Encouragement for Today - May. 4, 2011


May 4, 2011

Sometimes I Just Wanna Quit
Renee Swope

"You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great." Psalm 18:35 (NIV, 1984)

I love my kids, but I haven't always liked being a mom.

Once my boys became toddlers who wouldn't listen to me or do what I told them, I kind of panicked. I looked around at other moms who seemed to know what they were doing and wondered, "What is wrong with me?"

Their children seemed to listen when they told them no. Why wouldn't my child keep his hands to himself or stay in the cart at the grocery store? Why did he not understand when I told him I could not buy everything his little hand could touch? And how come no one told me that being a mom would be so hard?

I felt like such a failure.
Almost every day I would compare how I felt on the inside to how other moms looked like they had it all together on the outside.

I held up my feelings of inadequacy and thoughts of insecurity in contrast to moms who dressed their children in matching outfits and adorned themselves with attitudes of grace and wisdom. I wondered how in the world they pulled it off with a smile. I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.

I just wanted to quit.
One day I came home from running too many errands with two very tired and fussy kids. I put them down for an early nap and started looking for pink construction paper so I could write "I QUIT" on it. I'd decided to turn in my "pink slip" to my husband when he came home from work that day.

It was just too hard, and I was tired of feeling like I would never be "good enough" as a mom.

But instead, I needed a new place to start.
I didn't really start becoming the mom God created me to be until the day I was ready to quit. That afternoon I fell on my knees before God and choked out the words, "I can't do this."

And in that place of surrender, His peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. I felt like God bent down before me 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 become a great mom.

Looking back on that day, I'm reminded of our key verse in Psalm 19:35, "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great."

When we acknowledge that on our own we are a mess, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His grace, wisdom and guidance, we can become the mom He is calling us to be, the mom our kids need us to be, and the mom we want to be!

Dear Lord, I need Your shield of victory to protect me from discouragement. I pray that You would extend Your right hand to sustain me; Your grace to strengthen me; and Your wisdom to lead me. Thank You for Jesus, who stooped down to make me great because of Your great love for me. Today, I want to find a new starting place with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Click here to find out what God did next to give Renee new direction and purpose as a mom, and also as a child of God.

Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Character Chart Positive and practical ways to connect spiritually with your kids. By Renee Swope

The Power of a Purpose Driven Mom message on CD by Renee Swope. Personal stories, practical ideas and inspirational truths, this 45 minute message will help you discover your purpose as a mom and develop a plan to live it out each day!

Enter to win a "Purpose-Driven Mom Gift Pack" that includes Renee's parenting message on CD, her Character Chart and her favorite busy mom's Bible tool — the GoBible®. You don't want to miss all the great stuff she's giving away on her blog today!

Application Steps:
Write a letter, telling God how you feel. Be honest and open. Sharing your heart and thoughts with Him is the first step toward freedom and hope.

Ask Jesus for His perspective of you as a child of God, so that you can start becoming a Godly mom. We've got to receive His love before we can give it.

Visit Renee's blog to find out how she did these things, and for a list of practical ways to shape your children's hearts, not just their habits.

As I read today's devotion, what struggles are similar to mine?

Have I ever wanted to quit? What got me to that hard place and what do I need to do to rely on God's perspective instead of my own?

Power Verses:
Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NIV, 1984)

Psalm 113:5-7, "Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap." (NIV, 1984)

© 2011 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Wednesday, 04 May 2011.