I don’t know about you but often I need reminders. Reminders to pack my lunch for work. Reminders to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Reminders that it’s so-and-so’s birthday. Reminders to buy cat food. I need reminders of things I have committed to awhile back and reminders to return that call. Reminders to buy that gift and ship it so it arrives to the shower on time. Reminders to schedule my dentist appointment and even reminders to go to bed.
But today, I need real reminders.
Not reminders to do this or remember that. But reminders of more depth than remembering my husband can’t eat leftovers and peanut butter toast like I can for every meal. How do I keep forgetting this?God is God and only He should be God. Despite my strongest efforts to dethrone Him and climb up in His seat – He is God. And He is the one in control. I was not created to be a god, despite my darkest heart’s desires, and I should not be surprised when time and time again I put myself in God’s place and am met with failure, grief, pain, and sorrow. Putting down that need to cling so tightly to that which we cannot change or control is so hard but so important to remember.
Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen. Expecting to feel intimate with God when I haven’t spent any time with Him is naive. Sometimes I wonder and doubt His goodness because I don’t feel close to Him and then I take a second to remind myself that He needs quality time with me (and I with Him) much like I need quality time with my husband (and he with me). The same logic applies. Spending time in the Word, talking to Him, worshiping Him, and communing with other believers are essential to spiritual growth. I know that Satan likes to lull me to numbness by distracting me with another tv show, or book, or even tiredness. Forgetting that we are in a constant war against the flesh is a mistake that trips me up time and time again.Just because I’ve never been a mom before doesn’t mean my opinion or decisions on how I want to raise my child are invalid. I spend a lot of time thinking about this one reminder. Often I find myself in conversations with moms, new and veteran, and end up leaving those conversations with guilt and anxiety. Constantly I have to remind myself that having never been a mother, or pregnant for that matter, doesn’t negate the fact that I have my own convictions and callings of what I desire for my child and family. Sure, I may lack experience, but hearing, “Oh, you just wait…” or “Yeah, that’s what I thought…and then I had kids,” just isn’t helpful. In fact, there are a lot of things people should never say to a pregnant woman but that is a topic for another day. I was talking with a friend earlier this week about how unnecessary the judgement and unsolicited advice is when a woman becomes pregnant and even after the baby is born. Why do we consistently think our way is the best way? Because it works for one mom and one baby, doesn’t mean it works for all. And if someone doesn’t agree or like the way you parent or sleep train (or don’t) or feed or cuddle, WHO CARES. Let’s be a little kinder and more accepting and realize that we’re all just trying to survive.
Real life is the best life. You may know that I have a serious love, hate relationship with social media. I love the creative part where I can see beautiful images and the personal part where I feel connected to friends and family who I don’t see very often. I hate the comparison part where I feel like her life is better than mine and the fake part where we portray that everything is perfect. I go through seasons of never tapping the Instagram app to scrolling and scrolling for too much time out of the day, and to be honest, finding the balance is difficult. I go into using social media with really good intentions and then am often lured into negative thoughts and feelings that no one gave me except myself. This little mantra of, “Real life is the best life,” has become something I say over and over again to myself as a gentle reminder that what is on the screen is not the whole picture and that my worth is not tied up in likes.My marriage is not immune to sin. If you like Lysa Terkeurst then you probably read recently about her 25 year marriage ending in divorce. Honestly, this completely shocked and wrecked me for a solid 24 hours. The weight of what they must be going through still sits heavy on my heart. After I first heard, that night I crawled in bed after a long day to my sweet husband and just wept thinking about the reality of sin and how Christian marriages are not magically excluded from infidelity, lies, pain, divorce. Just because we believe in the Trinity, attend church, and read our bibles doesn’t mean our marriages don’t suffer from the consequences of sin. Marrying a godly man is of course a good thing, but we must heed the fact that those same godly men struggle with pornography and lust. Being a godly wife is also a good thing, but we mustn’t forget our own struggles with control and comparison, always remembering the grass is not greener on the other side. Although by a horrible situation, I am thankful for the reminder to constantly protect and fight for my marriage, and to also remember that casting judgement on another person and their circumstance is evil in itself. Some of the things I’ve read of other Christians shaming Lysa for the decision to divorce her husband are absolutely, undeniably of Satan. It pains me to know that we, who stand for Love, would hurt our sister in Christ by hiding behind a computer screen and throwing up bible verses out of context to condemn her for this choice. NONE of us are immune to sin and the moment we start acting like it is the moment we have disgraced the Gospel.
Naming a child can be difficult and stressful, but at the end of the day it should not keep me up at night. You know how before you start thinking about starting a family and even before you actually get married, you begin making a list either mentally or physically of baby names that you most definitely will name your children in the particular order that you’ve listed them? Well, throw that list out the window because it is irrelevant once that babe starts growing in your tummy because EVERY NAME IS EITHER TAKEN OR HORRIBLE OR TOTALLY TOO HIPSTER AND WHAT WERE YOU THINKING MAKING A BABY NAME LIST AT THE AGE OF 16?! We have stopped having conversations about what to name our girl and have instead resulted to a Google spread sheet where we list names throughout the day and then check if we like them or not. If the name doesn’t have two check marks then off the list it goes. Now if only the spread sheet could fix my sleeping problem…And here is proof that I do eat more than just leftovers and peanut butter toast. Take that hubby!