Friday, March 2, 2018

His Voice

My mom often says motherhood is like waking up on a moving conveyor belt.
I think she's onto something.

We stumble into the kitchen, a little too early again, and greet yesterday's unfinished kitchen. The dishwasher needs emptying before dinner (and breakfast, which isn't made yet) dishes can be cleared from the sink. Feelings of overwhelm and never-ending relay start to click at our heels. Good morning, welcome to all that wasn't completed yesterday.

School starts later than always hoped, because of the above paragraph, and a few "character training" moments that don't fit on the schedule or to-do list.

You've heard all this before.

More "character training" is required between subjects and lessons and between math problems, and the mental list of "incompletes" continues to grow. So does that feeling of failure, overwhelm.

In the living room Mt. Laundry hollers each time we walk past, unmade beds and stuffed closets call from upstairs. We trip over those shoes again. It's hard to focus on what's in front because of all that is around.

It doesn't take long before our world is shouting at us, shouting our failure and ever-growing incapability.

What do we do? How do we silence the messes and incompletes? How do we keep on, with vigor and ambition? Is motherhood (and homeschooling) even possible to do WELL, thoroughly, with joy?

I don't like the answer I've found. There are piles of planners, pinterest ideas, and self-help books available. Sometimes people find a groove (or their kids get older...), and I do believe there are many practical things that alleviate the piles and messes a little.

But really the answer is GRACE.

We (I!) must learn to lean deeply in to the Lord, and ACCEPT GRACE: grace in the face of every pile, every screaming toddler, every hot, angry tear. The nipping feelings of failure and overwhelm, all the shouting of our list, really are condemnation. The Lord no longer condemns us.

The Lord no longer condemns us.

8 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

So who's voice is that, then? Are we willing to listen to him?

When I walk through my day followed by a monologue of failure, everything looks dark and impossible. I can't even accurately measure what I have accomplished, because it's impossible to complete EVERYTHING at once, which means there is always SOMETHING that condemning voice can shout. That voice must lose it's authority, and be drowned in the cross. 

The Lord has been clear that He is not shouting condemnation at me. HE has forgiven me all things, but do I forgive MYSELF? 

The accuser lost his power when Jesus conquered death, and all his shouting is only to conjure fear. That's all he's got.

There are actual tasks that need doing. That's real. I'm not advocating that we stop wiping counters, and cancel our spring cleaning. I am aiming for the freedom to do those things with peace and victory.

In church we sing- we ROAR, "...You silence the boast of sin and grave" (Hillsong's 'Beautiful Name'). THIS is what the Lord and I have been working on. He's teaching me that it is Jesus' blood that claimed victory, and it is MY job to look failure in the face and proclaim, "SHHHHHH".

Then, we can truly hear only His voice.