So many times I wish I had some knowledge or skill as a mother. Here are some I jotted down a few weeks ago.
- I wish I were more outgoing to help my outgoing child.
- I wish I were more of a night owl when they want to talk late at night when Lee is at the hospital.
- I wish I were better at math.
- I wish I knew the answers to some of their Bible questions.
- I wish they weren’t picking up my bad habits.
That’s just as a mom. I also wasn’t enough as a wife, or as a neighbor, or as a friend.
Maybe you can identify with my bumbling longings that ebb and flow with the moon. Here are the truths God reminds me of when I’m in that place of longing.
- I’ve had to give my inadequacy to God. No, I’m not enough. But God didn’t create me to be self sufficient. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. When I feel my inadequacy, the only way to fix that feeling is to remind myself what is true and leave my burden with God.
- Sometimes I can actually improve in these areas of weakness. Feeling inadequate makes me see where I need to change! I’m not at my best in the evening, and I don’t typically plan time with my children after 8; however, it can be their best time for a serious conversation. Sometimes I’m just being selfish when they want to talk at night, and I don’t feel like talking with children. I can and should respond to the Holy Spirit when he gives opportunity to love my children in my weakness.
- Some inadequacies or bad habits take longer to change, or are things that I cannot change fast enough to help my children. I’m learning that these times of growth are opportunities to be transparent and humble with the body of Christ in general, but also with my children specifically.
- Sometimes, I must humble myself to actually ask for help. I recently asked an outgoing friend to take Laurel out for ice cream to talk about building community and loving people. Helping each other is part of the natural outcome of healthy transparency. I can show Laurel what it looks like for my personality to love others, but it was a tremendous blessing for her to talk with someone who loves others in different ways than I do. Would I have reached out to my friend if I hadn’t felt inadequate in this area? Probably not.
- Not every need for help is a sin that must be repented of! God brings us help in so many ways! God has sent me friends with children a little older than mine, and I’ve watched them and listened to them as they navigate the older teen and young adult years. We’ve cried and prayed together. I’ve had to ask for help when I’ve had cleaning jobs that were overwhelming. Did you know that one of my friends came for a visit and helped me clean my garage? I didn’t know where to start, and she wasn’t overwhelmed in the least!
- I can show my children those who are exercising their God-given gifts in the church. See! Look at how Mr. Cliff welcomes people at church. I love to see how kind he is to the children who come. Every time we come to church, we can find examples of spirit-filled brothers and sisters to thank God for. Soon, my children will be the ones who notice how others are serving. This church has a candy lady, too! That’s a fun way to love people. Mr. Nick makes even quiet people join in a conversation; how does he do that?
- I can be open for the gifts of God to be different than what I’ve been asking for! Our small group at our church has lots of young couples, and several with young children. No older kids, no teenagers. I love how these young couples take the time each week to ask our children about their day, what they need prayer for, and invite them into their lives. I’m thankful God’s sufficiency, and the friends God gives who care deeply for the needs of my children. I didn’t expect that gift.
- I’ve had to turn envy into thankfulness when someone else seems to inspire my children more than I do. I suppose there’s a fear of inadequacy in all of us when other adults speak truth to our children and it immediately bears fruit. God uses parents to plant seeds and water them, and then at times brings along another adult to reinforce what we are teaching. This kind of teamwork is beautiful and in no way undermines a parent’s hard work, but I sometimes have to check my false assumption that my prior work was ineffective or useless. Thank you, Lord, for the Holy Spirit who works in my child’s life. Help me never to forget that the results are in your hands, not mine.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 This verse is just as true for my children as it is for me. Am I resting in God’s promise to provide for them?
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God 2 Corinthians 3:5 I can rest knowing that God is the one who is sufficient, not me.
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I love that Paul pleaded that God would remove his problem. I love that he didn’t recognize God’s response for a while! I love that Paul responded by reframing his problem in light of God’s sovereignty and power.
What are the ways that God is showing his sufficiency in your life?