For When You Can’t Hold It Together

It had been one of those weeks where all of the things on my plate had piled up so high they’d started falling off. A few weeks before, I would have told you that things were going well, that I could handle what had come my way, and life was good.

But it only takes a few things, doesn’t it? Just a few extra, unplanned things, and suddenly my plate holds more than I can carry.

This last week we took our five-month-old son to a routine well-check, and left with orders for an ultrasound, an MRI, and a physical therapy appointment for later that afternoon. I think it’s safe to say that I dropped the plate completely.

I’m a wife, a mom, a writer. I can make my husband’s lunch, help my daughter make it to the potty on time, and respond to blog comments, all before breakfast. My days are spent caring for those I love the most, giving all of myself to serve them. When they have a need, they look to me. I try my best to balance all of my roles, and most some days, I can handle it fairly well.

I struggle there, in the tension between my own capability and dependence on the Lord. I struggle because in my quest to meet everyone’s needs, I sometimes forget that I have my own. Maybe you can relate.

Bad news from the doctor, though, that always sends me to my knees. It’s something that I know I cannot fix on my own. It’s something that reminds me that no matter all the things I do, I’m so very small, and God is so very big, and I so desperately need Him.

God is Big :: Kayse Pratt for Allume.com

I need Him, because all of those things I do on my own? I can’t do a single one without Him. I can’t be a supportive wife, I can’t be a loving mother, I can’t be an inspired writer without the divine strength of the One who made me all of those things.

I think that as the women of our homes–the ones that dictate the schedule, create the atmosphere, serve the food, & keep the peace–we can fall into the trap of thinking that everyone’s needs are met in us. That everything depends on us. But Colossians reminds us of the truth:

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

In Him all things hold together. Not in us; in HIM!

Friends, I know what it is to feel like you’re the one holding everything together. Whether we’re talking about your business, your blog, or your home, I know what it’s like to feel like everything depends on you doing more, being more, just to make ends meet. I know what it’s like to be terrified that if you drop one thing, the rest will follow.

But I think that we all need the reminder that in the midst of all of the things we feel like we have to do, there is only one thing we are called to do. We, sisters, are daughters of the King who truly does hold everything together. And He simply asks us to first love Him with our whole hearts.

He already loves us with all of His.

So, whatever you’re dealing with today, be it health issues or home management, hand your very full plate over to the One who holds it all together. Remember that He goes before you, that everything you are able to do is because of who He is, and that He loves you more than you know.

Kayse

Kayse is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom, and is married to her favorite musician. She is addicted to books, baked goods, date nights, and car dancing, and she firmly believes that real is the only way to be. Kayse is the author of Getting It Together: Your Guide to Setting Up A Home Management System That Works, and writes about faith, family, and real life on her blog, kaysepratt.com.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle Plus

The Life to Which You Were Called

1cor7

A week or so ago, I started my day with Jesus, expecting to read a chapter or two, and I got stuck on this single verse.

Truth be told, I’ve been stuck on it ever since.

“…let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him…”

Lately, I’ve really been struggling with trying to figure out what my assignment is supposed to be.

I’m a writer. I write blog posts and eBooks and even have a traditionally published book coming out next year. (I know. I’m still getting over the shock.)

I’m a mommy. I’m raising a toddler and carrying a baby who is supposed to make his appearance sometime in the next few weeks.

I’m a wife. I followed my husband to a new job, a new place, a new home. I’m working on making us a life here while he works to put food on our table each day.

I’m a housekeeper (not a great one, but still), a cook, a daughter, a sister, a friend. I have big dreams and little ones and honestly, I just don’t know how they all fit together.

I feel like I’ve always been told that there’s supposed to be one thing, you know? One thing that I am made to do, and if I do it, then I’ll for sure be on God’s path for my life. I’ll be living out the life He called me to.

But there’s always more than one thing for me. I don’t know that there’s ever been just one. Life is messier than that.

As I get older, and more things clamor for my attention and focus, I’m learning that the life He has assigned to me has less to do with the one thing that I am supposed to be doing, and everything to do with the One I’m walking beside.

Maybe the life He is calling me to has many parts. Wife, Mommy, Writer – they all matter. Some days, one will require more than the others. But every day, I have a Companion along the way. One who fills me with grace and strength to do the things He’s placed in front of me.

But, maybe, it’s not really about me. Not about who I am or what I do. Maybe it’s all about who He is, and what He does in and through us.

