Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Answer for the Overwhelmed Mother

Sometimes the responsibilities of motherhood completely overwhelm me and I feel buried and distressed. Wednesday is perhaps my worst day for this. Beth goes to physical therapy for her arthritic joints every Wednesday, and she has speech twice a month, following her physical therapy session. 

Now, Paul and Mary join in for speech. The speech therapist takes both girls together, and then Paul for just ten minutes. Afterwards I'm given homework to do with all three of them, in addition to exercises to address Beth's diseased joints.

Add to this our regular school and the pressure of trying to get Peter's fine-motor delay improved enough for him to write on college-ruled paper. He's in fifth grade and still needs a 2nd grade writing tablet with wide lines and a dotted line in the middle. Occupational therapy is probably necessary, especially for cursive, but I'm trying to avoid another monthly or bi-monthly appointment at the Children's Hospital.

A disheveled house greets us upon arrival back home. This Momma can't seem to get four children and herself ready to go while also keeping up with five-minute clean-ups. The rush to prepare for church on Sunday mornings leaves our house similarly disheveled, making our return trip bittersweet.

Today, Beth, either overwhelmed or tired or just ornery, crawled under the table during speech therapy and Miss Shelly had to gently threaten to take away her sticker if she didn't finish her words. Beth is sensitive, like so many girls, and this broke her heart--that dear Miss Shelly seemed less than happy with her. Miss Shelly, whom she loves so much and usually wants to please.

Miss Shelly felt bad returning a tearful child to me, but I told her she'd done the right thing, and sensitive or not, Beth definitely requires regular discipline--as much as any 4 year old. Fortunately for me, Beth has a conscience and did finish her work, but she was too brokenhearted to accept a sticker afterwards.

May I just say, girls and boys bear little resemblance to each other when it comes to discipline? Boys, despite their rambunctiousness and incessant wrestling, are easier to discipline. Stubbornness rarely rears its ugly head, unlike with my girls.

I pray so much harder for my girls' sustained commitment to the Lord because their stubbornness frightens me. Will they submit to the Lord without question? Will their hearts remain soft as the Holy Spirit points out their transgressions? Will they display willfulness toward their husbands some day? Am I modeling headstrong behavior around here? Oh, Lord, cleanse me for the sake of my children if this be so.

On every overwhelmed Wednesday, I go to Psalms for help

Jesus did the same. Psalm 22:1-15 is widely thought to be what Christ uttered on the cross in his brokenhearted, suffering state.

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Why art Thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but Thou answerest not; And in the night season, and am not silent. But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in Thee: They trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: They trusted in thee, and were not put to shame. But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, [saying], Commit thyself unto the Lord; Let him deliver him: Let him rescue him, seeing he delighteth in him. But Thou art He that took me out of the womb; Thou didst make me trust [when I was] upon my mother's breasts. I was cast upon Thee from the womb; Thou art my God since my mother bare me. Be not far from me; For trouble is near; For there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me; Strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gape upon me with their mouth, [As] a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; And my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; And Thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

Isaiah 26:3 says: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed (anchored) on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.

Regular readers see this next assertion often: 

Peace is a person. If we could just remember this, yes? Life will overwhelm. Entering into His presence is the answer every time.

Psalm 100 is considered the gateway to prayer.

1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: Come before His presence with singing. 
3 Know ye that the Lord, He is God: It is He that hath made us, and we are His; We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise: Give thanks unto Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness [endureth] for ever, And His faithfulness unto all generations.

Yes, this is a perfect beginning to prayer. Know ye that the Lord, He is God. Isn't that why we pray? To remember that the Lord, he is God? That we don't have solutions, but he does? That we are not worthy, but his lovingkindness endureth forever? To remember that we are his people, the sheep of his pasture?

We can't recite this and not feel its truth and power. 

And the reward for going to the Throne of Grace, rather than wallowing in the heaviness of life?

Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed (anchored) on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.

Oh, Lord, how we love you! How you sustain your sheep so lovingly. Thank you for your Holy Word, your awesome power, your everlasting love. May we enter your courts with praise and give thanks unto thee. May we bless your name!

Thank you, Heavenly Father....

~ for hot chocolate to warm my hands in this bitterly cold, below-zero wind chill.

~ for my husband's arms and understanding eyes.

~ for faith that though food prices rise before my eyes, you will provide.

~ for the help of Miss Shelly.

~ for Psalm 100, and Psalm 22, and Isaiah 26:3.

~ for the power of your Word to break down stress and restore peace.

~ for this study, which helped me find the gateway to prayer.

~ for children who do twenty-minute pick-ups on Wednesday afternoons.

A prayer request? L's mother--age about mid-thirties--fought with her father on Sunday, apparently over L's mother wanting to go on a trip with her no-good boyfriend. L ran over here to get away from it, and an hour later two police cars arrived at the grandparent's home. I don't know who called them, but perhaps the grandmother or L's mother. Shortly after, L was picked up here by her mother, in the boyfriend's car. There did not appear to be any arrests, but I don't know. We haven't seen L since and tonight is AWANA. Her mother doesn't own a car so it's up to the boyfriend to either bring L to our house on Wednesday evenings, or to the AWANA church itself, so she can continue to attend. We don't know if they will move in with the boyfriend again for good, or reconcile with L's grandparents (her mother's parents). Please pray that we'll be able to continue to disciple L? Thank you!

1 comment:

Tesha said...

Oh how this post speaks to me. After a week of revival and driving two hours for my husband to preach, our home and our children are a mess. We all face those days, you are such an excellent example to remain thankful! PS I agree about girls stubbornness sheesh:)