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3 Steps For When You’re Feeling Weak

“Girl, you are superwoman!”

 

For once and for all let me dispel this myth. I am no superwoman, more like super mistake maker, super grace receiver, super Jesus girl. Truth be told, I am vulnerable. I get tired. I too have my kryptonite. If only you saw me when the pot of rice was on the stove burning, the baby was crying, trying to help three with homework and emailing the teacher about a missing assignment all at the same time; you’d would see my fragility.

 

Without my Jesus, I am nothing. Apart from the vine we are nothing.

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

 

That’s as super as it gets. We should all strive to be super vine clingers. Have you ever tried to be Superwoman? Have you ever tried to do and be everything to everybody? How’d that work out for ya? I don’t know about you, but that left me depleted. You can only love through Christ who strengthens you. You can only give through Christ who strengthens you. You can only serve through Christ who strengthens you.

 

Beware of falling into the pit of perfection. Perfect wife. Perfect employee. Perfect mommy. There is no such thing. You don’t have to try to do all and be all. Stay in your lane and be proficient at what God’s called you to do. He’s given YOU a specific assignment so stick to it. It’s when you go picking up other things, in all YOUR super strength and might that your hands get too full you can get into trouble.

 

I invite you to join me in clinging fiercely to the Father. From this place you don’t have to worry about perfection but will be the recipient of his unmerited favor. Do you ever feel unqualified, inadequate, weak or incapable? Sometimes I do. Sometimes I wonder if all my efforts will pay off. But the wondering is usually a trick of the enemy. When he sees a crack in your finish, he attempts to seep his poison in. He’ll try to play on your weaknesses and parenting is an area in life where we can feel the most weak.

 

So what do you do when you’re feeling weak?

 

  1. Give Yourself Permission To Be Vulnerable

 

Open your heart, release your concerns and fall into the loving arms of the Lord. In His strong arms you can be vulnerable.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

Not only are you made strong when you are weak, but God wants to use you right in that place of weakness.

 

When people see me with my children and say things like “Motherhood is your ministry” my flesh used to prickle because the voice of the accuser said, “Yeah but they didn’t see you roll eyes at your kid last night”. But I know the truth. I KNOW that the Lord has supernaturally taught me to love, nurture and shepherd this little flock. I know he’s using me right at my point of weakness. Just like He used Moses. Doubting Moses. Unqualified Moses. Fearful Moses. Moses who was fearful and ran from his staff when it turned into a snake; God told him to PICK UP that very thing and use it as a sign. The same thing that Moses ran from was the very instrument that would hit a rock to bring water to nourish the people and would part the waters so they could cross on dry land. God used Moses’ weakness and He wants to use yours too.

 

Your weaknesses aren’t flaws to be magnified but opportunities for God’s grace to be glorified. Click To Tweet

 

  1. Acknowledge That It Is Okay To Make Mistakes

 

Making mistakes is part of the human experience. Give yourself permission to experience a full range of emotions and partake in the depth and breadth of your personal experiences, including the messy days.

 

  1. Be Compassionate With Yourself

 

To be compassionate is to care about the misfortune or suffering of others. But where is your self-compassion? I say you owe it to yourself. Be compassionate with yourself. The danger of being too harsh with you is that it can translate to being harsh with others. If you are overly concerned with how other views you, you can end up being harder on your loved ones than necessary. Then you can become even harsher on yourself for having been harsh to your loved one when that wasn’t even your original intent. This can be a painful cycle. So as you extend compassion and grace to others, make sure you start with yourself.

 

Remember, in your weakness you are made strong. Be strong in His might today.

 

To continue this story, pick up a copy of my new book, Purposeful Parenting.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to partner with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace & Truth

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The Beauty In Brokenness

Never let them see you sweat.

Don’t let them see you down.

Put your best face on.

Smile through your tears and laugh through your pain.

 

The world says brokenness is imperfection but God sees it as an opportunity to present you whole and blameless.

