Have you found yourself in a position that requires you to be and to do so many things at one time? Many of us are mothers, fathers, wives, daughters, responsible workers, students, and different variations of the many titles out there. At times we are all of the above and still take on additional responsibilities and burdens that are not meant for us.
One big question this morning as I type this devotional is, “How can I be a good mother to my children, as I try to be a good mother to my mom?” You might be saying huh? YES! You did not miss a beat when you read that! Sometimes our parents occupy a space in our lives, that they are not meant to occupy. As so do our spouses. You’re not created to be your spouses mom or dad, you were created to be their partners. We do so much more than we think everyday, and many of it screams WRONG TURN! WRONG TURN! Sometimes our lives are so backwards, and we try to be the hero of every story, burdening, while literally burning ourselves out in the process. This is where God comes in. He can regulate your life and give it the order that it needs so that you may live in peace.
I believe we have all been there. Many of us do so much altogether that often times we don’t realize it. We often beat ourselves up and constantly berate our abilities. We criticize our lack of this and that in so many areas of our lives.
Did you know that you are amazing? That all you do is worthy and true. At times we feel alone, but in reality, no one in your life is expected to fully understand your struggles or your daily grind. This includes your feelings and what goes on in your mind. Sometimes we desire so much for others around us to be down when we’re down, and up when we are feeling up. We expect people to just know. No one can! Only God can! Only he can understand you inside and out. Which brings me to the next question. Why do we feel that we need to do this thing called life alone? We are never alone, as God is always with us. We only feel alone when we forget about his presence.
Even in all the crazy whirlwind and the level of uncertainties our actions sometimes bring, the truth of the matter is that what we have in our hands and in our power to do, are blessings that God has gifted us with. All that we are and all we are responsible for, ARE gifts just for you and me! They only become burdensome when we only rely on our own abilities and our own strength. We can’t do what we do on our own.
Being a mom, while working and running around with your kiddies, those are things we are blessed to do. Being a dad and working double shifts to provide for your family, are things we are blessed to do. Being a spouse with a sickly husband or wife and working multiple jobs to support your family, those are things we are blessed to do. Though all of these are blessings because we get to do them, while many others do not have the opportunity to do so, but it doesn’t change the fact that life can still be very overwhelming.
This is the time to give yourself grace. The Bible tells us that we should treat ourselves lovingly. We can show kindness and love to ourselves because God loves us and gives us grace. An undeserving grace, but it never lacks. There’s always an overflow.
One of my favorite verses is this: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” ~ Ephesians 2:8
God doesn’t show us grace and kindness because of our achievements, our work, and he doesn’t show his wrath because of our lack of. God is always showing us mercy and kindness and wants us to show mercy and kindness to ourselves as well.
There are many ways to do this.
1. Be kind to yourself – Stop or minimize the internal negative talk about your lack here or there.
2. Forgive yourself – You can do this by remembering that God doesn’t call us to be perfect. It’s okay if you missed that appointment, if you only got to one item on your to do list, and if you screamed at your kid or spouse in a moment of desperation. God shows us love and grace even in these times. God never seeks perfection, he seeks repentance. He seeks sincere remorse when our actions go against how he wants us to live.
3. Breathe – Take a few pauses to just sit back and breathe. Regardless of how much you have going on, God always gives us the opportunity to sit back and breathe. Chaos can seem normal, but it’s really not. God doesn’t call us to be stressed. He wants us to live fruitful lives that include him in every step. Do you truly believe that being the multitasker that you are and not having enough time for yourself is the correct way of living? It’s not.
4. Seek the Lord – Make God your first every single day. FIRST! Don’t miss a beat with this. I say this because God is the only one that can turn your situation around. You can only fully learn to give yourself grace when you recognize the insurmountable amount of grace God has given you and continues to provide you with everyday. Start with 5 minutes each day. With these fives minutes you are granting God entry in your life everyday. Ask him for help. There is nothing to be ashamed of. There is no one in this world that can understand you more than he can. NO ONE. He will make a way for you and when you least expect it, because you gave him your first. Another favorite verse: “Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually.” -1 Chronicles 16:11
May God bless you as you read this and may he bring you peace and understanding. Your life is worth living and there are always bright days ahead. The process may be hurtful, but a process is only temporary. A process takes time, but it won’t last.
God Bless You! I Love You.
Contributing Writer, Neivis Paulino