When your life is swirling and unfortunately it’s not goodness spewing from your lips…

The wind blows a midst the branches, leaves swirling, caught in the revolving dance of nature.

So goes our lives, being a mom, being a daughter, being a caregiver. Don’t we all have seasons when our lives are swirling around us, and there seems no end in sight?

When we have to literally makes ourselves stop. Make ourselves take a deep breath and simply BREATHE.

Last week, just hours prior to leaving town for a blogging conference, I screamed at my 4 year old daughter that “she had issues.”

Yes, unfortunately, you heard that right.

I screamed at a defenseless child…solely because she wouldn’t put a sweater over her head.

Whew…NOT my proudest moment! And to top it all off, the blogging conference…oh, it was a christian bloggers conference. Talk about really needing the grace of God…I certainly am not a Christian because I’ve got it all right.

It’s more like I get so much wrong and can do nothing good without Him.

All the pressures of the week, all the tugs and pulls to be this & that had left me depleted.

And unfortunately, my kids, my husband, my friends…they received my meager leftovers.

That moment was such a poignant reminder that without Christ, what do I truly accomplish?

If I am not filling myself, moment by moment with Christ, then what do my leftovers look like?

When your kid sweetly says “yes, ma’am” or takes their plate to the sink without asking…it’s easy in that moment to respond patiently with lots of gentleness. But when they contort their face to a snarl and stomp those little feet, when the bickering never ceases, and they quite intentionally slam that door in your face…
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Those are the moments when it’s only Christ’s love that can respond in joy, in peace, in patience, in kindness.

Everyone has joy when their bundled little one smiles for the first time or the teetering child takes that first solid step… but when the 4am greeting is “Mama, I just threw up again” and you’re left stripping a bed for the 14th morning in a row…

That’s the moment you have to pray for the fruits of the spirit to be breathed out in you.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galations 5:22 & 23

When I accomplish nothing on my own, is when God accomplishes the most for His glory.
When I am weakest, He is strongest.
When I admit that I’m not perfect, when I ask my child for forgiveness, when I delve into the messy chaotic past…

When I let go of trying to be perfect on my own. Of trying to act like I’ve got this parenting thing under control.

Only then, is God able to come alongside me, pick me up, and help me move forward.

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So hopefully in that next future moment, when she stares defiantly at me that, “no, she isn’t putting on that red quilted sweater”…in that moment I say…”that is just fine.”

And when my child sees me truly repentant of my selfishness, when they experience firsthand me, mom, asking forgiveness for lashed out words…hopefully then, they see it’s okay to admit our flaws and imperfections.

So when my life swirls out of control, am I beckoning God to come close? Can I take at least one thing off my to-do list so that I can be more present and in the moment with my kids? Do I find moments every hour to remind myself of scripture, to ask God moment by moment to reside peacefully in me, so that others can experience joy, peace, patience from above and not the spewing of someone depleted from life.


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  1. You know.. Mom used to dress us in flannel polka dotted pants… Surely a red sweater isn’t that bad?

  2. jana winquist says:

    you write so beautiful and so honest and love the photos….blessings to you and your family…

    • Thank you so much Jana for your encouraging words! When we are raw & real with the messiness of life, only then do we allow God to really make us more giving, more caring…more like Him.

  3. Jessica, this is such a beautiful post! I love this:

    “I certainly am not a Christian because I’ve got it all right.
    It’s more like I get so much wrong and can do nothing good without Him.”

    I fail Him daily, especially with spewing out words that I shouldn’t say….I read the book Unglued and it changed my life. I am so thankful for God’s grace and how we can use those mistakes and those instances and teach our children about forgiveness and mercy. Great post!

    • I’m so glad Misty that the post resonated with you. I haven’t read Unlgued but I had heard it was great. Don’t we all fail Him daily…I have to be so intentional to ask for His help or else I just spew those words that make you me cringe!

  4. Oh, Jessica, I’m so glad we met at Allume! I know it was a divine meeting. 😉 I couldn’t help but laugh…girl, I just wrote this week about throwing my kids toy over the fence into the pasture when they made me mad. I have definitely told my children they “have issues”…because I certainly have issues. 😉 So thankful for God’s grace and learning to accept it myself, as well as give it. Love this place and your heart spilling out here. I’ll be back! xoxo

    • It was a diving meeting…and meant to be! And been there, done that with the toys. Granted, mine didn’t end up in the pasture (the trash bin had to suffice). I will have to go read that post. I can just hear your kids yelling “no, mama” like mine would have been!

  5. Wonderful post we can all relate to. Now you know why I run…and run, and run! I love how you framed this with beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing this!