Last Sunday, my pastor preached a sermon on overcoming.....Discouragement, Defeat, Fear.
It was good. REALLY REALLY GOOD.
Check it out here:
One thing he said that really stuck with me was this phrase:
"I may be stressed, but I'm not stressed out!"
He challenged us to declare that phrase when we're going through hard times.
And I have been.
Literally every single day this week.
Because sometimes I feel like I'm on the losing end when it comes to this parenting-my-kids-right thing.
Some days I'm just on autopilot and the same phrase literally comes out of my mouth 10 times.
It starts out simple enough:
“Put your shoes in the closet.”
“Please remember to flush the toilet.”
“Don't ask me that again.”
Then it escalates a bit:
“Why am I tripping on your shoes??”
“Who forgot to flush the toilet again??”
“If you ask me one more time....”
Now, it's all hell breaking loose:
“WHOSE SHOES ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR?!!”
“GROSS! I DON"T NEED TO SEE THAT IN THE TOILET!!”
“I TOLD YOU DON'T ASK ME AGAIN OR I'LL... !!”
You know what I mean, right?
(Please tell me I’m not the only one!)
I liken those days to a pile of dirty laundry getting ready to go in the washer.
That dirty pile of clothes needs to be washed.
If I leave it sitting there in it’s dirt, oil, and muck, it’s just going to stink.
I can try to ignore it.
But I’ll have to get to it….eventually.
I have to wash the clothes.
So I throw them in the washing machine.
Soap and water flow through the clothes until all the dirt is loosened from the fibers.
And the time to rinse them through begins.
Until all the brown water drains.
Until all the dirt is gone.
Then alas, I have to accept the fact that I will be doing this all over again in just a few days.
Because laundry is never done.
It’s an ongoing process. (Exhausting as it may be.)
Until we die.
Isn’t that just like parenting?
It’s never done.
It’s my job as a mom to never let the cycle get interrupted.
It’s my job as a mom to fix the washing machine when it breaks.
It’s my job as a mom to separate the whites from the darks.
And when I do, as exhausting and draining and trying as it is, the clothes come out clean.
Every. Single. Time.
Oh it’s not my own awesomeness that cleans my kids up.
But my awesome God that is living inside of me is the One that gives me the grace to keep that cycle going.
Because God knows I can’t do it in my own strength.
I don’t want to even try to parent without His grace to empower me.
I would jack up my kids. :)
This week has been tiring because that endless, repetitive cycle has made me feel like my kids aren’t learning anything.
That they’re stuck in their muck of dirty, sticky behaviour.
But again, God reminds me that without my willingness to “repeat the cycle”, they would be stuck:
Not knowing how to make godly decisions.
Not knowing how to listen to His voice.
Not knowing what path to take in life.
And if God has to constantly remind me to remind my kids to pick up their shoes then it means I’m listening to the right source.
So, they will follow by example.
And EVENTUALLY I will begin to see the cycle play out in their own lives without my having to remind them.
Because isn’t that the goal?
To raise amazing God- focused kids chasing after God-sized dreams with a God-centered heart and God-fueled passion?
So I’ve decided to keep doing the laundry.
Because who doesn’t love the smell, look, and feel of clean clothes just out of the dryer?