 

World sees brokenness as weak but God sees it as opportunity to show Himself strong in and through you.

 

And I was one of those people who accepted the lie that brokenness was a sign of weakness. Inasmuch as I reject so many of the world’s lies, this was one that crept in and intricately wove itself into the fibers of my believing.

 

Until….

 

Until I was so heavy and so broken that I couldn’t hide it. The weight was so oppressive I could no longer carry it. And the Lord made a way for me to unburden myself. He sent a sweet gentle friend, whose sensitivity and perceptiveness caught wind of my heaviness and she extended to me God’s invitation to lay my burdens at His feet. And while it was extremely embarrassing, even torturous for this prideful woman to admit I was a broken mess, it was one of the BEST things I’ve ever done. There is liberty in brokenness.

 

Brokenness gives you a divine appointment with God. Click To Tweet

 

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

 

 

 

Kintsugi is a Japanese art form ALL about broken pieces. Kintsugi, a practice dating back to the 15th century, is a technique for repairing broken pottery. The word means “golden joinery”. The process uses lacquer and real gold powder to fill in the cracks. The intricacy of the work involved, the precious materials used for the process and the skill of the repairers’ hand, results in a mended work that is more valuable than the original product.

 

And this is what God wants to do for me and for YOU. When I’m trying to hold the pieces of my life together, it’s a loosely held bundle of shards at best but when I place the shards in the Potter’s hands, He arranges, cements and then presents me even more beautiful than before.

 

My sweet friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Balarie writes many many words of grace that resonate deeply with me. And these words, which speak right to being broken, were no exception. In her post God’s Love Letter for You she writes, Don’t fear my process of remake, but open yourself up to it. Let love sink in – into the cracks, into the chaffed edges and into the unseen – so I can revive every cell you believe is of disrepair. I promise, I work wonders for beauty.”

 

I see many standing in line to receive a blessing. Many Christians, myself included raise our hands saying “Over here. Pick me, pick me” for assignments we deem exotic, cool, or doable. But who’s running to sign up for the Brokenness Club?   Who’s volunteering saying, “Break Me Lord!

 

Nellie Bly, an investigative journalist, did just that but for different reasons. In 1887 she wanted to uncover the horrors taking place at an asylum and the only way to get the real story was to become broken, to act as if insane and have herself committed to the asylum. And she did just that. She was able to convince a judge and doctors that she was indeed broken. She did this for the greater good of the victims of this asylum. Her reporting resulted in widespread changes in that asylum and in the field of mental health.

 

Are you willing to be broken to possibly bring healing to another?

 

I pray we begin to appreciate and value, as in Kintsugi, the greater worth in the broken vessel that has been mended directly by the Potter’s hand.

 

In her book Daring Greatly, Dr. Brene Brown says, “To claim the truths about who we are, where we come from, what we believe, and the very imperfect nature of our lives, we have to be willing to give ourselves a break and appreciate the beauty of our cracks or imperfections.”  Isn’t that good? And I just love the pun.

 

Brokenness Delivers Us From:

~Pride

~Shame

~Insecurity

~Fake Happy

~Crutches

 

Brokenness Instills Us With:

~Humility

~Vulnerability

~Healing

~True Security

~Joy

~Freedom

~Character

 

Brokenness says I am nothing and can do nothing apart from Jesus. Click To Tweet

 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

 

The more broken we are, the more space we create for our inner man to break forth and be released. For more on the release of the spirit, THIS POST is a must read.

 

Find the rest of Kelly’s beautiful post HERE.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup, Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth

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Use Your Weakness

Unqualified

Inadequate

Incapable

Weak

 

Some days this is exactly how I feel.

 

In many areas of my life I feel strong and capable. In some areas I feel I can leap tall building in a single bound.

 

Marriage? CHECK

Health? CHECK

Ministry? CHECK

Friendship? CHECK

 

Parenting? WELL…..

