Preaching the Gospel to Myself, Throughout My Day.

Thanks for all of your sweet comments over the last 24 hours about raising a son!  I am soaking it up and enjoying all of the things you had to say.  I promise I don't sit around and dream of things to worry about, but one thing motherhood has taught me is to draw upon the experience of those who have gone before me or are in the trenches with me!  So thanks and please chime in if you haven't already :) There are a few of us looking for the same advice! 
Ok, as mentioned yesterday, here is my little girly girl in her polka dot bow and red tu-tu!
She is just starting to love the dress up thing and espeically finding ways to imitate me :)
 Or in this case, her Texie!  She loves to walk around in her glasses :) I'm thinking it will be fun to buy her some real dress up stuff for her birthday in April.  She already tries to wear my shoes and loves it when I give her a necklace to play with, so I know she'll just love those plastic heals and feather boa that all little girls like to play with!  She is so fun right now.  Her language skills have practically exploded over night and she is just talking or singing a mile a minute.  Also REPEATING what she hears...Yikes!  Trav and I have caught ourselves several times saying things that we throw around so casually and quickly realizing, there is probably not a lot of value in her learning that :) Anyway, welcome to the new phase of in our life! 
Ok, so I picked up this cute sign for Carter's room the other day and in light of my post yesterday, I thought you might enjoy it!  True, right??  I'm embracing the mud already :)
 Even if it's written in glitter, ha ha!! 
Now check out that cute, little snuggly bear!  Can you stand those big lips and that little mouth??  He looks like Travis in lots of ways, but he is also a lot like Ava at this age. He has more hair and it's darker, but his eyebrows are looking like her's and that chin, those cheeks, that nose....oh I can't get enough of him!  His head is for sure the same size as Ava's right now :) No wonder I had to have a c-section!!  That big melon was stuck like glue trying to come out! 

We have enjoyed having Trav's Mom with us for a few days.  She braved the cold and has given me a second set of arms to help with all kinds of things around here.  Yesterday I got the gift of several hours out by myself, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I am working on getting Carter to take a little formula here and there, so that I can be a little bit more free.  He's getting there, but he's made it clear that he enjoys me most of all :)  It was at this point that I started to struggle a little bit with Ava and the fact that I could never get away without bringing her with me or only being gone for an hour or two.  It's still kind of a mental hurdle, breastfeeding does have a little bit of a suffocating aspect to it, but I think I'm doing a little bit better with Carter this time.  I have the benefit of knowing that it's only a season and really, it's a very short season.  As much as I was ready to leave breastfeeding behind with her, there were also times that I longed to go back to those early days.  I'm taking deep breaths with Carter and trying to just enjoy the ride :) But believe me, I do love a break when I can get one! 

I will say that the Lord has really been gracious to me this winter.  I am home so much, sometimes for days on end, and He has really helped me be thankful for that and even enjoy it.  Other than Tuesday mornings when I get dressed for Bible Study, I basically wear a different turtleneck and a different pair of pajama pants everyday!  And I love it :) The walls have not felt like they are caving in and we have been able to find plenty of new things to do everyday.  I know when Spring comes I'll probably be ready to get OUT a lot more, but for now, I really love being home with my babies.  The second verse that I chose for my SSMT this month is from Hebrews 10:35-36 and it is the truth I have set my heart on.  In this season of intense parenting and little time to myself, it says...

"So do not throw your confidence away, it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised."  Hebrews 10:35-36

Here's how those verses are rocking my world.  As a Mom, it's easy to lose your confidence.  So many times during my day I wonder, "Am I doing the right thing here?  Should I have just answered Ava that way, or let Carter cry, or insisted she eat her whole lunch, or made him endure tummy time??"  Ha Ha :) Some of those little things can feel so HUGE in the moment.  But these verses (and the previous few) remind me that my confidence is in Christ and His work on the cross, and that confidence and faith will be richly rewarded.  Do you need a confidence boost??  Here's a great promise from the Lord that tells us we can bank on it :)  My confidence is not wrapped up in me or my parenting skills.  It has to be wrapped up in Christ and Christ alone because on my own, I will fail every single time. 

I am learning some great truths in several of the Bible studies I'm in right now and it always amazes me how the Lord will repeat different themes in your life to really drive home something He wants you to know.  A book I am reading right now, "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges, says to constantly preach the Gospel to yourself and I love that.  Sometimes we get so hung up on doing this, that and the other in the Christian life, that we forget the simple and POWERFUL truth of the Gospel.  When we feel condemned and feel like a failure, we can preach the Gospel to ourselves and remember that Christ came to pay the penalty for our sin.  It's done.  Covered.  He does not see us through a lens of failure, He sees us through the covering of Christ's blood and therefore, we are justified before him.  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ!  Or when I feel overwhelmed and like there is no answer or deliverence in sight, I preach the Gospel to myself and remember that I have put my trust in a God who has been resurrected!  He's not dead, He is alive!  He took on sin, conquered it and overcame death!  There is nothing that is impossible with Him and nothing His death didn't cover.  That's the Gospel.  And I'm working on preaching it to my own heart every single day.  Because faith doesn't come easy and Satan loves to derail any progress we think we've made.  So I love these 2 verses in Hebrews because God tells me to not throw my confidence away, and I'm trying not to.  The Gospel is rich in love, mercy and grace and it's also bankable.  And in this economy, who doesn't need bankable?? 

But I also love the second part of these verses because they tell me to persevere...And Lord have mercy, what Mom doesn't need that word of truth spoken into her day??  When you have no patience and it's 9 AM, persevere. When the laundry is spilling over, persevere.  When the fridge is empty and the grocery store seems exhausting, persevere.  When the kids are fighting and your husband is away, persevere.  Or when the baby is crying and you don't know what else to try, persevere.  And why??  Because when we have done the will of God, we will receive what He has promised.  The will of God for me in my own life, is to love the Lord my God with all my mind, soul and strength.  To obey His Word.  To respect my husband.  To love my children.  To serve my family.  To and share Christ and when necessary, to use words.  When I have persevered in these things, I will receive what He has promised me!  And He has promised much.  A place to take my burdens and lay them down.  Peace that passes all understanding.  Rest for the weary.  A hope that is an anchor for my soul.  Blessing that comes from obedience.  A God who never leaves me or forsakes me.  An inheritance that will never fade and a place that is being prepared for ME. 

Oh there is so much that is hard about this life, about being a Mother.  But there is so much more that is do-able because of Christ and because of His Gospel power in my life.  I'm hoping that if you are like me and you need a healthy dose of perspective, you'll remember to stop those thoughts that often spin out of control in our minds and instead, counter them with the TRUTH and simplicity of the Gospel.  It is everything we need for life and Godliness and that my friends, is enough for me. 

Happy Tuesday and Happy Mothering :)


SM Anderson said...

Thanks Stephanie. Those were words I need to hear today.

Darla said...

You have no idea how timely that was for me to read. Thank you for he reminder of God's Truth.