I am sure you’ve never been out in public with young children and been embarrassed by their behavior. Never, not you. Not your kids. But just…
Everyone is either asking for something, needing something, hurt, complaining or fighting. Therefore I am pulled in at least 5 directions….1 demand (or more) per kid, plus whatever it is I am trying to accomplish in order to finish dinner, get everyone ready, clean up, or just find a moment to go to the bathroom.
It kinda feels like a game of “whack a mole.” You solve one problem just in time to deal with the next predicament that pops up. You answer one question, just to give the next explanation. You warn one kid and then rescue the next. So how do you win this game of whacking moles? Is it by solving problems faster than your kids can cause them? Or maybe it’s by pulling the plug and sending everyone to a corner to be silent?! Though there may be a time and place for those solutions, I don’t think they’re the key to finishing the game successfully.
The key to success is the same as any other endeavor in life. It’s not about the results, how much you were able to accomplish, or the method you discovered that made life easier. It all comes down to whether you pleased God in how you handled what was in front of you. Were you characterized by kindness… or frustration? Patience… or anxiety? Love… or stress?
If you are a Christian you have the ability, even in chaotic moments, to say no to sinful reactions, and instead choose godly responses. God has given you his Spirit to enable you, and his word to direct you.
So how do we do it?
Aren’t frustration, anxiety, or stress, natural responses to crazy moments? Yes, they are, but we are not to live out what is natural, what the Bible calls “our flesh.” Instead, we are to battle our flesh and live in line with God’s Spirit in us.
Galatians 5:17 describes it this way, “ For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Clearly, what we want to do during the chaotic days of motherhood is react… and in a not-so-godly way. But we are to fight that urge because we know the characteristics God intends and desires for us are that which demonstrate the Spirit’s work in us.
Galatians 5 goes on to term them the “fruits of the Spirit,” and Paul provides a list that is rather helpful for us moms, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Learning to live these traits out no matter what is going on, is what will allow us to say we navigated each chaotic day in a way that is pleasing to God.
It starts with a resolve, and it ends with perseverance.
Choosing godliness in frantic moments is never easy. So much of you is going to want to fall into that tendency to get anxious, impatient, angry, or stressed out (or whatever your sin-of-choice is). This is when you need to remember to purposefully stop and realize that these responses will not help the situation in the least bit. Then as you move forward with your Whack a Mole hammer, ask God again and again until he answers, to give you a calm heart that displays what it ought — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
And then you have no choice but to get whacking!
Prayer 4 the Drained Mom
Lord, I ask forgiveness for excusing my sin amidst the demanding moments of motherhood. I know I need your help in responding rightly. Please help me Lord. Give me the ability to stop and see how I am not helping the situation by reacting in my flesh. Give me the strength to calm down and operate with the Spirit’s help.
Help me to value my character over trying to solve daily problems. Help me to want to please you more than wanting my daily difficulties to go away.