by Gloria Furman
Not every day, but some days, bedtime can’t come fast enough because the one having the afternoon meltdown is Mommy.
Even moms who haven’t thrown a tantrum in awhile can relate to feeling like they’ve “had enough” as they limp to the end of the day, worn out and frustrated.
For many of us the frustration stems from the unreasonable expectations we have for ourselves. “There are no perfect moms,” we quip, but we’ll die trying to prove we might be the exception. Other moms are overwhelmed by the logistics of life itself. This is a frustration that I found myself drowning in while we transitioned overseas, hit a rough patch during my second pregnancy, and saw my husband’s physical disability getting much worse. Life itself seemed impossible– much less a life overflowing with joy.
Perhaps the scariest feelings in the midst of these frustrations come from one particular dark thought. It’s a lie that we’re tempted to believe. This idea has more to do with karma than with grace. We suspect that however the day went is how God feels about us.
We settle for throwing cliché glow sticks into the darkness of our doubts. And their light and comfort quickly fades.
Just Cut Yourself Some Slack?
What is our hope when a deluge of domestic frustrations threatens to sweep us away into the sea of despondency? Is it merely that this is just a season that will pass?
Maybe you’re the frustrated mom or you’re the mom who is reaching out to encourage other desperate housewives. The daily lives of mothers around the world are different, but our hope is the same. All of us need to experience the concrete reality of a hope that is for every season and will never pass.
Frustrated moms and desperate housewives have a problem that runs far deeper than our need for a break from the mundane, though physical rest is a daily necessity.
Denying that we have no-good, very-bad days only works until the next no-good, very-bad day comes around. Just “cutting ourselves some slack” on occasion isn’t going to cut it in the long run.
What we all need is to be rescued from our sin by the Son who was cut off from the Father when he took our sin upon himself so that we could be bound to God by his grace forever. What we need to see is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ shining into our heart (2 Cor. 4:6).
Mend the Rags of Self-Righteousness?
Only the blazing light of the gospel can dispel our dark doubts and illumine the sin we need to repent of. Through the light of the gospel we see how God’s kindness leads us to repentance. And by his grace, God forces our frustrating circumstances to bow to his gospel purposes in our life. God uses these situations to grow us in Christ-likeness, get sick of our sin, and teach our hearts to yearn for future grace.
As we go about our work in the home we need to see with the eyes of our heart that Christ is the righteousness to everyone who believes (Rom. 10:4). That means we don’t try to launder or mend the rags of our self-righteousness as though they commend us to God. Jesus is our commendation. We don’t polish our trophies of domestic accomplishment as though they give us confidence before God’s throne. Christ is our confidence.
Christ is our righteousness and he is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb. 13:8). So we dare not place our trust in the best day ever or the sweetest frame of emotions; neither should we tremble because we had the worst day ever and the sourest disposition.
We delight in Jesus who has become to us wisdom from God, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). Our delight in Jesus overflows into praise and the Spirit bears his fruit in our lives so that God gets the glory.
“Time of Need?” That’s All the Time in My House!
Frustrated moms and desperate housewives can draw near to God’s throne of grace every day. We don’t have to wait until the next no-good, very-bad day.
Jesus our great high priest is at the Father’s right hand pleading for us helpless sinners who trust the sacrifice he made on the cross on our behalf. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
A friend of mine once commented, “’Time of need?’ That’s all the time in my house!” There’s no better time than all the time to boldly ask God for mercy and grace. Your Father cares for you, Jesus has not abandoned you, and the Spirit assures our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
Is the Lord your Shepherd? He will not leave you wanting. God gives us this stewardship of grace according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, and he empowers us to do what he’s called us to do. Every day!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. Gloria is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013).