On how much I need Jesus

The more children I have-- or the older I get, one of the two-- the less qualified I feel I am to offer any insight of any kind here on the blog. This is why: I am so very aware of my sin. I am sure of just one thing, really- and that is that I need Jesus. More of Him, less of me.

I've noticed lately that my daughters frequently sigh. (Well, Ella sighs and Adelia outright groans in frustration.) When I hear it, I am aware that they're simply modeling what they have heard from me. When I hear one of the older kids speak sharply to a younger sibling, I hear my own tone in theirs, and know that they heard it here first. Hourly I am reminded of how sinful I am and how grateful I am for a Savior who paid for that sin.

I need God to shepherd me in this role as a wife and mother. I was reminded recently of my position as a helper~ created by God to be a helper to my husband. Yet so often I want Mark to help me. He gets home and I want to be helped by him. Thankfully I have a loving husband who truly and genuinely *wants* to help me, so it does work out, but the problem is me; my attitude. I am self-absorbed and seeking my comfort and not his.

In the past few days a number of small distasters happened: Audra found my container of (loose) powder and dumped it inside my purse and make-up bag. To clean it up I had to wash each item, which ruined almost everything. Adelia squeezed an entire container of sunscreen out into the (full) basket of hair accessories (elastics, barrettes, headbands, etc). Audra unrolled a roll of toilet paper. Audra discovered Ella's big container of beads and dumped it onto the couch and all.over.the.living.room floor. Days later and I'm still stepping on beads. But it's all just stuff. I can buy new make-up, I washed down the hair elastics, we can still use that toilet paper and the beads were cleaned up.

What is not so easy to clean up is my response. I'd like to think that my response to my fifth child- when I saw those beads raining down on the couch and floor- is vastly different than my response would have been to Ella, my first-born, had that same scenario occurred. Surely with more experience as a mother I am less exasperated when those things happen, and was able to respond in kindness, graciousness, and love. Not so much. Most days that's not the case. I'm still me, five children later: a flawed and fumbling sinner who desperately needs to be transformed by God.

So I pray that He would shape me, transform me, and teach me how to train them. I pray that He would soften my cold and hard heart; that He would eliminate my pride and give me humility. I pray that He would show me how to lay down my life- my time, my comforts, my schedule, my way- for theirs. I pray that He would put life-giving words of encouragement on my tongue, that I would be full of gentleness and graciousness and love. I pray that He would root out my critical, fault-finding spirit. I pray that He would fill me with the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Oh, how I pray for those qualities! Because I am none of those things except for Him in me.)

I sit beside my Ella-girl and tell her that I have heard her sighing in an I-am-so-put-out-that-you-asked-me-to-do-that kind of way and that I know she has heard it from me because mommy does that too and can we pray together?- for more of God's Spirit in us so that we might bring glory to Him through our attitudes? So we do. And we come up with a little plan to catch each other in our sighing. Initially I do holler about the beads but then I go to my little girl, kneel down and hug her and tell her that I love her and ask her to please not spill out the beads in the future. I am sharp in my tone with the kids. They often hear that, but then they often hear me confess my sin and we pray together for mommy to be patient and kind and they know that I need Him.

I desire with my whole heart to love God more and to be more fully surrendered to Him each day. And I desire that for my kids more than anything else. Together, we are learning and growing and failing and reconciling and forgiving and persevering because we love God and desire to love one another- and to do both well.

I am so thankful for His grace.

Thank you for reading here as I journal "out loud" about all of this. I hope and pray that anything I say here on this blog serves as an encouragement to you as you seek to love your own family. We are each uniquely created by God. I love to think of the ways God has equipped *you* to serve your family. It probably looks a whole lot different than the ways He has equipped me, and I love that. Makes life so much more interesting, doesn't it?

Blessings to you and yours today!


  1. I love how close our desires are my friend. Sounds like me you just wrote about.

    Yesterdays (sinful) response was over a crayon in the dryer and a load of ruined clothes.

    And the hearing yourself in your kids responses...help me Lord! I love how you teamed up with Ella to catch yourselves :o)

    Love ya

  2. I AM encouraged, Stacy! Thanks for your transparency and reminders to press in to God when we mess up. You're definitely not alone -- *especially* as I parent and my kids reflect it back to me, my sin is ALWAYS before me!! I appreciate your example of humility and expressing your need for Jesus. :) I'll pray for you, and if you think of it - pray for me too!

    Love you and miss you,

  3. I love your attitude here. God can do His good work in us when we have a humble and contrite heart! It does no one any good to act like we don't constantly need his covering for our sin!

    It reminds me of Jesus' words: it is the sick who most need the physician.
    Beautiful because those who need Him the most, get Him the most!

  4. Thanks, friends, for your words.

  5. Thank you, I needed to remember that I'm not alone in this process of sanctification.


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