Monday, July 15, 2013

for when you want to escape

Yesterday, I read this quote with a smile

"Amen, sister!" I thought. 

But when I re-read it today, I got angry. No one would take a nap. The baby had been screaming all morning. The preschooler's antics were simply enervating. I'm tired. My husband had been working all weekend, and I felt like I hadn't had a moment to exhale.

Every ounce of my being was screaming, 

"But I need a break! I deserve some peace and quiet! My family is driving me crazy! When do I get some me time?!" 

And I'm throwing a big ol' pity party all by my lonesome. 

But Brenneman is right. 

In those moments when my sanity is hanging by a thread, running from my family anywhere else is simply not the answer. Instead, what I need to do is deny my self and run straight to the cross.

Wise women have told me that parenting is part of the sanctification process. Our children refine us by their actions (or inaction), words, and behavior. We discover our weaknesses while mothering our children. Honestly, despite my red hair, I never knew I had a temper until a toddler tested me.

When we're walking through the refining fires, it's tempting to want to escape. It's too hot. We hurt. We're exhausted. The weight of it all is too much for us. And it is if we try to do it on our own.  

We can't be the best mothers unless we seek God's help in the process. Our children refine us to His glory when we choose to run to God for help rather than escape the flames. 

Escape is not always the best answer.

That's not to say we don't all need some quiet time alone for introspection and reflection. I need it desperately. What I mean is that it's easy to throw in the towel, hand the baby to hubby, and announce your departure: "Good luck! I'm outta here!"

When I'm tired and overwhelmed by the weight of all that's heaped on my plate, that's when I need to run to Jesus for comfort.

Our families should be our joy. 
Our homes should be the only place we want to be.
Our lives should be spent honoring Christ as our first priority.

We should be sad inside when we're separated from our children or our husbands, not jumping up and down in glee that we have some time to ourselves.

Those are hard words to hear, I know, because they're hard for me to type. The world tells us children are a burden, that we "deserve" our time because it will make us happy, and we deserve happiness. Yet, my heart has always felt guilty for wanting time alone. Now I see why. God didn't want it this way. 

I haven't arrived as a Mom. I never will. Even today, I desperately wanted to cop out, but I didn't. 


Because I feel a beautiful change in my heart that I can only explain as the Holy Spirit working in me. He is growing my love for my family and shrinking my love of me. It's a gradual, one-step-forward two-steps-back kind of dance, but as I cling to Him in the midst of rough days like today, I see the moments where He was moving: pulling me to Him when I wanted to run, making me smile when my kids acted silly, stirring up laughter just when we all were crumbling.

Instead of checking out when life becomes challenging, instead of complaining about the sparse time I have for myself, instead of demanding that I be happy, I'm learning-- day to day, with God's help-- to deny myself, cling to the cross, and look for moments of peace here in this place.  

In my home. 
Among my family. 
Surrounded by those I love most. 
With Christ in our midst.

This is where I'm supposed to be. 

What about you? Specifically for those of you who have found peace and joy being at home among your family rather than out in the world, how have you done it? What advice do you have for a young mom of little ones who craves a quiet space but also desperately wants to continue growing in love for her family?

May God continue to richly bless you!

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Related posts:
Battling Entitlement in Our Homes
When I Feel Like I Deserve _____________ 
What to do When You Feel Entitled : 5 Tips to Tackle Discontent

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  1. Keri this is absolutely beautiful. Dare I say, one of the best post that I have read? It spoke right to my heart. I can't tell you how many times I think, "I deserve a break." You are so right in that God is refining...teaching me so much through my little dude! :)

    Just beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with all of us! :)

    1. Thank you, Kelsey. You're very kind. Just so you know: I haven't got any of it figured out. I'm struggling,running to God, struggling some more, and running back to Him over and over again. One day I hope that I will just run straight to Him first every time!

  2. I love this! I don't think I have ever heard this perspective and I like it!

    1. Thanks, Salena. It's only how the Lord is speaking to me.

  3. This is one of my favorite books on homekeeping. Thank you for reminding of the wisdom Kim shares in it.
    I pray the refreshes and restores you as you faithfully serve your family, who are terribly cute, by the way!

    1. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words!

  4. Sounds like you are growing wonderfully, Keri. I have found that a devotional time is crucial. It may not always be quiet, but it is beneficial none the less. Also, if Jesus found it necessary to get away from the crowds, then it only makes sense that we would need to as well. There is nothing wrong with savoring the quiet of naptime. I know it's a cliche, but it's true. They grow up so fast. (Eek! My oldest is 13!) Soon enough we'll be wishing we were still cutting up meat and wiping off sticky fingers.

    1. Meghan, you are too kind. I feel like I've never grown quite so much as I am right now. My children are truly refining me!

      I agree. A devotional time is essential for my sanity and to maintain my focus. Without it I am floundering all day long. And I too savor the quiet of nap time! It is so true!

      I know they grow up too quickly and I just want them to stay babies!! But I'm also excited watching my oldest (4.5) learning to do laundry and take on more homemaking duties, and my heart is so happy.

      Thanks for your encouraging words and advice.

  5. I had this day yesterday - thanks for revived me. Ready for a new day today! Visiting from Raising Mighty Arrows.

    1. Thanks, Stacy! Glad to know the Lord is using me today to "revive" you :)

      Blessings to you!

  6. This is beautifully refreshing! I loved this: "When I'm tired and overwhelmed by the weight of all that's heaped on my plate, that's when I need to run to Jesus for comfort." A truth I often forget, but am thankful for women like you who share the hard, but point me right back to my Lord of Lords!

    1. Thank you, Leigh Ann. Your blog continually challenges and inspires me as a woman of God, wife, mom, and blogger. I'm so glad you found refreshment in this post. It's a testament to our kind and loving Father. Blessings.

  7. This is so encouraging, Keri, thank you! I have a weekly Homemaking Party and would love to have you join up, if you haven’t already. Here’s the link to this week’s party:

    Mrs. Sarah Coller