Friends, it’s Kathi here- I’m sure most of you know my sweet friend Renee Swope from Proverbs 31 or her wonderful radio spots heard absolutely everywhere. (Sometimes I’m sitting in the passenger seat swearing to Roger that I’m hearing voices – it’s just Renee talking to me through the radio.) Make sure you read down to the end of the post where Renee has several ways for you to win some of her latest resources.)
It had been a hard day, running too many errands with two small children. My three-year-old didn’t understand why we couldn’t buy every toy his tiny hands could touch. And he kept getting in and out of the grocery cart, and whining when I tried to stop him.
I was not a happy mama and wondered how all the other moms in the store seemed to know what they were doing.
Their children listened when they told them no and they wore matching outfits, too. I wondered how in the world those women pulled it off with a smile. I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.
When we got home that afternoon, I went looking for pink construction paper so I could write “I QUIT” on it and turn in my “pink slip” to my husband J.J. when he came home from work. I was tired of feeling like such a failure as a mom.
I couldn’t find pink construction paper, so I decided to pull out my journal. Filling blank pages with scribbled thoughts, I wrote:
I hate who I have become. I’m such a horrible mom. Why didn’t someone tell me how hard this was going to be? I’m frustrated with my kids and myself. I have no patience and I don’t know what I am doing! I feel guilty all the time. I couldn’t wait to be a mom and now I want to quit.”
Just as I finished writing that sentence, I sensed God whispering to my heart: Renee, You are so critical of yourself. You focus on your mistakes and beat yourself up with accusation and condemnation. Those are not My thoughts …”
It felt like a dam broke in my soul as I choked out the words, “God, I can’t do this. It’s just too much for me”
And in that place of surrender, Peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It felt like God bent down before me to listen, and spoke to my heart: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can’t do this. But with My promises, My presence and My power – all things are possible. I will help you.
Looking back on that day, my heart can’t help but echo the words of the Psalmist: “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:2 NLT
When we acknowledge that we are a mess on our own, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His help, wisdom and guidance, we can become the confident praying mama we long to be, and the confident mom HE created us to be!
When I say… I can’t do this, God says… You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Keep praying and depending on Me for help.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Today’s post from Renee Swope is a partial excerpt from her new A Confident Heart Devotional book. Used with permission from Revell Books.Renee and JJ Swope have been married for over 20 years. They have three children: Joshua (19), Andrew (16) and their sweet Ethiopian princess who they brought home in 2009, at the age of 10 months. Renee is also a best-selling author, speaker and radio co-host with Proverbs 31 Ministries. The Swope family lives in North Carolina and she blogs at www.ReneeSwope.com.
About Renee’s NEW Confident Heart Devotional:Does self-doubt ever make you question your ability to be a good mom? Expanding on her best-selling book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope has written a new 60-day devotional that will encourage, empower and equip you to live confidently in your God-given roles, relationships, and responsibilities! Each devotion also features a “When I Say…God Says…” statement with a Bible promise and a prayer to guide your thoughts and emotions that day. Plus you’ll LOVE an easy-reference chart that includes all sixty ”When I Say…God Says…” statements for days when you just need a promise to hold onto!
ENTER TO WIN 2 copies of Renee’s A Confident Heart Devotional book. Leave a comment below and let us know what friend you’d give it to and why, if you won 2 copies. Contest ends on February 20, 2014. CLICK HERE to find out how you can WIN a $50 gift card, 2 additional signed copies of Renee’s A Confident Heart Devotional book, and more!
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.