Every time I walked from the back door to the garage I would see it, that dirty ripped-up outdoor cushion a couple of squirrels treated as a snack.
Replacing the cushion has been on my home improvement list for awhile now, along with about 100 other projects. I've comforted myself with a legitimate excuse: "Making people for the past 10 years has not given me time to decorate or keep a home."
But with my youngest boy now 2 years old, it's time to start making our place pretty.
So when friends invited me to join them on a craft retreat (after getting the go-ahead from the hubby), I said 'yes' then ran to the closest Jo-Ann's to buy some outdoor fabric (at 50% off, holla!).
Granted, I've never made a cushion cover before. I had no pattern except in copying the old (squirrel-germ) one. After several hours of pretending like I knew what I was doing, my re-made masterpiece was complete.
With that project behind me, I took my productive self to a chair down by the Brazos river to soak in the silence and spend a little time in Truth.
Because the truth? It wasn't just my outdoor cushion that needed to be re-made. This momma heart needed some work, some quiet reflection to get to the root of my heart condition.
This need was prompted by a new blog reader/friend's comment a few weeks ago (in response to a podcast where I asked Leslie Johnson, how to deal with yelling/anger):
"One thing I know for sure is that anytime we sin there is something, some truth, about God that we aren’t believing. I’ll be praying that we both continue to key-in on what that is so we can remind ourselves of God’s truth and not believe Satan’s lies. There is so much grace through Christ for us all! When God looks at us, praise His name that He sees the perfect life of His son and not our imperfect ones."
Because yes, even a "Christian" will sin. But the trigger for that sin is often a lie we believe.
When I get into a "yelling" place, a point of frustration, what is the lie I believe about God?
Yes, I understand sometimes motherhood is just hard. And I'm tired. The boys are hungry. And we all get upset. And grace abounds.
And then there were those years after my 4th baby was born when the best I could do as a mom fell far short of the kind of mom I wanted to be. Grace overflows for all the moms of young babies. . .
But I also have to admit there are times now when my heart is yucky. The real reason? I'm trying to please other people, to gain approval. And I get angry with little ones who stand in the way of my goal of acceptance.
These are the times I am believing the lie that God's love is dependent on my performance.
Ooooo is that hard to type out. . . but that's really the core lie.
Fortunately, God is good and, in that moment by the Brazos river, He moved me to dwell on truth.
Journal in hand, sun on my back, a warm breeze wrapped around my shoulders, I wrote:
When You look upon me, Lord, you aren't shaking your finger, scolding me for forgetting again. You are smiling, arms wide, welcoming all my faults & missteps.
You see perfect. You see beautiful. You see glorious.
I am loved.
If you are a mom like me who sometimes needs a do-over, consider David's words in Psalm 51 (thanks Chris Katulka for teaching on this Psalm last Sunday and giving hope).
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10).
When David wrote these words, the Prophet Nathan had just confronted him about his sins of adultery and murder. David humbled himself admitting God was the ultimate King and confessed (Hebrew for 'same words') that what he had done was wrong.
But here is the best part. . . deliverance. The word "create" David uses, is the same "create" used in Genesis for when God made the world from what was formless and void. To make out of nothing.
David is asking for God to start fresh with him. Re-make him. Re-create him. From scratch. The ultimate craft success story.
By God renewing his heart, David promised to tell others to repent and to share God's graciousness with them.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed,O God, you who are God my Savior and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord and my mouth will declare your praise.
From the deliverance I found, I can't keep my mouth shut. If you are in a bad cycle, and you aren't quite the mom you'd like to be, can I encourage you to take some time to sit with God. Give yourself the best Mother's Day present-->soul peace!:
- Admit God is king.
- Get on the same page about what is going right and what's wrong in your heart. (What lies are you believing?)
Then bask in the joy of knowing you are loved and forgiven. Move forward with your re-created heart, precious, loved daughter of the King.
How can I pray with you today?