That life He has called me to? The one He has assigned for me?

It’s a life of relationship with Him, before anything else. It’s letting go of my supposed-to’s, taking His hand, and just walking forward, one step at a time.

Because at the end of the day, all I know for sure is that I’m called to walk with Him.

Kayse

Kayse is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom, and is married to her favorite musician. She is addicted to books, baked goods, date nights, and car dancing, and she firmly believes that real is the only way to be. Kayse is the author of Getting It Together: Your Guide to Setting Up A Home Management System That Works, and writes about faith, family, and real life on her blog, kaysepratt.com.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle Plus

Just a Mother

Spiritual act of worship

You are standing in the kitchen in the same sweat pants you went to bed in, trying to figure out how to feed the kids from the nothing that is in the fridge.  Real mothers go to the grocery store, you think, but you don’t know how to fit one more thing into your day, and you can’t help but feel a little sorry for yourself that the most exciting thing you’ve done all week is run to Walmart.

It seems like such a waste.  Anybody can go to Walmart.  Anybody can change a diaper.

But within your heart burns the desire to do more for God, to use the gifts he has given you.  You can write!  And you long to build a blog that is noteworthy, post something profound, or write something that will impact people beyond just your immediate family—and then cast the whole lot at the feet of Jesus so you can hear him say, “Well done.”

But here you are, smearing peanut butter and folding laundry, diligently raising up a kingdom of priests, which most days, looks like nothing more than refereeing fights and wiping noses with a Bible verse thrown in for good measure.

It is a struggle just to put two words together on a page, in between the churning of the washing machine and the roar of the minivan.  You feel that if you could just get your act together, maybe you’d have something more for to show for your talent then an inconsistent smattering of blog posts.

This is not real writing, you think, especially when your news feed is filled with the latest blog posts and book contracts your writer friends are managing to pull off in their spare time.

Everybody, it seems, has better and brighter gifts to offer.  They’re hauling grass-fat lambs into the temple to sacrifice and you’re standing there with a gaggle of kids around your legs and a pigeon in your hands.  You feel insignificant, foolish, and offering-poor. 

Just a mother. 

Do you think God wishes you could somehow manage to be more than that?

You know he does.

But you are wrong.

He sees the selfless acts of motherhood as an act of worship, a sacrifice holy and pleasing to him.  The daily mundane that keeps you from doing anything truly impressive, is an act of worship.  Knees to the ground, head in your hands, eyes on the kids worship.

It is the worship of a heart surrendered to the will of God, the will of God that made you a mother in the first place.  It is the soft submission of a woman who could do so many things, but chooses first to pour her life into her husband and children because she knows nothing else in this life is as important.  Not blog posts.  Not book contracts.

Just motherhood. 

It doesn’t look like glorious.  But then, true worship rarely does.  The right-ness of the priority and the sacrifice it requires does not lend itself to notice.  It will not catch a publisher’s eye or help to build a prosperous writing ministry, at least, not in the little years.  In fact, it can keep you from doing anything else as well as you can.    

And like Cain, you fight against it sometimes because that kind of sacrifice doesn’t showcase your strengths.  You begin to believe that God can’t really want what he’s asked of you.  Surely, he must want something more because you want to give something more.

He doesn’t.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart you will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

Your offering, small though it may seem, is exactly what God wants of you.  And when the needs of your family push the words aside, God notices, and he breathes in the offering and counts it as worship.

Every extra bedtime story that steals away time for writing, every sick child that keeps important thoughts from being written, every dinner that is lovingly served to picky eaters when you could be doing things to build your name—all of it is known and accepted by Him just as if you had loaded up the altar with twenty-five best-sellers all dedicated to Jesus.

With what shall I come to the LORD

And bow myself before the God on high?

Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings,

With yearly calves?

Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams,

In ten thousand rivers of oil?

He has told you, O man, what is good,

And what does the LORD require of you

But to do justice, and to love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:6-7a, 8

When all you have to offer God is the daily task of working at home and humbly raising the children God has given you, know it is an offering pleasing to God.  Even when blog posts don’t get written and you postpone that book proposal yet again and all you are all day is just a mother, know this: he is more than satisfied with the offering. 

He is delighted.  

Kristen

Kristen is the main character in a story in which a redemptive God takes a reluctant mother on a journey to find and reclaim her story. Now the wife of an Army chaplain and mother of five, Kristen writes about the joy of being part of God's audacious plan.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterest