Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Diary of a Wimpy Parent

"Hey, Mom! I know! There should be a book called Diary of a Wimpy Parent; Kid Fever!"

Not sure exactly what prompted that except that we took a family walk after a very loud, very eventful supper, which was after a very loud, very eventful library snack time. And I was dra-gging.

"Good idea, G. You think I should write that book?"
"Yeah!"
Oldest always-knows-the-right-thing-to-say-daughter chimed in, "But, Mom, you're not a wimp."

I literally did not have the energy to laugh out loud on that one. I forced out a half-chuckle as I mustered the muscle to open the door to the house that I was only walking into because if the neighbors saw me sleeping in the driveway they might get a little concerned.

Diary of a Wimpy Parent felt just a bit autobiographical at that moment.

And you should see circles under these eyes today... could be the detox eating program I am doing. On. Day. Three...or the kids... or...anyway.

But the conversations I have been having lately have been circling around strength a lot. What makes you strong? Not letting the chaos out? Not letting the stress overwhelm you? Or is it admitting that this life is hard? Sometimes really really hard. Confessing you need help- and not the "pray for me" alone help, the "I need to talk to someone" help. The "I can't do this job alone" help.

As Christians, it's easy to get into the mindset that if we have God, we really don't need anyone else. But while God is obviously the most important, most faithful, most fulfilling partner we have in this life, to stop needing others is to reject the means by which God serves us.

God created Adam, and while God supplied all Adam's needs, He knew that Adam needed a partner, a helpmeet. God gave Adam the gift of a friend beyond his own friendship with God. Linked to his friendship with God. He gave Adam family, Eve. So when those perfect relationships were corrupted, Satan snuck in that little lie about self-sufficiency. Autonomy. Which is why God wrote into the laws how His people were to help and provide for each other. He knew our tendency to turn inwards in self-service and self-destruction.

God knew our propensity to believe that we could do it on our own. Without each other. Which meant without Him.

He knew we would be confronted with our own weaknesses and be tempted to despair instead of giving others the opportunity to fulfill their calling to help us. He knew we would rather rob someone of the joy of serving us in the name of the Lord than appear weak.

So I've been considering this when others have offered to help. Saying yes. Every time. (Ok, almost every time.) Because my reasons for saying no usually have less to do with my needs, and more to do with my pride. I don't enter this lightly with a diva attitude, but with a humble posture. I do what I can. I really do. But maybe if we stopped trying so hard to do it on our own, we would give joy to those who want to help us, and find the joy in helping others as well. Maybe that means talking to someone who has chosen to help people as a profession. Maybe that means scheduling in a much needed coffee time. I don't know what it looks like for you, but I do know this:

"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31

He does it still. All the time. He uses the world's wimps to defeat Goliaths every day. To bring glory to His name. So we can look at our lives and say, "Wow, I was way too weak to handle that, but God provided. He sure did provide."