Mom Talk Monday: Dealing with Disappointment

river

Recently, my husband took a work trip to Chicago and I was able to go with him. We had not been away together in years. I’m not even exaggerating, y’all. YEARS. We did take the newborn with us, but it was still quite exciting to get away. We pulled out of the driveway on a sunny Thursday morning with classic country on the radio and Starbucks in our hands. We took the back roads and the baby slept the whole way. This was going to be awesome.

By the time Saturday rolled around, however, the toilet had overflowed in our hotel room, the baby had cried non stop and my husband had food poisoning. Did I mention it was also pouring down rain? I had been envisioning peaceful mornings with my Bible and coffee, afternoons watching TLC (don’t judge me) and evenings in the city with my man. What I had, instead, was a hotel room with sketchy wi-fi that reeked of dirty diapers, leftover pizza and misery.

Hello, disappointment.

We took the Interstates on the way home because, hello, it was time to wrap this trip up. I sat in the back seat because, of course, my sweet baby cried the whole way. I may or may not have been grumbling in my heart just a little. Okay, fine, I was having a big ol’ pity party. I would have invited y’all but, honestly, these parties are usually pretty lame.

I couldn’t help but think of the things that bring us disappointment. The list is endless. We plan a huge surprise for the kids and they aren’t as thrilled as we had imagined. We expect to spend some money on something fun but, then, the car breaks down or the roof starts to leak. We don’t get that job. Our child doesn’t make the team. A relationship doesn’t work out. A friend moves away.

Disappointment comes when we do not get what we expected to get. Or, it may come when something happens that we did not expect. Unfortunately, life is full of the unexpected and, therefore, disappointment.

If we expect to never struggle financially – disappointment.

If we expect life to be easy – disappointment.

If we expect people to never let us down – disappointment.

If we expect illness to never come our way – disappointment.

There is good  news, though. Aren’t you glad?

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” – Romans 10:11 NASV

We can expect God to be who he says he is and we will never be disappointed. We can expect God to do what he says he will do and we will never be disappointed. We can expect God to be where he says he will be and we will never be disappointed.

Life is hard and that is just a fact. Sometimes, you are expecting a weekend away and you end up with some bad Chinese food. At the end of the day, however, God is still God. We can choose to wallow in disappointment or believe in the One who never disappoints.

****

If you would like to receive the Mom Talk weekly devotional via email, just drop me a note (servantslife (at) gmail (dot) com!) Or, if you would like to receive an email whenever there is a new post here at Servant’s Life, just go to the top of this page and click on “sign me up.”

You are so loved.

Stacy

Choosing the Blessing

I enjoy a clean home. And, because I enjoy a clean home, I am willing to put in the work required to have one. Just today, for example, I picked up toys and folded laundry. I vacuumed carpets and dusted tables. I washed sheets and lit candles. Right now, my home is tidy and it smells divine. However, I have five children. Five. Chances are that much of the work I did today will need done again tomorrow. Such is life.

Blogging through bible with GMG buttonHere’s the thing. I can choose, at any time, to not do what needs to be done. I can let the laundry go and, believe me, I sometimes do. I can pretend not to see the dried spaghetti o’s in the kitchen floor and I can ignore the toothpaste in the bathroom sink. I just have to understand, however, that there will be consequences. Choosing to forgo the work today means more work tomorrow. And, yes, sometimes that is okay. When it comes to housework, we can just double up on some days.

Our spiritual lives, however, do not work that way. Scripture does not promise blessings to the man who prays when he gets a chance. God is not grateful for any time you can throw his way. Referring to the man who is blessed, Scripture says this.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  – Psalm 1:2

Much like housework, we can choose to not spend time in the Word. There is no option, however, to just double up tomorrow. When we choose to forgo time with God, we are saying, “no, thank you,” to whatever blessings he had for us that day. We are choosing to not receive whatever word he may have had for us. We are choosing to ignore any instruction he may have wanted to give.

Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord.

Blessed is the man who meditates on God’s Word day and night.

How badly do you want God’s blessing?

While Hiding in the Bathroom

scripture doodlePlease tell me you hide in the bathroom, too. It’s the only place that I can, occasionally, have 60 seconds of peace. Although, if I’m honest, I’m not always alone even in there. Recently, I had a reader ask me what, exactly, I did while hiding in the bathroom. She added a little frowny face as if to indicate her disapproval of this parenting strategy. Whatevs. If I was easily offended I would have sold my third child when she told the lady in the Chic-fil-a restaurant that her mommy wore “really, really big blue panties because she has a really, really big bottom.” Seriously, there is no recovering from that. You just wash your hands and leave.

So, what exactly do I do while hiding in the bathroom?

