Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Secret to Doing it All

I've received multiple messages over the past few days asking me how I keep it all together or do it all or maintain such a great marriage...several different things along those lines, so I felt really compelled to come here and say I absolutely DO NOT! And that nothing you see me do is in my own strength.  I have to tell you that Saturday morning (and several other days before that) I was in my bed crying uncontrollably and feeling overwhelmed by life.  I have to tell you that I feel like I've had a dark cloud hanging over me for most of January.  I have to tell you that I have felt disconnected from my husband and have not been the mom that I need to be.  But I also have to tell you that I know why!  Satan is the Father of lies, y'all.  He's good at what he does.  He had me believing things about myself and others that absolutely were not true.  He had me worrying about situations I have no control over.  He had me thinking I had the power to control them.  He had me comparing myself to others and feeling unworthy.  He had me not caring about the people and things I am most passionate about.  And he almost got away with using my pride to keep me from overcoming the state I was in.

BUT God!! As I laid in the bed Saturday afternoon in what felt like one of the lowest places I've been in a while, I knew I had two choices...keep allowing the enemy to feed me lies or to get up and turn to what I knew deep down in my heart to be the truth.  I'm going to be honest with you, it was a struggle, but I forced myself to get up out of my bed, and I got in the Word.  I was immediately led to Psalm 40:1-6...

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his truth,
who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!

You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds
and your thoughts toward us;
NONE can compare with you!

I WILL proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told!"

These are the words of David as he exclaims that true happiness can only come from putting our trust in the Lord and not settling in our pride or believing the lies we're told.  He knew from experience! You see, David was committed to following after the Lord, but there were times when he was overwhelmed by his own weakness and helplessness.  Times when his faith was tested and he failed.  He was far from perfect, but his heart was pointed towards God.  He knew to turn back to what was right and true and ask for forgiveness.

From my bathroom floor, (low point, y'all) I repeatedly read the same words David proclaimed.   I prayed and asked God to put me back on my feet and to put a new song of praise in my heart. To help me to see past the lies and turn back to the truth.  And He did!  I immediately felt that cloud lift and was overcome with peace.  Isn't that a good God??!

Did I have some tragic reason for being knocked off my feet? No, I don’t have to.  I’m a human living in a world full of brokenness and sin.  I know for myself there are things in my life that I push down in the day to day.  That thing my husband did that upset me.  That bill we're not sure how we're gonna pay.  Those things I think I have control over but really don't.  All the stuff that goes with foster care and parenting a child with special needs and just motherhood and life in general.  I don't know if I push it down intentionally, but what I need to be doing is acknowleging it as it comes along, praying over it, and giving it to God.  Because what happens if I don't is it just builds up and builds up and something happens that triggers me and it just explodes like a dang volcano.  Apparently there have been a lot of triggers lately!

I love a quote that I heard recently that says "His sanctity is my sanity."  It's so true! Any time I start to forget that God is in control and I’m not is when I start to lose control.  And that also happens when I depend on people or things to make me happy.  My joy can only come from the Lord.  Not my husband.  Not my kids.  Not my friends.  Not my finances.  Not the things I’m passionate about.  But when I let go of my expectations and truly put my faith and trust in the Lord, I am able to be okay even when there are things in my life that aren't okay.  I am also able appreciate and enjoy the people and things I love so much more! And that is a lot of what you see in my pictures and videos on my social media.

I need you to see the ugly stuff too though.  The other day somebody on Instagram asked me how I kept my house so clean, and I had to explain to her that I mostly post from downstairs and that in order to remain sane, I clean that area five bazillion times a day.  Then I went upstairs and shot a quick video of a few rooms, and she immediately felt better about herself.  We have to take people upstairs with us and be real and raw and vulnerable and share the not so pretty stuff so that they know they are not alone.  (I'm preaching to the choir when I say this cause even though I'm mostly an open book, I don't always share the hard stuff.)  And we need to respond to each other in love and not judgement, encouraging and lifting each other up.

Our pastor talked to other day about how he can't stand it for someone to say he's standing on a stage.  A stage is for show and used to impress or please people.  He only wants it referred to as a platform because the purpose of a platform is to lift people up.  I always want to use whatever platform God blesses me with to lift people up, love them where they are, and point them to Him.

So if I happen to appear like I have it even somewhat together, it’s only by the GRACE of GOD!

And y'all know I don't do posts without pics, so here are some from when I was put back on my feet. I baked cake pops with my kids.  I picked up my camera.  I made invitations for Sister's birthday.  I danced in the kitchen with my husband (when hours earlier I was having trouble looking at or talking to him).   I went fishing with my kids.  I refused to allow Satan to steal my joy!