 

That’s where it gets a little muddy. Some days I feel weak and inadequate as a parent. I read my bible. I’ve read some really great Christian parenting resources and even attending a few training sessions. In fact, I myself have written and taught an eight-week class on raising Godly children. Yet, in spite of that, I feel this is one area that keeps me clinging fiercely to the cross.

 

As I wrestle with the Lord on this, I wonder, why do I feel unqualified in this area? The answer to that becomes apparent. When I was a child, I had no consistent parenting. In my very early childhood years, my mother was present, loving and nurturing. Around age seven, she adopted some behaviors, which directly affected her ability to care for me. My parents, who had never been married split several years earlier and my father went on a quest to find himself so he wasn’t around. I was often in the care of my grandmother or cousins who cared for me but didn’t “mother” me. In my teens I did eventually move in with my father, but there was a gaping whole in my heart for MOMMY.

 

If I was not mothered, how can I effectively mother?

 

When the enemy of your soul sees a crack in your finish, he attempts to seep his poison in that space. Just last week he tried to play on my weakness. While I feel that one of my greatest areas of weakness is parenting, I KNOW that I KNOW that the Lord has and continues to divinely teach me to parent. There is no question about that. But here he comes spewing his venom. As I’m working on writing a parenting book, birthed out of that eight-week class I taught, this voice says, “Who are you to speak on this? You don’t know what you are doing. You mess up all the time”.

 

When people see me with my little flock and they say things like “Motherhood is your ministry” my flesh prickles like porcupine quills rising because the voice comes again saying, “Yeah but they didn’t see you roll eyes at your kid last night”. But again, I know the truth. I KNOW that the Lord has supernaturally taught me to love, nurture and lead this little flock.

 

TRUTH will always trump lies. And the truth says, where I am weak, I am strong. Click To Tweet

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

Not only am I made strong when I am weak, but God wants to use me, and He wants to use YOU right in your place of weakness.

 

Just like He used Moses. Doubting Moses. Unqualified Moses. Fearful Moses.

 

Moses who was fearful and ran from his staff when it turned into a snake; God told him to PICK UP that very thing and use it as a sign. That very same thing that Moses ran from was the same instrument that would hit a rock to bring water to nourish the people and would part the waters so they could cross on dry land.

 

The very area you want to run in fear, is the very thing God will use to bring a miracle. Click To Tweet And not just for you but for those whom you’ve been called to lead. God wants to use your weakness. He wants to use what you’ve got right in your hand.

 

And along the journey, He will not leave nor forsake you. He’ll be walking with you, talking with you and teaching you along the way. I can vividly recall having a hard mommy day about 8 years ago. I felt the children weren’t listening and that they weren’t doing the things I’d been instructing them to do. The Holy Spirit stepped in and told me, “Go to your room and open your bible.” I obeyed. He said, “Turn to Isaiah 54:13.” I had NEVER read that verse before so I was curious as to where He was leading me. There have been very few instances in my entire Christian walk where He has lead me to a single, exact verse but here was one of those times and this is what it said,

 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

 

What a word of confirmation!

 

God used Moses’ weakness. God used Gideon’s weakness. And God wants to use mine too.

 

So I’m learning to be more compassionate with myself. I’m learning that my weaknesses aren’t flaws I need to magnify but are opportunities for God’s grace to be magnified. I’m learning not to condemn myself when I do make a mistake in parenting. The Holy Spirit is circumcising my heart and uncovering the root of the disease. I’ve tuned into the voice of my negative self-chatter and found its not even my voice but the voice of an imposter. It’s the voice of an overly critical, brutish aunt whose charge I was once under. Under God’s skillful loving hand, I’m learning to grant myself some grace, extend myself some love and nurture the me who is weak and vulnerable.

