to my deadline, and got the girl cleaned up. All before I’d even had coffee.

I’ve been wondering all morning why this keeps happening to me. Why, when I’m trying SO hard to be a good mother, a compassionate wife, and a dedicated writer? Why is there constantly - and I mean constantly - a crying baby? Why can’t he be content to play by himself the way our daughter was at his age? Why hasn’t he grown out of this yet? Why won’t my preschooler listen and just do what I tell her? Why does she wait too long to go to the bathroom, causing me to stop what I’m doing and clean up her accident?

Why do I feel this constant pressure to keep the house perfectly clean, cook all the meals, and still bring money in for the family? And...most of all, why can’t I keep it together and get it all done so that I don’t always feel like such a failure?

As I’m asking myself these questions and willing my eyes not to betray me with tears, God slaps me with an answer so simple, I’m dumbfounded that I never thought of it before. And He does it with an email.

It’s because Satan doesn’t want me to succeed. 

But that’s ok - God does.

Wow. Chew on that for a minute. God wants us to succeed; He says so in the Bible! In all my years of Sunday School and sermons, I never really paid much attention to this idea, this notion that God’s rooting for me. And He’ll give me a way out of temptation - or, in my case - frustration.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God encourages us again in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

So, with those verses in mind, I’ve decided I’m not going to let Satan win. Here’s my plan.
  • Give it to God. First and foremost, when I start to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I’m going to remind myself that I’m only human. Then I’m going to pray for God to take over. Because, with Him, all things are possible.
  • Practice patience. When my world is going crazy and the baby’s screaming, the four-year-old’s pitching a fit, the dishes are overflowing, and there’s a load of laundry I forgot to switch to the dryer (again), I will stop. I’ll just stop what I’m doing and pray for patience. 
  • Be grateful. No matter how much seems to be going wrong in my life, it could always be worse. From now on, I will take time every day to remember the things I have to be thankful for, big and small. Today, I’m thankful that the client whose article I was working on is willing to give me a deadline extension, so I won’t lose that money - or the client. I’m also thankful that my sink full of dirty dishes means we have food to eat, and my washer full of now-soured clothes means we have something to wear. Finally, I’m thankful that, at this very moment, my baby is asleep and my daughter is playing quietly. It may not last long, but I will thank God for these peaceful - even if infrequent - moments. 
That’s my plan of attack against Satan. He will NOT win. My family and I WILL survive. We will thrive. After all, how could we not, with God on our side?