Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The fog is heavy today and I wish for the light of morning like a watchman on the wall. I can almost "ache" it into being but my fingers cannot weave together comfort or healing or bravery. My shoulders lift and drop and the inhale of Spirit weaves hope and peace into the tension and you, sweet mama, have come full into my sight. Your weariness cannot be hidden by the coats of mascara or concealer and I wish I could hug you in a way that makes you realize how very honestly you are seen. Your battle is also my familiar battle and I know the strength required of you is unfair and shocking and most certainly exhausting. Please stop holding it together and just for a moment, rest and let the walls fall and the bricks collapse around you. I'll find you a cozy blanket and tissue and we'll cry together as the worlds we've built fall to ruins.

I can see by your hesitance and shaking that you are terribly afraid of the ruins. Oh, but why? What is there that has ever been that could not be rebuilt and by much better hands than ours? What is there anyway that we have actually created ourselves? It is nothing, nothing. We have done none of this ourselves and by trying to hold it together, it is likely that we are actually keeping it from glorious life and purpose.  

Let it fall, mama, let it fall.

The dust is still settling so let's take a quiet moment over here to tend to your broken heart. Of course you know that God is kind and tender and available but will you allow Him to come near when your life is ruined? I agree that it is so painfully humiliating to be found like this when you are ruined and everything you've made collapses onto itself. But where did you learn to be so ashamed of your weakness and why would we ever be anything but relieved to be at the end of ourselves and lacking even capacity to utter our need. It is not fatigue or frustration or disappoint that drives us here, it is weakness. Absolute depravity. Yes, I know it will cost you everything to admit this but can you see how it will only lessen your load and lighten the weight?

Now might be a good time to take a breath and have a cup of tea. Can I offer you a warm vanilla bean scone?    

Yes, of course, I know you've put so much time and energy into the mortar that holds your family together. The systems and routines and disciplines; the love and care and prayers; the research and crafting and good you've done for them. I can see by your worn fingers that you have given so very much and often only because so much is required of you. But have your efforts been with denial of your brokenness and in the name of capability? The very deepest place of you is all-together falling apart with no hope of self-improvement. Let's muster our strength together and see that not even the greatest acts of motherhood can provide salvation or hope. Nope, not one. Not for ourselves and definitely not for our children. We are not the way to God for their little broken lives.  

Let it go, mama, let it go.

Can we please for just a moment stop telling each other that we're doing a great job and admit, no, embrace the broken and terrible thing we've done to motherhood? We have been found dead in the ocean of raising children and cannot do this well until we realize we have done it wrong. Doesn't this feel so much easier to carry than perfection? Failure is the ugly, broken place where we start our journey so I will meet you here, at the bottom, but I will also remind you of hope.

Hope has come for you and your mothering heart and it comes again with blinding light and a balm of healing for your heart. His light was made for the darkness, it was made to fill the once-depressing darkness of our brokenness and while we wait in the rubble, it will find every corner of our failure and pride and impatience and selfishness.

It will shine on us and we will see that the gospel has come for mothers.  

The kindest King Jesus has given his very breath and blood to see that mothers can find peace and freedom to walk with Him. So we embrace that everything we need to raise our babies is found at the foot of the cross and that apart from Him we can do no good thing (John 15:5). We build our homes on the foundation that we are clinging to the grace of God and hour-by-hour, we seek how to demonstrate the living power of the gospel.

"He will bestow on you a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
He will give you the oil of joy instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

He will rebuild our ancient ruins,
He will restore the places long devastated.  
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance
and everlasting joy will be yours."
Isaiah 61

I believe in you, sweet mama, and believe in a bigger God than we can imagine and dare even hope for. My heart is for you and your home and so here is my practical, next-step encouragement: find some time with Jesus and find some more time with a girlfriend who will pray for you and love you and remind you that the ruins are not to be feared. Confess and repent. Every stretch of mother's destruction or failure is surpassed by God's grace and His far-reaching gospel. This truth will heal you and heal your children and heal your home.

I hope very much today that you find Him in the ruins.