I totally blew it yesterday morning- I woke up (already feeling exhausted) to the all too common sound of the kids arguing. I felt defeated before my feet even hit the ground. Then there was the complaining about what I asked them to do, we were running late in part because I forgot to fill out all the forms (the FORMS though!?), her anxiety about something that seemed so small to me was inviting worry about what the school day could hold, & my lack of patience came out in harsh words to my littles. By the time they rushed out the door to school I was already feeling regret and wishing I could start the day over. I was wishing my kids had a mama who was able to always push past annoyance to be a calming presence.
Then I struggled with numbness & really weird brain fog all day that, of course, I worry means there are literally holes forming in my brain. It is easy to just think “I’m just having an off day” until you have a diagnosis that feels like an ever present shadow. Over and over again I could not finish something I started and got exactly NOTHING done from my mental to-do list on one of my few kid free mornings. As much as I know and preach to others that my worth is NOT in what I accomplish I was feeling like a failure in ALL. THE. THINGS.
And then right in the middle of my hot-mess-ness God reminded me through this sweet girl that life is hard AND we can do hard things. After a rough start back to school this week she had some homework that was challenging for her to do and after I helped her start it I walked away to attend to some other kid crisis (there seems to always be one with 4 kids) and when I headed back her direction I heard her repeat under her breath “I can do hard things…..I can do hard things.” This is something we say all the time in this home but as many things in life it is often easier to freely give out wisdom than to live in it. She said exactly what I needed to say to myself today. She was choosing to keep on in challenge even when it threatened to unhinge her or make her feel ‘less than’. She was preaching to herself that this is the moment for which I am created- to overcome and continue on
even when especially when things are hard. Because life is hard and we are not what we do- we are created and loved for exactly these moments so that God can hold us and push us forward. She has had to overcome so much more than most young girls her age and I am continually in awe of her scrappy strength and unrelenting joy and yesterday she reminded me of God’s goodness & His invitation to lean in and not run away.
I started repeating the mantra with her and it became this mutual encouragement as we each encountered darkness in our own life.
My day did not all of a sudden become glorious but I stopped living in fear, regret, & unworthiness and that is a game changer. I asked the kids for forgiveness for my harsh words that morning and told them yet again this is why we all need Jesus- because He is working to make all things new (may He start with me). I will never be a perfect Mama but in my weakness I can again and again point to His love and Grace. And I was encouraged for all our faults as parents our kids are resilient, they actually do listen & learn from watching us show up and be consistent and overcome. Friend, if you are only hearing that nagging voice of criticism & shame let me remind you today, You too can do hard things– with the help of your people and in the embrace of a God who created you FOR this, loves you fiercely, and wants abundance for you. We can do hard things….repeat often….