February 13, 2013
The Day I Almost Quit
“You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.” Psalm 18:35 (NIV 1984)
I love my kids, but I haven’t always liked being a mom.
Once my boys became toddlers who wouldn’t listen to me or obey consistently, I kind of panicked. Other moms appeared to know what they were doing, and I wondered why I couldn’t get it right with my kids.
Their children seemed to listen when told no. Why wouldn’t my child stay in the cart at the grocery store or stop begging me when I told him we could not buy everything his little hand could touch? How come no one told me being a mom would be so hard?
I felt like such a failure. Almost every day I compared how I felt on the inside to how other moms looked on the outside.
I held up my feelings of inadequacy and thoughts of insecurity in contrast to moms who dressed their children in matching outfits and adorned themselves with attitudes of grace and wisdom. How in the world did they pull it off with a smile? I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.
I just wanted to quit. One day I came home from running too many errands with two very tired, fussy kids. When I put them down for an early nap, I started looking for pink construction paper to write “I QUIT” on it so I could turn in my “pink slip” to my husband when he came home from work.
It was just too hard, and I was tired of thinking I would never be “good enough” as a mom.
I needed a new place to start. I started becoming the mom God created me to be, the day I was ready to quit. That afternoon I fell on my knees before God and choked out the words, “I can’t do this.”
In that place of surrender, His peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It was as if God bent down and spoke to my heart: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can’t do this. But with My promises, My presence and My power — all things are possible. I will help you become a great mom.
Looking back on that day, I’m reminded of our key verse in Psalm 19:35, “You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.”
When we acknowledge that on our own we are a mess, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His grace, wisdom and guidance, we can become the mom He is calling us to be, the mom our kids need us to be, and the mom we want to be!
Dear Lord, I need Your shield of victory to protect me from discouragement. Please extend Your right hand to sustain me; Your grace to strengthen me; and Your wisdom to lead me. Today, I want to find a new starting place with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Join Renee Swope, Dr. Bill Maier and John Fuller from Focus on the Family in Charlotte, NC, this April for the Parenting On Purpose Conference with 91.9 FM.
Click here to find out what God did to give Renee new direction and purpose as a mom and enter to win a “Purpose-Driven Mom Gift Pack” that includes Renee’s parenting message on CD, her Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Character Chart and The Mom I Want to Be by Suzie Eller.
Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Character Chart that includes positive and practical ways to connect spiritually with your kids by Renee Swope.
The Power of a Purpose-Driven Parent message on CD by Renee Swope. Personal stories, practical ideas and inspirational truths, this 45-minute message will help you discover your purpose as a parent and develop a plan to live it out each day!
Reflect and Respond:
Write a letter, telling God how you feel. Be honest and open. Sharing your heart and thoughts with Him is the first step toward freedom and hope.
As you read today’s devotion, what struggles are similar to yours as a mom? Have you ever wanted to quit? What got you to that hard place and what do you need to do to rely on God’s perspective instead of your own?
Psalm 113:5-7, “Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.” (NIV 1984)
© 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105