Thursday, September 18

Praising God

Sometimes, you just have to decide to praise. More often than not, God ends up changing my heart so that I'm actually praising. From my heart. So, today was one of those days.

I was frustrated that Aaron was being a pistol. I needed to be praising the Lord that our little pistol is alive and well, and that he brings a wonderful dimension to our family. I needed to be joyful that God has given me the opportunity and privilege to teach Aaron about HIM! (over and over and over - we all need review, right?)

I was discouraged, feeling tied to the couch for most of the day whilst Evan nursed. I needed to be praising the Lord that all is going well in that department. I should have been grateful for the time to sit and rest.

I was disappointed when things did not go my way. Our weekend plans to finally begin siding are thwarted by other things; I wanted a nap, and didn't get one; other little things began to sow large hedges (not seeds) of discontent.

I had a little pep talk with myself.

It started with my knowledge of other people's struggles - real and serious sickness, those with dire financial needs, those who have lost loved ones - and mine are pale.

You've done this, right? Struggled with a bad attitude about your "problems" and then looked at someone else's and felt really guilty? So on top of the actual struggle you now have a boatload of heavy guilt? Well, quit it. (I told myself this, too)

God did not give you their struggles. He gave you yours. And He gives each believer the exact measure of grace to get through it. Whatever "it" may be. Feeling guilty for struggling is just plain silly. Admit that you need help (or HELP! as the case may be), ask God for help, and get on with the struggling, already!

Bottom line? God knows what Jenny Muth can handle. Today, it was two little boys with lots of needs and sinful hearts. Today, He gave me grace to handle it. And I'm still drawing on His grace, His wisdom, to continue on, to trust Him for things like enough sleep and wisdom to know how to handle a difficult toddler at naptime (and bedtime, and playtime). I'm struggling with these things when others have things that seem far more difficult to trust Him for, on the surface.

It's my struggle, and it's real. Just as "big" struggles are real. But it's always His grace. Sufficient to the day. To the person. To you.


Stephens said...

Thanks for your transparency, Jenny, and your pointing us to God. Praise Him for His all-sufficient grace! I am praying that you have a great day tomorrow. Love ya, friend!

Karen said...

Thank you for that!

Any honest mom will confess the struggle-guilt thing. Great reminder!

Rosemary and Dale said...

Well, you DO have "THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD!!", as a nice elderly gentleman once told me when I was tired and juggling my little ones in the checkout line a grocery store...years and years ago. His comment stuck in my mind and I pulled it out MANY times to boost myself up.
Your sons are very blessed to have a mom who is as caring and open as Jenny Muth.
Thanks for the reminder of God's grace and keep up the good work.
Love, Great-Aunt Rosemary

Kara said...

I should print this off and put it on my bathroom mirror. So I can read it when I have 3 in the tub, one crying in her crib, and the other one wanting help with spelling... great post.

Rachel said...

I agree with what Karen said. :) I certainly struggle with feeling guilty for struggling! I've had to force myself to praise God at times too and always end up with a joyful spirit. When we focus on Him and not our issues, He fills us with His joy, peace and contentment:). It's often taking that first step that is the most difficult. Praying for you!

Mary Ann said...

You sound a little bit like David in many of his psalms. It seems that he quite often began by listing his stuggles before the Lord & then concluded with praise to God for giving him the struggles & the strength to keep on. Thanks for such a thought provoking post!

Michael & Sandra said...

Awesome post, Jenny. I appreciate your transparency and honesty. This was a blessing to me and a reminder of how I need to deal with the many feelings that come my way.

Matt & Nicki said...

So many times Jenny, after reading your insights I think "YES! that's exactly how I feel and she just put it into words!" Thanks for sharing and for being so transparent. Hope you get that nap today:)

Reads said...

Isn't it amazing how you can go through this whole battle and it all happens in without a word coming out of our mouth!
Hang in there with the nap struggle; we are right there with you with Audrey. It would be so easy to just give in; but we mom know what is best, a nap!
If you find any great secrets in getting a toddler to go to sleep, I think you could be a rich woman!