remain

I’d like to think I’m cool.

I mean, being cool these days often just takes effort on the outside of your body. And, I think I can dress myself somewhat hip.

But, that’s just dressing up…putting on.

Last event, Desi Brown talked about cool – not looking it, but keeping it.

So, how am I doing at keeping my cool?
I’m hot.
But, um, not in the good way.

This kind of cool starts on the inside.
Somedays, it bubbles up from within and boils over and out, unable to be contained.

Not proud moments, my friends.
Yet, at times, we all have these kinds of ‘hot flashes’.

Can you really blame us when day after day we’re amidst whining, screaming, no sleeping, diaper blowouts, spit up, laundry, dishes, hitting, biting, bickering, fighting, and general mayhem at our houses?

It’s not supposed to be easy.
To think it should be is one of the biggest parenting lies, Desi mentions. Oh how before we had kids we’d look at other people and think ‘our’ kids will never behave like that! Hah!

One of Desi’s favorite things about motherhood is how it has wrecked her pride and her self-sufficiency, and drawn her closer to God in a way she never expected. Children do that. These blessings of a life, God uses to expose the sin in our lives and help us realize how much we need Him.

That might seem ugly, but it’s ugly pretty.

Before kids, so much of my day used to be about me (or so I thought), and now so very little is. So.very.little.

I think this is the source of much of the frustration I feel. I can’t control my situation anymore. I can’t make them obey. I can’t have a 5 minute phone conversation anymore. I can’t do one thing without something else being destroyed. Lots of I’s in there.

Ahh, the bubbles are starting to form…

It’s a tough transition, this one into parenthood.

But, what if…What if our primary job actually hasn’t changed?

I’ve been so caught up in all of the daily, moment by moment, mommy duties, that I forgot that raising my kids isn’t my main job.
Being a faithful follower and messenger of God is.

Otherwise, all this hard work and ‘sacrifice’ is for nothing.
Nothing!

I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

It doesn’t say I should be able to do it on my own.
Rather, it says I can’t.

It is not our kind of perfection that God wants. It’s our obedience.
Day after day, mundane and all…to remain in Him.

This is where transformation occurs. This is where He can chisel away the things we cling to too tightly and teach us to cling to Him more.
He can help us see people like He does, soften our hardened hearts, and channel our frustration toward righteousness.

How do we remain in Him?

The first step isn’t going to be catchy or clever or unique. Sorry.
It’s simply this…being in His word daily.
Every day. Even when you don’t feel like it. Remember, obedience over perfection.

And even when you don’t feel like it, you will marvel at what God shows you. Your heart will be grateful for God’s insane love and the blessings He reveals day after day.

So, rather than trying to keep your cool, keep with Him instead.

Maybe the fruit bowl or fridge drawer is a good spot for the verse this week. Whenever you break off a banana or a grape from it’s bunch, remember that apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Turn thoughts toward Him. See a big pile of cheerios spilled on the floor not as another big mess to clean up, but as a boy remaining in the things he loves, eating up the good stuff and delighting in every bite. Besides, don’t Cheerios look like little life preservers? A great reminder of the Great Rescuer.

The conquering of keeping our cool doesn’t come in any of our own efforts, but in sitting amidst our Great Rescuer and delighting in Him. Dive in and dig in. How’s this for tomorrow sound? – Sundee McDonald

Catch Desi’s talk on the Big Picture of Keeping Your Cool here.

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