Tuesday, April 26, 2011

At the End of My Rope

I pray in the shower nearly every morning. Some days, it's the only time of my day that I get entirely to myself. Yesterday morning, my prayer went something like this:

"Dear God, I appreciate the confidence you have in my ability to handle things, but don't you think we've had enough? My hands are rope-burned from slipping down this rope, and it appears the knot at the bottom that is holding me up is beginning to fray. Could you please make my kids well, my deadlines met and make me be a nice person again?"

Perhaps not the most inspiring prayer, but it was honest. You see, I can't remember the last time both my kids went to school for an entire week. I think it was sometime before spring break. Amoxicillin has become the sixth food group around here. I haven't had a full night's sleep in a while. I'm behind on my deadlines for a freelance project. I'm not sure when the last time my kitchen floor got mopped was. And our family is dealing long-distance with all the emotions involved in moving my grandmother into a nursing home facility today.

Our Easter Sunday started with my husband and I going to church mad at each other. Despite the beautiful exterior of our family in their new Easter dresses, we were defnitely not in a joyful mood. The stress of the past few weeks has definitely caught up with me. Many evenings, I don't want to treasure the moments with my kids -- I just want them to go to bed.

None of the things that have happened in our family are huge or terrible, but the combined weight of all of them has turned this once loving and happy mom into something of a shrew. And you know what happens when mom's attitude is out of whack, right? Everyone's attitude begins to need an adjustment.

Now that I've shattered any illusions you might have had about what goes on in our house, I want to share with you the verse that I'm clinging to these days. It's a short verse, but a great reminder of from where our strength comes. Ephesians 6:10 says "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power."

You see, that rope I'm clinging to? It's going to fray and swing with the trials of life. No matter how many knots I tie in it, they're going to come undone. All the little burdens of life are going to eventually be too much weight for my grip to handle, and I'm going to fall. Unless I'm letting God put his hands over mine, and I'm using his power to give me strength.

So often, when trouble heads my way, the first thing I try to do is solve it myself. You know what these past weeks have taught me? I control very little, and I certainly don't have enough strength to keep from falling. I don't even have enough strength on my own to control my attitude. I need God. I need the power that He offers because on my own I will fail. Every. Single. Time.

So, when life has you feelling like your rope is fraying and you feel like you're headed over the cliff, tap into the only source of power that's going to keep you going. Join me in throwing up your hands and letting God take over. Because His power is more than enough to handle the accumulated weight of all those little things that are causing your rope to fray. It's His power that will allow you to once again find joy in your role, and your family will thank you.


  1. Great post - a universal truth you've hit upon. I've been thinking through this issue lately too, and it dawned on me that I don't keep the Sabbath holy. I cringe at the endless stream of tasks that need to be done, but I refuse to take the very rest that God knows I need, and that He, er, well, pretty much commands me to do! I think sometimes as moms, we forget why God called the Sabbath "holy." (Not that I have figured out how to do it...)

  2. What a great insight. That day of rest is so difficult to come by because we are so consumed by what needs to be done. Every day has become so packed with things that need to be done that we forget to sit and rest at the feet of Jesus. I know I do. Definitely food for thought as we struggle to keep our lives focused on Him and filled with His power. Thanks for posting.

  3. Lori! Thanks for your honesty — I always assume that every other mom I see has it all together and there's something wrong with me because I don't. (My floors are always filthy, and I have a baby eating off them.) I'm praying that you'll all be well very soon and that Christ's peace will rule in your heart during stressful times. God bless you!

  4. Oh, Ami, I think sometimes our biggest issue as moms is that we think everyone else has it so much more together than we do. We set crazy, unrealistic expectations for ourselves and then get down on ourselves if we don't meet them.

    The question we should be asking ourselves is: Am I letting God use me to influence the lives of my children for Him? That's the measuring stick we should be using. But, it's so hard to remember that when the rest of the world is telling us to be perfect. I just love knowing that I'm not alone in the struggle.

    Thanks for sharing.