This week has been an educational crash course in saying "YES" and I have had my eyes opened to why that is a bad thing. I have been living my life as the "YES" women to everyone. Yes, to my husband. Yes, to my children. Yes, to my friends. Yes, to my ministry. Yes, to my church even. And I could feel the walls closing in, I could feel God whispering to let go, but my stubborn "superwoman" persona would not allow that. For those of you mothers that work jobs feel free to add in the "YES" to all those demands too! All of this "yesing" hasn't been good and then add on top of it my sudden but severe memory loss and I have given myself a perfect storm of over planning. I felt it at first on Friday, my daughter's new bed was being delivered a head of schedule (wasn't suppose to be until Monday). Lance forgot to take the truck to grab the mattress, so when he got home we ran to Costco to grab it (a 30 minute drive). Then when we got home we had to build the bed... all the while waiting for weekend company to show up! I remember doing the dishes and thinking to myself that I should cancel our company, be honest with them of my over planning. But I wanted to see them! And it ended up working out fine, until Monday rolled around. VBS, working on my daughter's room, pet sitting,
not to mention all my normal weekly responsibilities that I had to do. Yep, I had done it AGAIN!
See our problem as mothers is we feel a need to prove to others we can do it all. And we literally feel it in our very bones that if we can't we have some how failed at being "super mom". But this is a lie! You mother, are under attack by the second best war corespondent in the universe. Satan. See, as mothers we can usually pick out when the devil is trying to get us distracted using sad, mean, hurtful or even horrific circumstances. Little Addy who I blogged about recently, her family is stronger in their faith because of the devil trying to distract them away from God with Addy's diagnoses. Heck! All he is doing is making them lean all on God. So, when that fails Satan changes tactics to try and tempt us with his sugar. Spiritual sugar. Most of the world is aware today that sugar is more addictive then heroine. We know it is bad for us but it is so hard to find things without it added in. It is in our faces, promising pleasure, all the while it is killing us. So what is spiritual sugar then?
Spiritual sugar is anything good in our lives that is not God lead. Go ahead and make a post it of that definition, I'll wait. LOL. As mothers we have soooo many good things the devil tries to distract us with. Last night at our sisterhood meeting we dived into these "sugars". See when we try to do something good, anything good, but it is not God lead, we are giving in to unhealthy distractions. Ever wonder why it says in the bible to "Pray without ceasing" - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18? I believe with all my heart that it says that because we are suppose to talk to God about every good possibility that comes our way so that He can LEAD us forward or tell us no, or even to put it on the back burner. Spiritual sugar acts in the same way as sugar. We say yes to all these good things, everything feels great so far and we can even feel like we are riding on the "Holy Spirit High". But then the energy the good thing gives wears off leaving us sluggish, down, tired, drained. Sounding familiar yet?
As mothers we have to learn to prioritize better, to prioritize going to God to see what He wants us to do. Now, I am not talking about asking God if you should have a ham sandwich instead of turkey sandwich by any means. LOL. But I am saying that we can no longer as mothers use the excuse that we don't have enough time in our day to even catch our breath. That is another lie. God has given us the exact amount of time each and every day to get everything done that HE wants us to get done. The problem lies with the distractions that pull us away from His will. These distractions can look different for each of you. It can be your electronics, it can be social media (guilty), it can be pets, it can be friends sometimes, it can literally be anything good that leaves you feeling drained after a short time to the point you can't do the things God wants you to do. Because lets face it, if you aren't doing what God wants you to do then you aren't putting Him first are you? So how do we priorities and let go of good distractions? Lets break it down.
Priority #1 - God
Our first priority in life has always got to be our Father. He loves us the most, cares for us the most, and does everything for us. So in all things ask God about it. Keep Him first by getting His will done and with practice your will will begin to line up with His. He is for you, all we have to do is accept His guidance. A true super hero can admit when they need help and accept it. You mother have an open door that is flooding with help if you can just trust your Lord through it.
