Life has been crazy and wonderful since we brought home our beautiful baby boy Solomon Lee. Big brother has adjusted well and loves his baby brother although a streak of jealousy has definitely washed over him. One particular instance melted my heart when he cuddled next to me one day and muttered, “I miss you mama.” He has not been fond of the amount of time I spend with baby brother and still tries to play the part of baby from time to time. He’ll crawl up into the baby rocker, his long toddler legs dangling over and pretend to cry saying, “Waa, Waa, I need mama’s milk!” We laugh and lovingly play along; making a point to make sure he still gets plenty of attention. The transition from one to two children has been challenging for sure. I will admit that at times I have been overwhelmed and exhausted, feeling like a failure of a wife and mother just praying for strength and wisdom to make it through the day. Running on four or five hours of sleep has made me impatient with Isaac and short with Garrett. Piles of laundry and an obstacle course of Isaac’s toys strewn all over the floor has plucked every one of last nerves.
I have regularly been praying, “Lord, make me the best mother and wife I can be.” One day as those words flew from my mouth; the Lord showed me my error. In that moment God was saying, “Wait a minute, Leeah; don’t forget where your strength lies!” I had been praying wrong. I was putting too much on myself and hoping in the idea that flawed as I am, somehow I will be able to muster up the strength to be the superhero, picture-perfect wife and mother I aspire to be. I see the areas I need to work on so maybe if I try harder, I will get better. There is no such thing as a self-sufficient Christian. Only a God-sustaining Christian is able to successfully navigate through the chaos of life. Scripture reminds me of my desperate need for redemption and the source of my sanctification.
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”Isaiah 64:6
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Christ is my strength and only through Him am I made perfect because of His righteousness. My prayer has now flipped from “Lord, make me the best mother and wife I can be” to “Lord, make me the best mother and wife Youcan make me!” I’ve started to rely on him more each day in the little things. So whenever Isaac fights me tooth and nail to take his nap, rather than solely relying on my own skill set to try and get him to sleep, I begin to pray. I will ask God for grace in that situation and for wisdom on how to persuade my strong-willed child that he needs to take a nap. Praying in the situations that I deem little seems to abate my impatience and quick temper. Having a conversation with God in those frustrating moments allows Him to speak into the situation.
I haven’t felt as defeated lately. I am holding fast to God’s grace during the times I let my family down and praising God for the victories He gives. Even though I still mess-up, God’s grace abounds all the more. I’m sure some of you reading are in this same place; knowing the person you want to be but failing to reach the mark. Paul speaks in Romans chapter seven about this very thing.
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Romans 7:18-25
Grace doesn’t give me a license to sin but while I am still in this body there is a sin nature that still resides within me. This body of death will eventually wither away but thanks to Jesus, one day He’ll give me a new body. I’ll leave you to dwell on these scriptures and share with you the lyrics I penned as I meditated on Paul’s words.
There’s a struggle that I see and it’s raging inside of me
Dark and light collide. It’s as sure as gravity
Oh, it’s so painful. The spirit and flesh at war
All that I long to stay away from keeps knocking at my door
Change my affections. Draw me close to you
Make my desires be redefined by Your truth
and on days when I fall away from Your face
and I end up doing the things that I hate
Oh, God show me mercy
Arrest me, arrest me with grace
Still a child of eden’s curse, a conscience that’s perverse
But taking my offense like a beast You bore my burden
Now I can wear your beauty as if it were my own
I’ll throw away this broken body when you finally call me home
May God strengthen you to walk in His ways,