Today is one of those days. My morning was early, my temper is short, my patience is thin, my house is hot, and my kids seem intent on making messes. It's one of those days when I question the sanity of having kids at all, and I am certainly not my best mom version. It's one of those days where I know the only way I'm going to get through it is by relying heavily on the grace of God.
Recently, I have been realizing more and more that relying on Him is the ONLY way I will be the kind of wife or mother or even just the kind of person, that I want to be--the kind I'm meant to be. There is something both freeing and terrifying about that. And today I'm finding that it's far more difficult, almost even painful, to be in that position of total reliance on God.
I'd like to think of myself as being capable. I'd like to be one of those sweet, even-tempered mothers who never yells at her kids. I'd like to have some of those sweet-tempered children who need nothing more than a look for them to obey (do those kids really exist?). I'd like to be patient, not just the kind of patient that makes it possible to deal with kids who have to be told something twenty times before they do it, but the kind of patient that makes it easy to sit on the floor and play cars, or build a train track, or get out the finger paints (I wince slightly at the thought of finger paints, which I feel certain will end up on my walls instead of on paper). I'd really like to just naturally be a great mom, a fun mom, a sweet mom. And some days, I come close.
Other days, like today, I feel very inadequate. And when I feel inadequate, I feel like giving up. The catch is that this isn't some ordinary job that I can just turn in my two weeks notice for. This is the un-quittable job. It's mine until the day I stop breathing. I will always be a mother, whether I like it or not.
What's more is that I know that God has called me to be a mother. And if God calls you to something, it's usually best to go along with it, whether you like it or not. Unless, of course, you enjoy spending time in the belly of a giant fish. For me, that doesn't seem like the best alternative.
So here I am, doing what I'm called to do, what I have to do, what I need to do, sometimes what I love to do. Am I qualified? Probably not. I'm quite certain there are others who have much better resumes for this job.
Actually, I feel like this is more like being recruited for an army rather than applying for a job. I hear God saying, "I want YOU!" and pointing a finger at me like the Uncle Sam poster. My impulse is to look behind me and see if maybe He's pointing at someone else. He's not. Then I want to try some excuses for why I can't possibly. Unfortunately the good ones have all been taken, and there still hasn't been one that He didn't completely override.
I like the story of Gideon. God says, "Hello, you mighty man of valor!" and Gideon says, "Are you sure you have the right guy?" Then there is a series of tests and signs that they have to go through before Gideon is REALLY sure that this is God and that he's supposed to lead an army. I can relate to that. A lot.
It's nice to feel qualified, to feel capable and independant. It's far more difficult to have to stare straight in the face of my own weakness and admit that I need help. And God is the only one who is available to me for that help 24/7. I tell Him, "I'm not good at this." He says, "Yep. Do it anyway. I'll help you--I've got patience to spare."
I have come to see that everything that happens is for God's glory. It isn't about me. It isn't about my abilities, or lack thereof. It's about Him. It's about God letting me see something amazing happen, and me knowing that I couldn't have done it without Him.