Summary: Surrender all to God. Depend on God not ourselves.
The Through-it-all God
August 26, 2007
It doesn’t happen very often but this past Monday at lunch it was happening. Deb was near the end of her rope with our 3 children.
During the morning our 3 precious children had sucked out every ounce of energy and patience that their capable mother had. They had drained Deb to depletion through their numerous activities and the 3 precious ones were asking and wanting more from mom. But Deb wasn’t able to give more. She was dry, empty and running on reserves.
"There’s disarray in every room." I heard her say, "I can’t escape." Part of what was so unsettling for Deb this past Monday was the attitude of the 3. The expectation that mom be all and do all.
Deb felt taken advantage of.
She felt alone and trapped by her responsibilities.
She felt inadequate asking, "What am I doing wrong? I can’t do anything more. Something’s got to change."
When I came home later in the evening hoping and praying that Luke, Ben and Emma would have shown appreciation to Deb, things hadn’t changed. It was just one of those days for Deb.
Somewhere in the course of the evening, she said, "I’ve got to watch the Super Nanny Show, just to make sure that there are worst parents than me in the world."
What so bothered Deb as we talked about our Monday after the fact was not the kid’s behavior, but the powerlessness she felt in doing anything about it in the moment.
What was so worrisome to Deb was not the mess in every room and not the time she had poured into Luke, Ben and Emma, but instead her feelings of complete inadequacy. She wondered if there was something she was doing wrong. We wondered if there was something wrong with our parenting that caused these behaviors from our 3 precious ones on Monday.
Some of you right now are full of advice for Deb and I. You’ve seen how we parent and you’re itching to tell us a few things. If this is you, I’ll listen to your comments later.
The reason I tell of our Monday is to tap into those times and feelings when we feel at a loss to have things go, as we would like. Those times when we feel completely inadequate to handle a situation. Those times when we feel beat-up and abused by a boss, a teacher, a parent, or our kids or a situation or circumstance. We know we aren’t where we should be, but we don’t know how to get to where we need to be. We don’t like how things are but are at a loss to do anything about it.
We know our lives aren’t together and even worse we have a dream as to how they should be, but there is a gap between how we are and how things should be and this gap seems very wide.
Though TV shows, radio programs, magazine and newspaper articles deluge us with inspirational stories of people who have conquered cancer
Triumphed in face of the odds
And surmounted great obstacles
We find ourselves inadequate to make it through a day with 3 kids.
Seniors, after a stint at the Doctors or at the hospital, haven’t you wanted to throw in the towel once the bills begin to come. You can’t make sense of them. The charges seem extra-ordinary. You’re stuck at home, perhaps still not feeling the best, holding a big bill and over there is the due date or your vision of fine health and there is this gap that you don’t know how you’ll cross.
Students, you know of this gap. You know how you did last year academically and you feel the pressure of where you should be with your grades. And there is a big gap between the two and you wonder if you’ll be able to do the work this year.
You know who your friends are and you know the friends you should be hanging with at school. And there is a gap, a large cavern between the two, and you don’t know if change is possible.
Parents, You know the dreams you had for yourself, your family, your kids, your marriage, but your current reality doesn’t fit that picture and you seem powerless to change. Completely inadequate to do anything. We don’t find it hard to recognize our current place/a current situation. And we don’t find it hard to know how we wish things really were, but there is this gap between the two that seems uncrossable.
When we live in these troublesome environment too long, we hear stories like I heard recently from 3 different people.
On 3 different occasions in the last 10 days, people have shared with me the aimlessness/wondering/not purposeful quality of their lives.