Boasting in Our Weaknesses

Facebook and Instagram stream endless photos, posted by moms, of happy kids having fun at x, y, z. I have posted slews of similar photos myself. These photos undoubtedly capture happy kids having great fun, yet they do not document the before, during, or after events. I have often found myself envious of some moms apparent ability to get out of the house for fun activities with well dressed children. Their seemingly effortless outings taunt me in my painful realities.

This picture captures my toddler, running full force with excitement, towards a super cool, “new” playground filled with kids {my sons playtime jackpot}. What it doesn’t capture is the 3 hours it actually took to leave the house w/ a toddler and newborn, the 45 minute drive we made to our intended destination, my tears of failure and under-breath cursing of anger that ensued once we arrived at the CLOSED apple orchard, and the downward spiral of beating myself up for failing…again.

Some would say, “so what; find something else to do.” Pre- kids, I was one of them. Yet, fellow moms know the intricate level of energy it takes to plan let alone attend fun outings, a distance away from home, with small children. There are naps and feedings and snacks and bathroom trips and diapers…and they all have to be taken into consideration prior to even leaving the house, while attempting to dress said children {and hopefully yourself} in the midst of their desire for your attention.

ALL moms have had these days. The days where your best efforts are met with disappointment, unmet expectations, and a feeling of crushing failure. Days where we are weak – too weak to disregard the FB and IG highlight reels. Too weak to find the joy. This particular day happened to occur immediately after 3 other attempted and failed outings, in the midst of little sleep, increased tantrums, and all around “failing.” As the emotions came barreling out, a heart focused on God and a mind believing in grace could not be heard. I was udderly exhausted at my efforts to leave our home, let alone pursue events or outings. My psyche took swift jabs delivered by perceived failures. Failure to fully engage my toddler after a long morning of marathon nursing his brother. Failure to deliver the promised apple picking {& eating} he had excitedly sung about during the long car ride. My dashboard howled “maintenance required,” reminding me of my failure to get a much overdue oil change. My infant began terridactal screams, reminding me it was time to nurse…and how often he has had to be patient as I’ve failed to answer those cries immediately. Satan had me in his grips and I felt desperate for a pity party. I wanted to hear from the moms behind the Facebook photos of happy children, that they too experience this level of difficulty, of failure, in doing “all the things” with their children. I needed to see my realities in their posts. I wanted someone to sit with me and go curse-word for curse-word, affirm me in my attack on myself, and on the world for hijacking my painstaking efforts.

The apple orchard had a family emergency, requiring them to close before our arrival. I wish I could say my heart leapt immediately to lift their family up in prayer…but it took another minute of doling out invitations to my pity party before I allowed truth to suspend me. A 25 minute drive later, with Lauren Daigle on blast, we arrived to a fun, new {to us} park. My son did not ask where the apples were. He did not complain of the long car ride. He ran with excitement coursing thru his body. ..and he looked back every few bounds to say “cmon mommy!,” “look mommy!,” “so fun park, mommy!” My short-comings were not visible to his deep brown eyes; his hands continued to reach for ME, his most fun companion, despite my perceived failures.

Similarly to our children, Christ still seeks our hands – He is eager to engage us, envelop us, and show us how proven His love for us truly is, regardless of our behavior or performance. Moments where we are weak – our walls are crumbling, our cups feel empty, and our emotions are flooding out are where we need Christ most. Where no amount of curse-words or pity party attendees will help. No amount of reading transparent posts by fellow weary mommas will sustain. We are leveled at the cross – the things we believe we are failing at become smaller and the battles we are fighting, have already been won. We must recognize the grace that has been provided to us. For in that grace, we may feel the heaviness of our perceived failures to ‘do all the things’ while experiencing the fullness of God’s power reigning supreme over them. Where we are weak, He is strong.

“But he said to me, “” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” {2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV}

Weary momma, let go of the notion that any part of motherhood is easy. It is a hard but eternally rewarding mission and moms collectively make it harder with societal pressures, expectations, and frequent highlight reel comparisons. Rejoice in your perceived shortcomings. Do it every day, even all day. Boast of your weakness GLADLY, for the glory of God, so that you may rest fully in His love and power which is sufficient. There is so much freedom and joy to be found when we recognize we are not failing at all – we are fighting the good fight; allowing Gods power to carry our burdens and His glory to be our success.

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