I am strong, but I am not that strong…
Each day I wake up with a to-do list in my head. I scroll down the list of the stops to make, the phone calls to do, the emails and texts to answer. I sort through them and try to rearrange them in my mind as to which ones take priority and try to remember them in order of importance as I am getting ready for work at 4:30 am.
My plans instantly change as I begin to walk downstairs only to find that the dog got into the garbage in the living room, the food from last night’s supper did not get put away, the dishes are piled up next to the sink, and the Keurig is out of water to be able to make my cup of coffee instantly. Suddenly the to-do list I just had so perfectly arranged in my head during my relaxing 4-minute shower is completely disregarded and becoming drastically longer with all these discoveries of unexpected events. Now, with the spare 3 minutes I have, I am trying to rearrange my priorities while doing them at the same time. Thoughts and feelings go rushing through my head, saying things like, “If only I had been more organized before I went to bed,” or, “If only I had more patience in the evening I would have made sure the kids helped pick up dinner.” “If only I had better behaving dogs like the family down the street.” “If only…if only…if only…”
The day carries on as I meet my coworkers to carpool and I notice that since I brushed my teeth in the dark, I have tooth paste dropped on my scrub pants. Plus I forgot my phone charger, and I’m pretty sure I forgot gum to cover up my coffee breath. Great. Just great. I am stronger, smarter, more organized than this…. what’s my problem?
Well, it’s not a problem, but rather a perspective that needs to change. In my mind, I often argue with myself about how I should be doing things better, not messing up so much, getting more accomplished, not being tired, stop getting so distracted, but instead, be strong. Guess what? I can’t do this on my own. I am so far from being strong on my own strength and I have got to change my perspective to rely on God’s strength. The tattoo on my forearm reminds me daily of this truth from Mark 5:36– “Do not be afraid, just believe.” The circumstances of my life currently are teaching me that I do not need to act as if I am strong enough to tackle them on my own strength. I need God’s strength and the strength of those around me. It’s easy to forget this when you are constantly comparing yourself to the coworker, wife, family, or circumstances next to you.
I am still needing daily reminders from God that His load is light and that I need to give Him the burdens of my heart. Raising four kids is hard, being a wife is hard, working full time is hard, finding time to exercise is hard. Life is hard, but God is teaching me that as I lean into His strength and grace I can re-teach my thoughts that I don’t have to be strong on my own. I don’t have to hide my insufficiencies to Him and others. I can accept His strength and help and I can accept support and help from those around me who care and love our family. I am strong, but not that strong without Him! I encourage you to lean into God’s strength and wisdom, no matter what your life season is currently; He cares for you and loves you greatly.