 

Being weak and making mistakes is part of the human experience. I give myself permission to experience the full range of emotions and partake of the depth and breadth of my personal experiences, knowing that perfect is an illusion.   And parenting is by far not a perfect process. I’m learning to see the beauty in the mess-ups when I take my eye off what I perceive to be my errors and put my eyes on Jesus. He is the best parent ever and loves me unconditionally. And though I have my parental weaknesses, in this He has an opportunity to rise up and show Himself mighty and strong.

 

Yup, in the parenting arena I may be weak but I’m learning that that’s okay. I’m learning that God wants to use my weakness. I’m learning that my weakness is the vehicle that makes me strong.

 

In what area to do you feel unqualified, weak, or inadequate?

 

I count you COURAGEOUS for even stepping up to the plate and being willing to take your turn at bat. You may not always hit a homerun, but you put on your uniform, took the long walk to plate, lifted your bat, and let it fly. Your arms may be weak, but in that very instance, HIS power is made perfect in your weakness.

 

I salute all the weak, inadequate, unqualified souls out there today. Let me leave you with this final thought….

 

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News:

Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup, Purposeful Faith, Titus 2sdays, Grace & Truth

 

Photo Credit

 

Oh and one last thing, Pastor Steven Furtick has a new book out called Unqualified. In it, he highlights how God uses broken, inadequate people to do great things. Check it our by clicking on the title.

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I’m No Superwoman

Faster than Florence Griffith Joyner.  More powerful than Ms. Olympia.  Able to leap a mound of laundry single bound.  Look!  Up in the sky!  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s Superwoman!

 

Twice on Sunday people made references to me being superwoman.

 

So for once and for all let me dispel that myth. I am no superwoman. More like:

 

Super mistake maker.

 

Super grace receiver.

 

Super Jesus girl.

 

superwoman

 

Truth be told, I am vulnerable. I do get tired. I do lose my cool. I have my kryptonite.

 

But God…

 

Aaron Shust sums it up well for me singing,

 

“My Savior loves, my Savior lives, My Savior’s always there for me. My God He was, my God He is, my God He’s always gonna be”.

 

Without MY Jesus, I can do nothing, be nothing. Apart from the vine we are nothing.

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

 

That’s as super as it gets. I’m a super vine clinger.

 

There was a time I tried to be Superwoman. I really believed I could do all and be all to everyone who needed me. But that left me depleted. I Thank God for speaking His truth to my heart and freeing me to know that all I have to do if heed His voice and he’d lead me, love me and empower me.

 

I can only love through Christ who strengthens me. I can love give through Christ who strengthens me. I can only serve through Christ who strengthens me.

 

I don’t try to do all and be all. I stay in my lane and do exactly what he’s called me to do. It’s when we go picking up other things thinking we are superwomen that we can get into trouble. God makes all grace abound toward us to do that which he’s tasked to our hands.

 

Let me give you an example. God has given me the ability to do hair and to do so with a level of excellence that could earn me some good money. I’ve had offers. I’ve had a stylist suggest how I could make it work with my schedule and how much money I could earn. But God told me, “This gift is for HOUSEHOLD USE ONLY”. As a homemaker I had briefly entertained the thought of making some money for doing something I enjoy that isn’t grueling work. Yes, I could do a few heads on the weekend. Then came the gently shoulder tap, “FOR HOUSEHOLD USE ONLY.” Thus I quickly extinguished the idea because I want to operate in his perfect will not His permissive will. So I travel in my lane with the surety that I receive the needed grace for my calling.

 

So I cling to him. I cry out to him. I am open and honest with him. I lean in to him. I dance with him.

 

And he is faith to hold me, to wipe my tears, to listen to me, to strengthen me and to lead me in the way everlasting.

 

No super mommy

 

No super friend

 

No super minister

 

No super wife

 

Just one super Jesus girl fiercely clinging to the Father.

 

superwoman 2

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Feature image photo credit

Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith Titus 2sDay Life Giving Linkup

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I Am Weak

Ahhh. Argh! I grimaced in pain as I lifted my arm attempting to carry out the most mundane task.