Priority #2 - Yourself
Your second priority must be you! In case you think you read that wrong, your second priority is YOU, YOU, YOU! How as a mother can you possibly think about giving yourself to help others if you can't help yourself first? You can NOT be empty and try to fill someone else's cup, you just can't. This doesn't mean you now have the right to splurge on things or leave the house as soon as the hubby gets home. No, but it does mean your schedule needs to have you in it! A schedule that has time for a DAILY shower just to feel refreshed, time for a rest or down time, at some point at least weekly time for fellowship with a friend or two, and time for fellowship in private with your Father to get off your chest the things you usually vent to your friends about.
Priority #3 - Your husband (if you are a single mom this will mean you need to make extra time for priority #2)
You husband needs your best, not your left overs. And it is hard! Gosh it is hard, because the last thing I want to do (especially if I didn't get priority #2 in my schedule) is give my husband my best. Can I get an amen? But mothers... wives, your husbands love you! It actually stresses them out when they come home to your "left overs" because they feel guilty themselves for not being home more to help out. So practice just hugging your husband when he gets home and smile a loving smile. Because he needs to know it was a rough day but that you got through it and you are glad he is now home to help. Plus your children are watching how you respond and that is how they will respond to their spouse someday.
Priority #4 - Your children
How many of you put your children at priority #2 or (gulp) priority #1? Yeah, not a good idea. If you are like me and homeschool you may be gulping twice. LOL. Our children when they are first born are 100% dependent on us, but that doesn't change our list of priorities. I used to believe it did but it doesn't. We may not be able to help our husband with the lawn or be intimate as often, but we can still be loving, respectful and caring to him. And our electronic devices should never take priority over our children. If you are like me and use electronics for work or ministry then you need to schedule a specific block of time to get work done and...STICK TO IT. You are responsible for a large portion of your child's upbringing and you will be held accountable for how you stewarded God's gift to you. I say this not to scare you, I say it because like I said before, God gave you all the time you need to be a parent and if you are feeling like there isn't enough of that time to raise your children and be a good mom then you are saying yes to something you should be saying no to.
Priority #5 - Your ministry
That's right, your ministry. If you are a Christ follower you have a ministry whether you recognize it or not. Whether it is big or small. Doesn't matter. Christ called us to go into the world and spread the Way to EVERYONE. That is not just your children, not just your friends. It is everyone, mind blowing don't you think? Christ called us priest and the definition of priest it to share God's love and to teach that Jesus is the way. You could be like me and this blog for your ministry or you could be the mom that helps at the soup kitchen (with or without your children) or even the mom at work that doesn't gossip with the other employees but instead shows love to everyone. Whatever it is, it needs to be a priority.
SPIRITUAL SUGAR IS ANYTHING GOOD THAT IS NOT GOD LEAD ~
So there you have it mothers. If you do these priorities and learn to say no to things that God is not leading you to life will be calmer. Not every day, because we will forget this wisdom and regress and have to come back to it. The house, the car, the errands, the extracurricular things and the electronics and social media are all fillers. An analogy I heard last night on the Better Together show was that the priorities are the large stones of life. They fill up the most time and then the extras are smaller pebbles that are okay as long as they aren't distracting us from the big stones. Or, the priorities are the meat and potatoes of life and the extras are the treats for after you've eaten your dinner. LOL
One more thing. Mothers, you must recognize that this life is a living breathing and growing thing. Something that was once God lead He will eventually ask you to let go of to move you to something even bigger. God will never keep us in something too long lest we get comfortable, complacent, stagnant. He will ask you to let go so you can grab onto the new thing He wants for you. I am currently in the process of doing this. Letting go of something I have ministered since 2015 so that He can lead me to a new ministry. So always be on the look out for the good thing that is God lead and pray without ceasing so that you will recognize it when He is ready to show you. He loves you and the only way to grow and be molded into who He needs you to be is to be willing to branch out into unfamiliar territory.