As moms, we have to swallow the pill of realizing we simply CANNOT do it all – as in we can’t do all the things we want to do as mothers, wives, business owners, etc. because there are only so many hours in a day AND we can’t do it all in our own strength. We were created with an inherent need for someone and something bigger, stronger, greater. Heather Brown from The Heather Brown Project is back with us sharing an encouraging word on accepting our limitations + 5 verses to help surrender it over to God! After recently sharing about my Motherhood Expectations vs. Reality, this post really hit home for me in so many ways! I pray it touches your heart too.
5 Verses for Accepting Our Limitations as Moms
When my first son was born, it took me about two weeks to realize I was in for a great, enormous humbling. For some reason, I had imagined myself as a mother who would blissfully care for a baby, work from home, keep the house in order, exercise daily, cook healthful meals and look nice for my husband when he returned each evening. I’m not sure why I was so arrogant considering I didn’t really even manage to do all those things before I became a mother but there it was. I was going to do all the things I should.
Suddenly, my own expectations were coming face to face with my own limitations. Reality was not lining up with the fantasy. And unfortunately, I did not take this news lying down. When it would have been smart to surrender it all to God and let Him guide me, I decided to double down. Maybe I hadn’t been trying hard enough? Maybe I could sleep less (yeah, right!) and work more and things would begin falling into place? Yeah, no. I was in for a crash of epic proportions that eventually led me to accepting I had postpartum depression and anxiety, I was not the impressive person I thought I was, and actually, I needed help from the Lord about as much as I needed oxygen. That last one is the kind of thing you think you know in your head but it may not have made it into your heart.
By the time my second child was born, I was arrogant in a whole new way. I thought since I had been through this all before that this time I would know what I was doing. I had learned to give up control and hand things over to the Lord! I was totally prepared spiritually! Ha! There I was, sitting on the couch, breastfeeding my 10 lb newborn all day long while my two-year-old watched Disney Jr and ate whatever bag of snacks I could toss his way. I cried to my friends that he would be better off at daycare and that I was a terrible mother to him because I couldn’t do everything “right.” They looked sympathetic but also slightly amused as they reassured me that this was a short season and everything was fine. Their faces said “we get it, but also, what did you expect?” They were right. Everything was fine. The world did not depend on me in order to keep turning.
As my kids have grown and the ways they need me have changed, I have had to keep learning the same lesson over and over again. I can’t do it all. Me expecting to do it all is pride. Me feeling I need to meet someone else’s standards is people-pleasing. Me wanting to do something impressive to earn a pat on the back is selfishness. When I can manage it, me accepting my very human limitations and leaning on the Lord is God-honoring humility. And, it’s a grace message to the other weary mamas I meet!
Sweet friend, you know you weren’t created by a perfect Creator to be independent, right? If you could do it all, what would you need Him for? What would send you running to the feet of Jesus every day if you could carry all the things yourself?
Take a deep breath. Actually, take five deep breaths. Then, thank God for your own neediness and His boundless grace for you (and me!). Prayerfully consider what the values and priorities for your family are. What are the non-negotiables? Then, let the other things land where they may. Let the extras fall away. Be a good steward of what God has given you as He leads.
Don’t compare yourself to the other moms because we are all created differently. We can’t do it all and we were never meant to. Don’t let that dirty sink or those untouched workout clothes tell you otherwise!
Here are five verses to remind you your limits are a gift even when they feel like a curse:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Cor 12:8-10
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. -John 15:5
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. -Isaiah 40:11
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. -Proverbs 3:5
Do you have a favorite verse that speaks to you when you are overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of motherhood? Please share it in the comments! Is there a particular area where you struggle with letting go of guilt or comparison? Let me know and I would be honored to pray for you!
Thanks for being here, mamas. You are doing just fine.