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Dear discouraged moms
From Hilary Tompkins: Moms understand chaos. We live it daily. No one empathizes quite like Kimm Crandall, mother of four and believer in the outrageous grace of God. “Dare to believe right now,” writes Kimm, “that nothing you do today, whether good or bad, or the attitude you have today, joyful or resentful, will change the way the Father loves you.” Relax your shoulders, moms, because that’s good news and worthy of rejoicing over. I’m confident you’ll benefit from Kimm’s encouragement that no matter our chaos, how hard we’ve tried or how much we’ve failed, because of Jesus our hearts can find rest and freedom in God’s extravagant goodness.
I have heard you are struggling to fight the funk that has found its way to your doorstep, into your home, and has met you lying in your bed paralyzed by the thought of facing the day. I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. All too often, I can relate.
Afraid to leave your room
There are days that, like you, I feel as if my life as a mom is just an opportunity for failure. I long for peace from my kids so that I am not faced with the challenge of discipline, yet I don’t ever seem to find it. I know what you are feeling when you say that you sometimes liken your children to Piranhas and don’t want to step out of your room for fear of being attacked.
I imagine that most people you have confided in have offered well-meaning advice. I have probably heard the same things myself in times of discouragement. Maybe you’ve been told that the root of your problem is that you are not faithful with your “quiet times.” Maybe you’ve been told to craft a strict schedule so that you always know what to do next. Oh and my favorite has always been, “Get some rest!” I’m not sure about you but not one of these remedies has ever pulled me from the pit. Are they good? Of course! But never the solution to a discouraged heart.
Forgetting God’s goodness
I hesitate to offer my advice, but maybe you have not heard from anyone else what I am about to say. I write what I know as a desperate, broken mom who continues daily to find freedom in her beautiful, soul-satisfying redeemer and who wants you to find that freedom too.
Sometimes life as a mom feels like just an opportunity for failure.
In all the times that I have found myself in a funk, it has come from an obvious source; me forgetting that God is as good as he says he is. I have spun my wheels only to stay stuck in one place by trying hard to gain an acceptance that Jesus Christ has already earned for me. I convince myself there is something more I must do, even though Christ is calling out for me to rest.
I fall into the trap of thinking that “It is finished” (John 19:30) was only about the end to Christ’s suffering on the cross, and not about the work that was completed on my behalf. So I toil and worry about whether I’m doing enough to be called his beautiful daughter.
Stopping the pendulum
The reality is that continually thinking I must do more and be better only produces two reactions in my heart. Either I fail at the work I am trying so hard to produce and fall into despair, or I triumphantly succeed and fall into pride. The pendulum of works swings wildly back and forth in my heart.
It’s only when I look to the cross that the pendulum stops, showing me how Christ’s incarnation, sinless life, death, and resurrection were so carefully executed on my behalf so that God in all of his blinding holiness could turn his face towards me. It’s when I see the beauty of being hidden in Christ as protection, rest, and comfort that I stop fretting. I am his.
It’s not your life
This life that you are in, dear friend, is not your life. If Christ is your redeemer then your life is in him. It is not what you do that makes you his beautiful daughter with whom he is well pleased. It is the fact that your life is Christ’s life; Christ’s life is your life (Col. 3:3–4). You have died and are now one with him, and that cannot be revoked. He is your new life. He is with you in your funk. He is praying for you, loving you, and continually presenting you spotless and righteous before the Father.
I convince myself there is something more I must do, even though Christ is calling out for me to rest.
Please stop believing the lies that others are telling you that you must work your way into his presence. Stop believing that you must work to keep your status. Stop believing that the work you do today—wiping faces, bottoms, and floors—must be done perfectly to keep his love. Dare to believe right now that nothing you do today, whether good or bad; or the attitude you have today, joyful or resentful, will change the way the Father loves you. Rejoice in his outrageous grace!
I pray that your heart would be comforted by the gospel. Rest in Christ’s finished work and believe that God really is as good as he says he is.
A mom who cares