If you’re like many moms I know, you’re tired. Weary. Crying babies. Sassy Teens. You love your kids AND sometimes you just want a little relief. Maybe you can’t escape to your dream-get-away right now, but you could use an energy-break. Here’s four doable relief-tips for you:
1. Ask “What do I really want to do?” When you’re in a quandary about a decision, hopefully your response(s) will help you decipher which is your desire or need and not merely what someone else wants you to do. (Trying to make everyone happy and follow their advice can be truly exhausting.)
2. When you get into bed at night, instead of praying “Lord, what did I do wrong today?” and then ruminating about what you coulda- shoulda- woulda done, pray, “What did I do right, Lord?” Then listen to how God’s spirit prompts you, and praise Him for your blessings and His help. (Constant negative self-talk can rob your energy–and your joy.)
3. When you’re overly tired, lacking energy, or just plain overwhelmed with the mundaneness of mommy-hood, ask yourself “Since I’m going to do this activity or task anyway, how can I do it easier–or even with a little fun)? (Doing something you enjoy, like listening to your fav music while accomplishing an unpleasant task can actually revitalize you.)
4. Before you get out of bed and/or reach over to pick up your baby in the morning or greet your early-bird toddler, take thirty seconds to talk to God. Request His guidance and help for your day. Consider asking, “Lord, what do You want to show me today?” Then watch for evidence of His love and direction. (Anticipating good things can be an attitude and energy booster. And a way to get to know God more intimately.)
So…Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!
It’s hard to relax when our personal satisfaction hinges on what someone else does or doesn’t do–or does or doesn’t believe. Doesn’t he know it could work better if he just listened to my plan? Doesn’t she get it?
If you’re a little muddled about how over-helping, perfectionism and playing God are linked, you’re not alone. I’m often puzzled, too. Even experts get confused trying to sort all this out. On occasion, God splashes light into my fogginess through humorous life predicaments. Because all the universe is under God’s domain, I’ve found He can use anything to teach, nurture and grow me. (I love how He does that!) Sometimes new insight comes from surprising venues.
Like that aha! moment I had while watching the movie Driving Miss Daisy a few years ago. The wealthy Miss Daisy and her longtime chauffeur have both aged considerably. As they discuss their situations, Miss Daisy accuses the chauffeur of continuing to drive even though his eyesight is failing. “How do you know how I can see, ‘lessen you look out my eyes?” is his response.
My immediate internal reaction: Whoa! Lord, forgive me for thinking I’m powerful enough to know another’s needs. I realize I will never see their life from their view. I want to learn to treat others with respect. Please help me.
The apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, cautions us about assuming we know another human being’s thoughts and feelings: “No one can really know what anyone else is thinking, or what he is really like, except that person himself” (1 Cor. 2:11, TLB).
I’m continuing to discover the relief-filled truth that I can progressively release my need/urge to do and make it all just right for the people in my life. First step: intentionally trust God for what is not mine to control or direct. Then I can begin to enjoy living in the freedom and grace He patiently waits to give me–and others.
Just wondering: Have you ever experienced what it feels like when someone insists they know what you’re thinking, what you need and how you should resolve your dilemma?
During February I’ve been thinking about LOVE–and noticing how some in our Christian culture view married-love. There seems to be a mini-epidemic of spousal-obsession that gives way to over-helping, people-pleasing and just plain “fixing.” (Okay, if you want to call it codependency, go ahead! And yes, it can be done with lots of words or with silent manipulation.)
This leads me to ask: What did Jesus say about how to love? Along with other wise teaching He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) The original word for “neighbor” means someone close to you. Well, your mate couldn’t be much closer, right?
So here what I’m learning: Loving my spouse as myself does not mean loving him instead of myself. As a healthy child of God, I will love, respect and take care of myself. Yet I won’t be obsessively absorbed in self to the point of leaving him out of my inner life; nor will I live my life through orfor him.
To live primarily through or for another person means that I feel, think, decide, and hurt for that person. I try my best to fix all situations so he does not have to be sad or disappointed or angry or hurt. I’m sorry to say that I’ve been there and done that. I thought this epitomized LOVE, but it backfired.
I discovered that “fixing” (or excessive helping and managing) can actually rob a mate of living his own life before God. It may even deny him a sense of accomplishment and self-worth because I give the impression, “You are not capable of doing this, so I’ll do it for you.” In this process, I often deprive myself of the time and energy I need to grow personally and spiritually.
The relief-producing news: I can learn to accept, appreciate, and respect the person God created to live inside my own body. That God-ordained love, acceptance, and respect can splash over to my spouse. I can be authentic about our reality and still leave him room to develop and make his own decisions. I can learn to love myself and my spouse. It may be a messy process at times AND our married-love is worth it.
For each couple, this growing process will look a little different. What would it look like for you? (You don’t have to over-share. I’d just love your interaction and comments!)
NOTE: Guys, you can substitute the “him” words in the post to “her”, because guys can over-help and over-control, too. Just saying…
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.