Meltdowns and Miracles: Motherhood on Purpose
(Followers: please consider following my NEW blog too if you like Nice Girls Rule.)
I am exhausted.
Not tired, because tired is
just the junior varsity version of exhaustion. My bone-weariness has
gotten to that point where my eyes burn whether or not I have one, two
or three cups of coffee.
As of right now, I am on my
second cup and it is two in the afternoon. Don't judge- I'm tempted to
grab the energy drink that's been in the back of the fridge for month if
this cup doesn't cut it.
But who isn't tired in this
country right? We work ourselves to death, vacation less than another
other nation, and yet are still on the hamster wheel.
exemplify this, I should be lying down on the couch since both of my
kids are napping, but I have this frenetic energy that has to be put to
good use (Hmm... this could have something to do with the caffeine).
Regardless, in this moment of quiet I realize that I have some maturing
to do. This is especially evident, when all I really want to do is ball
up my fists, climb back into my pajamas, and whine about the constant
inconveniences I face as a mom.
Instead, I am going to
force myself to contemplate what temptation truly is. Because lately I
have been tempted to check out. I want to throw my hands in the air and
say, OK- I've given about all I can. This girl is tapped out.
But that's just the tired talking. That's not my heart.
texted a friend the other day and apologized for being out of it. "I'm
so sleep deprived today, sorry." And she wisely responded, "I think we
will be forever!!!"
Welcome to motherhood.
even though I am one of those people that doesn't do well without
sleep-- as a kid I put myself to bed and was always sneaking off at
sleepovers to crawl into my sleeping bag, it doesn't give me reason to
Blessed with two healthy kids, an amazing
husband who laughs, fights, and clings to me when I need it most, and a
God who lived on this earth in the most humble of ways so that I could
live-- (even when I am the furthest from humble myself) is enough to
keep me going. His grace is sufficient.
I read in Matthew today about the temptation of Jesus. (Matthew 4: 1-11).
What I found most interesting about the section of scripture in Mathew is the way
that Satan tempted Jesus. Jesus was ravenous from his 40-day fast and
Satan came to him and tempted him to make stones into bread. And the Son
of God answered, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word
that comes from the mouth of God."
into bread, huh? One of the most crafty of evil beings came up with
nothing more than bread to tempt the Son of God. Maybe he thought if an
apple worked with Eve he should go for two.
wasn't Satan's front line attempt at getting Jesus to sin a bit more
glitzy? He didn't lead Jesus to a banquet table loaded with Pinterest
worthy foods, award-winning wines and rich desserts-- he didn't dress up
the sin in Jesus' moment of weakness. Why?
of all, aside from the fact that Jesus would have seen right through
his attempts to make him stumble- (he is God after all), maybe Satan
didn't go to all that trouble- because he knew Jesus was in a weakened
state. Maybe Satan knew he didn't have to.
Jesus was starving. He was empty. He was exhausted.
And sometimes in our
moments of deepest exhaustion- even the least tantalizing temptations,
like stone-flavored bread is something we can easily imagine into Julia
Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. If you like that sort of thing.
we are tired, even the most obvious of sins become enticing. The sins
that we would have snuffed our noses at before somehow become glittering
monuments that can solve all our problems.
I wrote a song a few years ago and in it is one of my favorite lyrics.
You light my cigarette,
Because I know better than you do.
I've got scars all across this heart.
I call temptation's tattoo.
OK, so no. I don't smoke cigarettes- but this is a country song so there you go.
the reality of this lyric for me is that some days I can feel the
stitches on my heart beginning to pull apart. Its in those moments that I
realize some of the scars I've developed over the years are not fully
healed- and at any given moment I can give way to old sin. I am getting
better now at recognizing the stones that Satan is tempting me to turn
into bread and that is where the separation between failing and being
lured to fail, divide.
For instance, when I feel
haggard and fluffy from two pregnancies- I know I shouldn't read
magazines that advertise the best beach bodies in Hollywood. When one of
our cars breaks down again and I wonder if I will ever be one of those
luxury car moms, I shouldn't start 'googling' safest luxury cars to
leave up on my computer 'on accident'. When there are medical bills to
pay, I shouldn't hound my husband for a pair of new shoes or a fancy
haircut at a downtown salon. These are all stones. Stones that can
easily drown me.
Being tempted isn't a sin apparently. That's what God says anyway:
Hebrews 4:15 "Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!"
may not have been tempted to buy a pair of Gucci sandals-- but he
understood the base of it all. The desire for more than we have. The
temptation to believe that something outside can fix what's broken
within. He knew that the temptation led nowhere. The bread was just
stones in disguise.
Notice that Satan didn't
turn the stones into bread himself and wave the wafting
fresh-out-of-the-oven goodness under Jesus' nose. He simply gave him the
idea to change something that is into something that could be.
Today, and everyday, when I
am feeling exhausted-- I pray that God gives me (and you) the
wherewithal to leave the stones in the dirt where they belong and to
reach for the Bread of Life.