When You Feel Like God is Holding Out on You

I have been tempted in the last two weeks to stomp my feet & clench my fists, and throw a grown up fit of sorts. We have had sickness in our home for over a month now.  Yellow boogers, crusted eyes, gunky cough, crabby baby kind of sickness.  It started with Audrey our first grader whose immune system is growing a lot this year. But, it has made its way through our home adding one at a time to its list of prey–as the numbers of sickies has grown, the original instigator, Audrey, is still fighting symptoms weeks later.  It even took down the mom–the one who can usually pop extra vitamin C and fight off whatever the kiddos bring home.  My throat has been tears-in-my-eyes-when-I-swallow sore for at least two weeks.

You all know how tiring it is for a momma being sick & caring for the sick.  But, it isn’t the exhaustion that makes me want to imitate a two-year-old grocery store fit.  It is the fact that I feel God is withholding something from me that I know He is fully capable of providing.  Not only withholding something from me, but withholding something I need. I feel like I need healing in my home. In reality, I only need energy & endurance to walk through this trial that God has allowed–I am learning that if you are not through it, you’re still called to it.

Confusing desires (like my desire to have health) and needs can be dangerous.  Paul David Tripp, in his book New Morning Mercies, shows one of the most dangerous things that can happen when I think there is something I need that I don’t have, “If you are convinced that something is a need, you judge the love of God by his willingness to deliver it.”

When I believe I need health in my home, and God doesn’t deliver it, I am tempted to judge the love of God.  Further, Tripp points out, “What is deadly about questioning God’s goodness is that you tend not to run for help to someone you doubt.”  This is the danger of misnamed needs–they can lead me to doubt God’s love for me, and be used as a tool by the enemy to keep me from running to him the next time I need help.

So, mommas, lets lead on this one–let us reexamine the difference between needs & desires, so we don’t doubt God’s incredible love for us.  We cannot teach our children something we don’t ourselves believe.  If we believe God is withholding from us, we cannot teach them about a God who meets every need.



It Doesn’t Matter What You Should Have Done

You're Equipped for What You're Called to Do

You should have played restaurant longer with Charlotte yesterday.

You should have made a better grocery list (so we wouldn’t be out of bananas, pears, and carrots).

You should have gotten up earlier this morning.

You should have dusted the furniture in our bedroom (writing notes to your husband is cute…but, not when it is in the dust on your dresser).

You should have memorized the verse you put on the refrigerator.

You should have filled out the letter sitting on the counter to your sponsored child.

You should have baked more on Saturday, so we would’ve had more snacks for the girls.

You should have remembered Charlotte’s parent teacher conference that was on the calendar.

Am I the only one who hears this you should have script running over and over in my head each day? Sometimes, I allow myself to become so distracted by what I should have done the day before that I am paralyzed trying to decide what I should attempt to accomplish at that moment.

Sometimes, I listen so intently to that terrible script running through my mind that I begin to believe it; I begin to tell myself that because I don’t measure up to these unreasonable, moving standards rolling through my mind each day that I have somehow failed.

But, no where in the Bible can I find scriptures telling me that not living up to my daily list of should haves makes me a failure–I don’t see that God calls me to accomplish a certain number of tasks each day, and condemns me whenI don’t.

He tells me to love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind.

He tells me to work as though unto the Lord not for men.

He tells me to raise up my children to follow after Him.

I see a God who tells me, it is finished.

He also tells me that,

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of how ho called us to his own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3)

So, mommas, whatever that list is that is running through you head this morning, replace it with 2 Peter 1:3 — God has given you everything you need for life and godliness.  He has not called you to Pinterest perfect or Facebook facades, He calls you redeemed, chosen, precious, called, and equipped.



For the French Mothers

I have never been to France.  Merci and oui oui are the only French words I know, and those I learned from Fancy Nancy.  France is far away, and the tragedies of this weekend could easily be pushed out of my mind by my present reality and responsibilities.

But, there are brothers and sisters in France who are devastated.  And, though, I find it difficult to relate to them in this time of tragedy, my momma-heart aches considering the many french mothers who are grieving today. It is not that my heart is not tender towards all the suffering people of France, but sometimes to genuinely care for people, and therefore, cry out with fervency to God on their behalf, we must find a way in.

I imagine, you feel a bit like I do–your heart is saddened for France, but it also feels distant and unrelated to the lunches you need to pack tonight and your grocery list for tomorrow.  But, can I encourage you to not think of a large, faceless, group of people in need of our prayer; and, rather, imagine those you can, perhaps, best relate to: hurting moms.  And, then, cry out on their behalf.

In 2011 a Tsunami devastated Japan, and I felt similarly saddened and yet detached, until I considered the mommas.  Below, is a poem I wrote after that event, which was later published by Finishing Line Press, in my chapbook, I Call You Light. My hope is it will help you, as it did me, find a place to relate & empathize with those grieving, and with a pricked heart intercede that God would be known & glorified in the midst of tragedy.


A Prayer for Japan


After pulling my daughter’s bedroom door shut, I whisper

a prayer for the mothers of Japan.  My littlest is tucked to her


chin in a handmade quilt reading with soft shadows cast against

her pages from the night light.  I lean against her door, knowing


she’ll stay safe all night, and lift my palms to Heaven to plead

for Japan and her mothers.  I hear one of them cry from my


throat.  She sits sheltered in Shizugawa.  Her firstborn son

leans against the back of his sister.  Their black hair washes


together, swallowing itself the way water stomachs beach sand.

Their arms cross, palms pressed to a cool cement foundation.


She has one trembling hand on each of their rising chests—

she pushes them into each other.  A moan slips from her lips


when the girl whispers she’s tired and still hungry.  On my knees

her moan, salty and ragged, pushes through my throat.  I do not


have to see her to know what she would give: slicing her wrists with

the knife hidden in her waistband, she’d let her blood run warm


into a bowl, watch life swirl out of her if it would redeem

her babies.  She would wipe it over every doorpost, lose herself


in the wood’s grain if it would fill them.  Instead, she presses her

crusted lips against her daughter’s temple, Heiwa, Heiwa-


Peace, peace, I plead with my fists clenched. Let intercessions bleed

from my mouth as my daughter whimpers in her sleep.


Let’s pray together for France…for the world.  How do you teach your littles to be aware & empathetic to peoples of the world? Share on Facebook