I admit it. A brand new year gives me all kinds of glorious visions of a better me. Technically, I don’t partake of the whole “New Year’s resolutions” thing. I don’t write it down or make dramatic declarations, but if I’m completely honest, it’s there – almost as intoxicating as those rows of empty spiral notebooks, pretty binders, and new pens that make back-to-school time my absolute favorite.
As 2015 came to a close, I thought about how long it had been since I had blogged. When I finally checked in here, I was surprised to find it had been seven months since I published anything. My heart panged with guilt as I recalled the stone on a shelf above my desk, with the words “write every day” on it.
I didn’t keep that commitment, and I missed a lot of writing potential in the second half of the year. Mundane summer “adventures.” A new doctor who offered hope and ultimately had some success in treating my whacked-out self. Home school struggles. My grandma passing away. A busy soccer season with three of my kids playing for a local Christian school. The kitten who showed up at my house, wouldn’t leave, and adopted himself into my family. My baby sister’s whirlwind engagement, bridal shower, and wedding.
Opportunities missed, though not lost, since there are no rules about blog posts having to be current events. I mentally added my dry spell to the running list of failures I had going in my head.
Like a flashing neon sign, the word “failure” was plaguing my subconsciousness, and I had been vaguely aware of it for months. It was clouding my days and giving me sleepless nights. I’m not normally a sarcastic person, but my brain was giving me a very bitter lashing on a daily basis.
Every mommy blog and meme on the internet: “I know it feels like you’re not appreciated and that you’re not doing life well, but you’re doing great, Mama! Go motherhood! You are succeeding!”
My bitter brain: “Uh, yeah. No. You don’t just feel like you’re failing. You actually ARE. You suck at everything.”
My middle and high school students are behind in their school work, and they don’t seem to care. FAIL.
I haven’t worked on painting the interior of our home in over a year. FAIL.
I frequently lack in patience with my little ones, and probably don’t read to them enough. FAIL.
My teenager doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. FAIL.
According to a spiritual gifts test, mine is hospitality, and I never invite anyone over. FAIL.
My bathrooms are never quite clean; my laundry is never caught up; our sheets don’t get washed nearly often enough. FAIL.
I’ve lost count of how many years behind I am on scrapbooking. Ok, no I haven’t – it’s 10. Ten years behind. TRIPLE FAIL.
Now I’ve cataloged a portion of my transgressions, and I’ve sat on it for a few days. Stuck. Unable to tie this thing up as something other than a keeping-it-real, honest motherhood kind of post. God knows, I could write a truck load of those. Having eight kids has given me plenty of material for that kind of thing.
I went to church yesterday asking God for direction. Not just in my writing, but it was definitely on the list. We sang the song, “Boldly I Approach (The Art of Celebration)” by Rend Collective.
When condemnation grips my heart
And Satan tempts me to despair
I hear the voice that scatters fear
The Great I Am the Lord is here
Oh praise the One who fights for me
And shields my soul eternally
I know that most of the “sins” listed above aren’t really sins. Laziness or procrastination may have played a minor role in some of them, but mostly they are simply life happening. But does that matter to Satan? He will tempt me to despair over anything he can get his hands on.
The truth is I am NOT enough. But my God always is. Sometimes that means He equips me to do things better, and beyond my natural ability. But sometimes that means that His grace covers my deficiencies. And I am grateful; for even when I suck at everything, God is somehow glorified.