*This post is part of a series written by pre-publication readers of “Clean Home, Messy Heart: Promises of Renewal, Hope, and Change for Overwhelmed Moms“.
On Mommy Heart Struggles…
In becoming a mother, I feel like I have faced quite a few challenges within my own heart—mainly because I never actually wanted to be a Mom in the first place. It took God—and only God—changing my heart…and that did not come easily. I embarrassingly admit that it was not until my son was two that I finally surrendered my heart over and accepted my ministry in being a full-time mom.
The biggest challenge has been (and still sometimes is) surrendering my selfish desires/wants and instead putting God, my husband, and my children before myself. Accepting this role as a mom was something that I never dreamed of. I was never a little girl who dreamt of the babies she would have, the names of her children, or even of a husband. It just was not something that I thought I had in me. When I became pregnant, it took quite some time to realize that this is exactly where God has placed me, and to be obedient in His plan for not only my life, but for this family He has blessed me with.
On Selflessly Serving Family…
As I sit here typing about what God used to encourage me in the book Clean Home, Messy Heart, my daughter has woken herself up screaming five times. In this moment of wanting my quiet time, to reflect and dig deep, she would not let me finish. I had to come back the next night, because dying to myself for the sake of my children really means on every level, every single day. So, in yet another exhausting moment, I was able to find even more encouragement from Christine’s book, to remember to serve my children and let go of my selfish desires. Even if that means I give up my 10pm quiet time.
What was even more helpful in this moment was that I had just re-read “Hanging Hearts Out to Dry”, and honestly this part of Clean Home, Messy Heart was such a blessing to me. The quote that encouraged yet convicted me at the same time was:
Why does lending a helping hand to people outside of the home seem more effortless in comparison to the reluctant hands I have for serving under my roof? Can it truly be called service if were only helping on our terms? Can it truly be called loving if were only serving when convenient?
As a mom and as someone who has only accepted her role as a mother by the grace of God, this truly breaks down how I feel a lot. Why am I so willing to serve others, but when it comes to my family (my ministry) I do it so begrudgingly? Another quote that truly tugged at my heart was:
When acts of service turn into bitter beasts of burden, it’s time to check our hearts at the cross for a clearer view.
Wow—what power I found in that one statement. Christ gave His life freely, in a true act of serving, and here I am complaining because He has blessed me with a family who needs me to sacrifice something as simple as 20 minutes to rock my daughter back to sleep. Yet, I feel like I am entitled to those twenty minutes, instead of looking to the cross for the wonderful example Christ has given me.
On Finding Hope in Christ…
God’s promise of forgiveness is something I feel I should cling to much more than I do.
Instead of remembering the scriptures of His forgiveness (1 John 1:9, Ephesians 4:32, Mark 11:25), I find myself drenched in mommy guilt and depression for days. But God never leaves me there—He always plucks me from it and reminds me to look back to His work, His promise of forgiveness, His guidance, and His ability to deliver me from my depression. He reminds me to hold my joy in Him and not how my children behaved that day; to always remember His great love for me, His mercy, and His promise of strengthening my heart to wait on Him (Psalm 27:14).
Without His promises and the guidance of scripture, I would feel so lost as a Mom, a wife, and as a person in general. I am so thankful that I can find His goodness and love for me all throughout scripture! I know that the Enemy is working night and day for my mind to be tainted with selfish desires and wants, but I am a daughter of a King—one who has equipped me to be enough for my family, and that in itself is a wonderful promise to hold onto.