If you’re anything like me, when you first held your tiny baby, you didn’t think your precious child could ever let you down. In fact, the possibility of disappointment probably wasn’t even a thought in your head. It wasn’t in mine.
The last year has been grueling. I’ve found myself disappointed, heartbroken, and hurting over the actions, words, and behaviors of one of my kids in particular.
It can be incredibly difficult to face each day when I know I’m going to be battling the same thing, with the same person. It’s exhausting at times.
I’ve seen plenty of analogies for our energy – batteries, engines, meters. Empty, full, overfull. Dead in the water, running right, on overdrive. It can be hard identifying where we are at and helping our kids do the same. Taking care of ourselves can seem almost mysterious at times – like is a hot bubble bath going to do it today, or do I need to work on my day planner and budget to refill my battery?
While sometimes self-care is pampering, for me it is often doing a hard task or completing something so that it’s off my plate, so I have one less spinning plate to deal with.
And what about when we do a little self-care, but still feel the sting of what’s not going right? What about when we are taking care of our battery but the smallest thing drains us because it was the same thing as yesterday, the day before, the week before, and on and on.
It’s when I bounce against the bungee 3 or 4 times and am hanging between canyon walls, that I am reminded that all of these things are me trying to do this in my own strength. I’m trying to be smart enough, charged enough, ready enough, focused enough. I’m trying to do this myself because I forget that Jesus is waiting to be my strength.
So often, in the pursuit of self-care, I am pursuing my own strength, wisdom, energy, enthusiasm, and courage to face the hardest of things. So often I am distracted by this notion that I must pull myself up by my bootstraps, that I lose sight of the empty tomb. A price too great for me to pay for myself, my Savior paid it all.
We can chase all the self-care, do all the self-care, read all the self-help content, and attend all the self-help meetings, and the emptiness, lack of energy, loss of strength remains. But when we pursue Jesus, and ask Him for enough for today, we no longer have to muster enough to face another moment. For He is there, being enough for that moment, and the next, and the next. One moment at a time, until we look back and see how much He conquered on our behalf, in us, and through us.
I’m not saying don’t take the bubble bath, or fill in the budget, or line out the day planner. What I am saying is, don’t mistake the minimal energy those things will give you for the strength and energy our gracious Savior has for you.
Until next time,
A Prayer to Share:
While a bubble bath may be a temporary comfort, we turn to you for lasting comfort. Give us the strength for each moment as they come. Help us to parent for the long road. Help us have wisdom in each circumstance to point our children first toward You, then toward the way that pleases You. Help us persevere. Build strong character in us as we learn to do this hard job.
In Jesus’ Name,