I am 29 weeks pregnant. Need I say more? ;) Most days I have so much drive to get things accomplished, but the energy and strength just isn’t there anymore. God is teaching me that many times we have added stress because we have set to high expectations and that peace isn’t found in perfection.
Peace isn’t found in having a house that is so clean it looks like a museum, or kids that are always well-behaved and obey the first time they are told to do something, or having everything checked off on your to-do list for the day, having your home school schedule planned out for the entire year. That is temporal peace that never satisfies the soul. Our striving for perfection is really a fleshly effort in trying to control our environment. We plan for the future, but forget Who actually holds our future. What if we let go of our expectations and let God guide our day instead of our expectations or our to-do list? I believe our days would look completely different if we included God in every moment. So often we are planning for the next day, week, or even next school year that we cease living in the present.
A few things that would be included in a perfect day would be to:
Wake up before the children to spend time in prayer and in His Word.
Eat breakfast as we do morning devotions
Pick up the house until it’s in perfect order while the kids are joyfully doing their home school.
Use every moment to set a godly example to my children and to lead them to Jesus.
As we all know, there is no such thing as a perfect day.
A lot of times I get up to read my Bible and pray and find that my children decide to wake up early right along with me. Instead of thinking, “there goes my quiet time” and seeing them as distractions, go with the flow and see it as a blessing instead. Have your morning prayer and devotions with your children.
When you’re house is a mess and you feel like you just can’t keep up, ask yourself if having a messy house will even matter a year from now or 10 years from now. Don’t let the things that really doesn’t matter change your mood for the day. What will matter 10 years from now is that your children saw you put God and your family first before having an orderly house. Remember, peace isn’t found in perfection. If we are seeking peace from having a perfect environment we will live our lives in disappointment. As mothers there are days when we blow it. We lose our patience and let words fly out of our mouth that tear down instead of build up. We look more like a 4 headed monster than the example of Jesus we are supposed to be for our children. When that happens, teach your children the meaning of grace and humility. Humble yourself in front of your children, admit how wrong you were and ask for their forgiveness. I have learned that when I humble myself, my children become quick to ask for forgiveness when they wrong me as well. Our days are often imperfect than perfect. Life happens- our children get a flu bug that lasts an entire week, the joyful baby you anticipated has colic and cries most hours of the day, the motor goes out of the car, a loved one passes away, your husband loses his job, a close friend betrays you, the doctor calls to tell you that it’s cancer.
Planning our days gives us a fake sense of security. Why are we so afraid to trust the God who created the heavens with the few hours we have here on this earth? We say we trust, but do we really? I’m not saying that any type of planning is wrong or sinful. I am saying that we shouldn’t find our peace and security in our planning. Maybe if we did more praying and less planning we would see God work even more in our life.
In about 2 months my days will be filled with around the clock feedings, dirty diapers, and sleep deprived days. I often ask myself how in the world I am going to home school 3 children while caring for a newborn plus all the other responsibilities that go along with motherhood and being a wife. But God will be there in the midst of all the caos and He’s enough. How often it’s in the chaos that we feel like God is distant, but that’s when He’s the nearest. His Word whispers encouragement to our hearts if we will only listen, “Be still and know that I am God”, “Come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Peace can be found in the caos if you let go of your desire for perfection.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."