This past weekend did NOT go as planned, not in the slightest bit.
And we had plenty of plans. I had plenty of plans.
A friend’s daughter’s birthday party, a fun surprise family event, teaching the preschool class on Sunday morning, writing this post (only not with THIS story in it).
Instead, I had two children down with a pretty nasty stomach bug.
Worse yet, I was down, too, and more completely than my kids.
And it was frustrating.
I couldn’t do much of anything. I was beyond tired and barely able to do more than just lie around. These weren’t the memories I’d wanted us to make for this weekend (or any weekend ever, honestly).
But still, there I was. Trying to comfort a cranky toddler (one who was suddenly wanting to nurse more than the twice a day we’ve weaned down to) when I felt weaker than I have in a looonnng while. And trying to referee our oldest two (as I lay on the couch) – one who was sick and one who’d started this whole sick business earlier in the week and was now feeling better – as they took full advantage of the lax in structure and routine.
My husband was there to help most of the time, but still, giving when I felt so depleted myself was hard. It was exhausting.
It was motherhood.
Of course, this is not the part of being a mom that we talk about with expectant mothers at a baby shower, but every mom has been through, or will go through, some version of my weekend at some point – probably more than once.
In fact, messy, less-than-picture-perfect moments make up a lot more of our mothering journey than we’d like to admit.
They don’t all have to be literally messy (yes, there are PLENTY of those), but difficulties, loss, disappointments, struggles, insecurities, failures – we moms face them pretty much daily.
And often, we try to face them on our own because, after all, we’re #MamaBears, #OneToughMomma, and so on – which, to an extent is good, because #MomminAintEasy.
But even as amazing as moms are, we aren’t strong enough on our own to face everything we will go through. To be honest, we aren’t strong enough on our own to face MOST of what we’ll go through.
As weak as I felt physically over those days of sickness, I’ve felt even more so as a mom when I’ve not known what to do to help my kids or when I’ve blown it – yet again. Thankfully, the Bible reminds us that:
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
We don’t have to do this alone or in our own strength.
Because, as I’ve said often, parenting isn’t something we were intended to do independent of God.
Days that I try to parent in my own strength always end up as disasters.
But when we allow God to guide and strengthen us, He brings joy, peace, and purpose to our chaos and frustration. Yes, He can use even our disastrous days for good, even if it’s simply drawing us closer to Him.[click_to_tweet tweet=”When we allow God to guide & strengthen us, He brings joy, peace, & purpose to our chaos & frustration. #findingstrengthinthemidstofmessymotherhood #lifeinlapehaven @kishonalape” quote=”When we allow God to guide & strengthen us, He brings joy, peace, & purpose to our chaos & frustration.”]
Of course, this means spending time with Him, in His Word and in prayer, and while finding the time can be hard with all the demands and busyness that come with motherhood, it is so vital. Not only for ourselves and our outlook, attitude, and strength, but also for our children.
They need to see that our relationship with God is a priority and that He is our true strength. Our children witnessing God’s presence in our lives is one of the ways He can redeem even our worse weaknesses and failures.
“Even in the midst of the messy tired love mom moments that tell us we don’t have time, we’re too tired, we’ll never make it, God’s Word won’t disappoint us.”
She further encourages us that as we focus on our relationship with, and obedience to, Jesus that “our mom legacy will be unshakable, spirit-filled, heaven-bound, and eternal. Not only will our children see God’s glory through us, so will our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
I was taking lots of encouragement from her words over those not-so-great days this past week when everything was crazy, and I was really glad that I’d had the privilege of reading her debut devotional to share with you because I needed it oh, so much myself.
(By the way, this post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use the link.)
Leaving Your Mom Legacy is a 30-day study all about letting God use every bit of your story –even the messiest, most disappointing parts – to grow you and, at the same time, help point your children to Christ.
In the first part of the book, Kristina uses examples of mothers from the Old Testament, many of whom had struggles and plot-twists beyond anything I’ve ever had to go through, to show us how our lives can relate to theirs and how God stepped into it all and used their legacies – the good and bad – for His glory.
Then she challenges us to be moms who are intentional about the legacy we are leaving, outlining several Biblical characteristics and habits for us to pursue that will lead us closer to God and help us fulfill His purposes for us as we live the example we want our children to follow.
This devotional isn’t a fancy-phrased, fluffy read, but rather an honest sharing of her heart’s desire as a mother to live a life that directs her children to Jesus. Kristina’s transparency and vulnerability free us as fellow moms to believe that God can use our legacy, no matter where it started or what’s been thrown our way or what choices we’ve made, to shine His grace, truth, and power into our children’s lives.
Kristina also includes plenty of scripture references in full, so that you are getting encouragement straight from the Bible, too. She knows all about mom life and the effort it takes to make time to feed our spirits. Her clear purpose is always for us to draw closer to God and hear His voice, and her short devotional selections create a springboard of sorts, with each day’s scripture and “Daily Reflection” designed to lead you into more personal time seeking God, journaling your heart, and growing in Him.
Because a mom who finds her strength in the Lord, even during those frustrating, messy moments – and weekends – of life, will leave an amazing legacy that her children will be compelled to follow, and it will be one that leads them straight to Jesus.
Thank you, Kristina, for the opportunity to share about your book. (While I did receive the devotional as part of her launch team, all opinions about it are my honest thoughts. I truly did enjoy it!)
If you’d like to learn more about Kristina (a fellow Ohio native!!!) or read more from her, you can follow her online devotional site, Messy Tired Love, and you can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
She’s also set up a FABULOUS GIVEAWAY that you can enter for your chance to win not only her devotional, but lots of other awesome goodies as well. —> GO ENTER!
Of course, as I love doing when I find a book that I know will be a blessing and encouragement to my readers, I’m also giving away a copy of Leaving Your Mom Legacy, so make sure you enter below!
— LEAVING YOUR MOM LEGACY GIVEAWAY —
*Thanks for entering! This contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and runs from Thursday, July 26 (12:00 a.m.) through Thursday, August 2, 2018, at 11:59pm EST (I know, specific.). The winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of the contest ending. Winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected.
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