Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Illusion of "If I just . . . "

There is an illusion that I fell for as a younger mama, and I just want to share what I learned. Maybe it will save another mama a little bit of grief.

The thinking, while under this illusion goes like this . . .

If I just . . . home school my children and protect them, then they will never rebel.

If I just . . . Teach my children the things of God, they will grow up to always serve the Lord.

If I just . . . Model a love for the Word of God; have devotions, then they will have their own wonderful personal devotions.

If I just . . . Read these books and apply these principles, we won’t have any struggles.

If I just . . .Reach their heart, train them up, they will always walk with God.

If I just . . . Trust the Lord with family size, then I’ll never lose a baby or have a difficult pregnancy.

If I just . . .
grind my own wheat
make my own bread
drink barley juice
dress modestly
am courtship minded
wear denim jumper
wear matching clothes
read only the King James Version

If I just.... If I just... If I just...

Now, let me expose the illusion and deception, maybe you already see it.

Our hope simply cannot be in any of these things.

Our hope had better be in the Lord, and Him alone.

There was a time in my early years of being a mama when things seemed perfect. I was able to keep my plates spinning. I had read all the books, listened to all the tapes. I was sure this was it, I was doing all these things right, our kids were doing well.

The Lord allowed some serious struggles in our lives at this point. Big enough to throw us on our faces. It felt as though the life got punched right out of us!

After awhile I began questioning and crying out to God. Listen to what kind of cries were coming from my heart and see if you can tell what needed to be exposed.

"Why am I home schooling, sacrificing so much if this is the result? Why bother, we’re no better off than so and so who goes to school?

Why bother to live, preach and teach Your Word if they don’t want anything to do with it?

Why am I trusting You with this family planning thing? What is the point if my babies are just going to die?"

This type of questioning exposed my very heart.

If you asked me or told me my hope was in those things I would have said, "surely not, my hope is in the Lord"(Probably rather flippantly:))
But do you see where my hope was?

It was in the "If I just."
Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do any or all of the things listed above. We had better do each and every one of them if the Lord calls us to, BUT,

our hope needs to be in Him alone, not what we do.

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.
He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved.
With God rests my salvation and my glory;

He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God!
Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah!

Ps 62:5-8

Our hope is in Him alone, not what we do.

I believe all my children will, and do, walk humbly with their God, but it is and will be because of His grace, His mercy and faithfulness, not because I did it all right.

Let me say it again, I’m not suggesting you stop doing all those wonderful things the Lord has called you to. We do these things out of obedience and love for our Lord, not so we get the desired result. Pray and ask God to search your heart. Put your hope in Him alone.

Where are you putting your hope?

P.S. I am not saying I did all those things, especially the barley juice, just examples ;-)


Civilla said...

I am now an older mama, and I found out about all of that. I did not do each and everyone of the things you listed, and of course, not everybody will feel led to, but I did most of them, and I had to come to grips with the fact that everybody must have their own faith. There is no magic formula that will produce the perfect child that always serves God and never gets into trouble. But, when I and my friends were having babies, we were ALWAYS saying, "If I just...". There is no JUST in this world. Everything is a battle.

But you are right. That doesn't mean that we pull down the standard and don't bother to do what is right. We are still responsible to do what is right. But, yes, the temptation is to give up or to not encourage younger mothers to do right, just because it "doesn't matter." It does matter.

Thank you so much for this post. I think the Lord led me to this blog. Us older mamas need to find each other.

Katie LaPierre said...

another great one! have you heard of the song by Maron called "The HOusewive's Song"? I know you would just love it! it sounds a lot like this. You can get it on i-tunes.

Bernice said...

This is a great post. I needed it. I need to read it again. I am a fairly new mama, my son will soon be 6 and I have been thinking about the things I need to do to raise a godly son. Now I know I just need to hope in God. Love it!

Raisingarrows said...

Amen and Amen! Thank you for the reminder!