 

I had just spent nearly 2 hours ironing a week’s worth of clothes.

 

And the space between my shoulder blades is on fire. It literally feels like if I reach my hand back there for a touch, flames will lick my fingertips. There is a twisting and wrenching as if a giant turnkey has been thrust between my blades and a powerful hand is turning, turning, turning the crank to wind me up, stretching the muscles beyond reason, tearing flesh right from the bone.

 

In this intense pain, I continue to muscle through, intent on hanging the clothes.

 

You see, I have to get this work done.

 

I hide my face from my children because you see; I don’t want them to see me in pain.

 

I premeditate in my mind that when my husband returns from work, I will hide the pain from him too.

 

All the while it takes every fiber of my being to not break down in tears from the intense burn.

 

Walking away from the clothes, I look at the flames licking in my fireplace and think, “What a great portrait of what’s occurring in my back right now.”

 

So what’s the deal with this MASKING of pain?

 

Do I want to appear strong?

 

Do I not want to worry my husband?

 

Do I not want my children to worry?

 

DO I want my children to look back on their childhood and think, “My mom was always so strong”?

 

What I do know is:

 

I want my children to know their mother experiences a full range of emotion: joy, pain, sorrow, delight, disappointment and more.

 

I want my husband to know I am vulnerable. I am not superwoman. But I also don’t want to hear him ‘lecture’ me on sitting down for a minute because really these clothes aren’t going to hang themselves and the children are busy completing their routine chores.

 

Week before last I led a teaching on being Authentically Me. My Women’s Group is reading Priscilla Shirer’s The Resolution for Women. This book has been a tremendous blessing thus far and I highly recommend it. In this particular chapter she talks about freeing yourself to be the fearfully, wonderfully made creation you were made to be. She addresses how we can fall into the trap of defining ourselves by worldly standards. I had done some soul searching and swept my mental and spiritual house clean. Or so I thought.

 

Standing in that closet, attempting to hang that shirt, hiding the agony on my face as I fought to hold back the tears showed me that I indeed have some work to do in being Authentically Me. And isn’t that like God. He brings you into the knowledge of His truth. Then He gives you an opportunity to see where it applies in your life then follows that up with an opportunity to address it.

 

I thank Him for leading me into His truth. I thank Him for giving me the strength to be okay with acknowledging my pain.

 

I walked away from that closet to share this truth with you.

 

If my children ask me why my face is contorted, I will tell them.

 

When my husband gets home I will tell him because really I need him to give me a massage.

 

So while I’ve accepted and embrace that I’m unique, value myself & my contributions and know my self-worth, I also acknowledge today that I am vulnerable. I’m not always STRONG.

 

Yes I am weak.

 

In today’s vernacular, that has come to mean something else.  When one says, “I’m weak” it means very funny,  hysterical, quite entertaining”.  That is NOT how I’m using it here. I.AM.WEAK. At times devoid of strength.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

Just recently a friend was mentioning to me that she “Had to be strong”. I asked her, “Who told you that? Why do you feel you have to be strong all the time?”

 

What if we’re not feeling strong?

 

Is that ok?

 

Well, that statement came crashing back at me as I was confronted with my own weakness. Now I can say to myself, in MY weakness HIS strength is made perfect.

 

This also reminds me I have to be diligent in finding a new chiropractor. I believe this could have possibly been avoided. I had been under chiropractic care but when he stopped accepting my insurance, I stopped going. And just recently I wrote about the importance of being in alignment (click here to read). We must be just as diligent in caring for ourselves as we are about caring for others.

 

Much to my dismay, I think I’ll have to resort to taking some ibuprofen. I don’t like taking over the counter medicine. I prefer natural remedies but the pain is excruciating. Darling hubs will apply the Tiger Balm and prayerfully, I’ll be all right.

 

In my weakness, I am strong.

 

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As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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