  1. I play Words with Friends. Oh, don’t pretend like you aren’t sitting in your bathroom, kids or not, playing on your phone. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone used the restroom before cell phones.
  2. I read. I have a drawer in the bathroom that is just for me. It has a Bible, my favorite Maya Angelou book and a journal. Hey, it beats reading the back of the shampoo bottle. Am I right?
  3. I eat. Oh, I know. We tell our kids never to take food in the bathroom. I mean, under normal circumstances, it would be gross. But, let’s be honest, nine times out of ten I am not actually using the restroom. It’s all just an act.
  4. I breathe. Yep. I sit on the edge of the tub and I breathe in. Then, I breathe out. Sometimes, I hear a kid yelling and I rush out to see what’s wrong turn on the shower to drown out the sound.
  5. I think. I don’t know what it is, but some of my best writing ideas come from these brief moments of quiet and semi-solitude. Hence, the journal in the drawer which I mentioned above.
  6. I use the restroom. Yes, sometimes, I actually just have to go to the bathroom.

So, there you go. More than you ever wanted to know about what happens in my bathroom. So, if you ever need a break, you have my permission to hide in  yours. Not only will I not judge you, I will be giving you a virtual high-five while sitting in mine.

 

Waiting for God to Remember

I want you to build an ark, Noah.rainy day

A what?

There is going to be a flood, Noah.

A what?

God asked Noah to create something that no one had ever seen because He was about to do something He had never done. And, Noah? Well, he was obedient and did all that God instructed Him to do.

Doesn’t every child that ever went to Sunday School know this story? The righteous Noah, the ark and all of the animals…what a cute story.

Cute, inspiring. Yet, my eyes were drawn to these words -

And the Lord shut him in.

I imagine Noah watching the door close and not fully comprehending what was about to happen. The rain begins to beat against the boat and the waves begin to get rocky.

But, do you know what I realized this time through? Noah was on the ark a long, long time. He was in the ark for 370 days. The Lord shut him in and, then, nothing except wind and waves for over a year.

And it occurred to me that building the ark was not the difficult part.  Did people understand what he was doing?  No.  Did folks laugh at him and call him crazy? Probably.  But,  that was not the hard part.  After all, Noah had a clear word from the Lord and he was going with it.

The part that is completely overlooked is what happened between the Lord shut him in and God remembered Noah.

You know what happened?  He waited. And he waited. Then, he waited some more.

Come on, now. Someone wants to testify.

The Lord tells him to get into this boat.  He shuts him in and then – silence.  Can you even imagine?  Of course you can – because we have all had our moments of waiting on the Lord.

As I went over those verses again and again in my mind, it came to me.

Faith is not building the ark.  Faith is what happens inside the ark.  Faith is not being able to see the Lord at work, but knowing that He is and that He will remember you.

Faith is waiting and that is the difficult part.

A post from the archives because I needed a reminder.  Maybe you did too?

Perfect Mom? Puh-lease.

We all want to be her. The perfect mom. We each have our own version of her in our heads. There is this Proverbs 31 mom out there that seems to remain just beyond our reach.

She shall laugh at spilled milk in the floor.

She shall make her children’s clothing by hand.rain

She shall greet her husband at the door wearing lipstick and high heels.

Oh yeah, we think we know all about her. We think we want to be her or, at least, we think we should want to want to be her. Yet, we find ourselves falling short. Maybe our Proverbs passage would read a little differently.

She shall cry at spilled formula in the floor because that stuff is crazy expensive.

She shall buy her children’s clothing at the thrift store because they are just going to play in the mud anyway.

She shall greet her husband at the door wearing baby spit up and other bodily fluids. 

Here is the thing about the perfect mom. She does not exist. You and I can not be perfect. We can not prevent every boo boo and broken heart – no matter how much we would long to do so. We can not be everything to everyone. We can not be their BFF. <– Seriously, we can not do that. Those are not even things they need from us, anyway.

Don’t despair. There are things that we CAN do.

We can smile when they walk into a room.

We can look them in the eye when they speak to us.

We can listen to their dreams.

We can celebrate their victories, be present when they fail and teach them the value in both.

We can show them Jesus.

We can love their daddy.

Listen to me, fellow moms. Our children do not need perfect moms. They need best-that-they-can-be moms chasing a perfect Savior. Whatever your best is – that is what they need from you. If, for you, that is pearl wearing and baby food pureeing – then, rock on. If it’s homeschooling, public schooling, baby wearing, one baby, ten babies, whole foods, frozen foods, whatever-I-have-a-coupon-for foods – seriously, if it’s your best, hold your head high and carry on.

Because you at your best while showing them Christ – that trumps perfect mom any day of the week. The irony is your children probably think you’re perfect already. Shhh…we won’t tell them any different for now.