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Giving Thanks

October 17, 2015

Today has been one of those days that between a long demanding week with my 3 little ones and being sick on and off because of the little one growing inside of me. I woke up feeling defeated and overwhelmed before I could even tell what time it was (and then when I found out it was almost time for kiddos to awake up even more overwhelmed). We all know of the demands that are on us as moms, wives, homemaker, and the many other things that are on our plates as well. So I know its nothing knew for others to imagine how I was feeling and who knows maybe you were feeling the same way this morning…all I wanted to do was curl up in my warm sheets and fade off to sleep. But minutes later I heard the cry from my 3 year old calling my name to come and get them so I got up and went through the motions of the morning…fixing breakfast, cleaning the kitchen, making out a list of what we needed at the store, putting our little guy down for a nap, doing school with the girls…I knew through it all that self-pity was creeping into my mind and heart.

I was allowing my thoughts to run lose and believing all that entered..”I’m so overwhelmed. I’m so tired. I don’t know if I can handle one more argument between the kids. No matter what I do the house is always a mess…I’m such a bad homemaker. I wonder what we’re doing for dinner…I’m so behind on meal planning and doing such a lousy job of doing meals well. I don’t spend enough time with my kids and should really be doing more things with them, I’m such a bad mom. I should be writing my husband something reminding him of how much I love him and I should have a clean house for him when he comes home…I’m such a lousy wife. I just need a break…I just want to go do something I want to do without little ones crying or needing to do it around their schedule. I just want to be by myself.”

On and on it went as I gave into the self-pity and lies of the enemy. So much so that he began stealing my joy for the morning because I wasn’t getting a hold of it. I cried out to the Lord with tears as I got dressed to go but it was a very self focused prayer and of course I wasn’t letting Him try to change my thoughts. We went to the grocery store and I went through the motions of getting everything. And as I was checking everything out,  I realized how much all of these thoughts and lies were affecting me once again and how I was just in a survival mode. We got home and fixed  lunch (I once again realized I forgot dish soap), picked up the kitchen (its crazy how often you clean a kitchen in a day) and then tired to exercise but my youngest was having none of that as all he wanted was for me to hold him. So finally it came to naptime and I knew what I needed to do and how my attitude needed to change. As all my kids faded off to sleep, I cried out to the Lord and asked forgiveness for my attitude and just cried to him about how I was feeling. I felt the Lord’s peace began to sink back into my heart as I truly turned my focus back to Him and gave up the self-pity that was growing in my heart. Then I had this strong sense to read a Psalms so I randomly turned to Psalms 103 and as I read the Lord’s healing balm and joy washed over me…

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;[a]
    he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Even as I mediate on it once again my heart soars…why? Because what is it that defeats the darkness and the enemies lies, the Scriptures…God’s precious words to us. Also in moments of self-pity what do we like to do? Keep focusing on ourselves and our own “problems” or “needs”. As I read this the Lord reminded me of all the blessings His giving me.

Number one of the amazing and loving God I serve and the salvation that He’s given to me. How amazing and incrediable He is and that He cares and has a loving relationship with me.

Second of this amazing family He’s giving me. An amazing husband who loves me and that we have such a strong marriage. Three wonderful kids with this new precious little one on the way. Our warm home, our loving church…I began thinking over all these things and many more blessings.

As I mediated upon it all, the Lord’s peace and joy continuing to was over me. It was so incredible and freeing.

Did my kids become less needy or clingy when they woke up? Or the house suddenly become clean? Or dinner taken care of? No, but my joy and peace wasn’t based in these superficial things. Instead it was on my Rock and Redeemer. It was joy that only comes from the Lord,  as I was keeping my focus on Him and give thanks to God for my blessings. All throughout the day as my little guy would be fussy and clingy, my girls would ask question after question, as I fixed dinner, cleaned the kitchen, we went to see grandparents, and then came home to put kiddos down to sleep, who then took over an hour to go to sleep. I had a contentment and peace as I rested in the Lord and His strength. And I had joy through it all remembering each of my blessings and having a heart of gratitude. What a wonderful change from this morning!

So often times, we as women, allow ourselves to be consumed with self-pity. And it takes our joy…it takes our peace. We think of all the things we want to do, should be doing, need to be doing or the little ones that seem to take all our energy and focus away. Instead in those moments where self-pity begins to try to come in, we should turn our thoughts to our blessings and praising God in those moments. That is what is going to make a difference and give us feeling of contentment and joy we so longing for.

With Thanksgiving approaching next month already, its been a reminder on how I shouldn’t let my circumstances, feelings or even the word “overwhelm” dictate my emotions or my day. But my emotions and day should be focused on the Lord and when things get rough, I need to remember to slow down and remember the blessings in my life. And then to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for them.

I encourage you to read Psalm 103 and truly mediate on it…may the Lord speak to your heart and fill you with His truth.

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