Sep 15, 2012

Last Saturday I posted about being done with mothering. Well, it has been a week since that horrible night and I have been thinking deeply about my mothering. I have had some pretty powerful insights, which I will attempt to share, but they may or may not be powerful for you.

In Kisses From Katie (which you MUST read. Really. It will transform your heart…I promise), Katie says:

“Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle.” People repeat this frequently; I heard it growing up and I hear it now. It is meant to be a source of encouragement, and it would be if I believed it were true. But I don’t. I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives.

When I read those words last week, I was changed. Impacted deeply. Taught. Opened. My heart was literally opened to more dependence on the Lord.

In the past year and a half, I have learned that I can’t fix the lump in my breast. I can’t fix this hip. I can’t change many of the things about my life. But God can. God will. God is. I remember the day I miraculously received approval for the lumpectomy. I still have the voicemail on my phone and I listen to it often so I can remember the workings of God in my life. I remember the day back in March when I had the MRI when I was completely opposed to it and could see no way to make it happen. I remember falling apart afterwards in body-shaking sobs because the miracles of that day meant God knew me and loved me – I felt like an itty-bitty baby in God’s hands and knew my every breath came from Him.

But sometimes I forget those lessons. Sometimes I am just so dang competent in my own life that I forget to be dependent on the Lord. I’m a smart girl. I can get a lot done. I can talk to anyone, anywhere and usually connect with their heart. I can type fast, scrub a toilet, lift a gazillion pounds, do a back flip, and hatch crazy ideas. I can help a mama give birth, massage a baby, make food from scratch, put on huge events, and gobs of other things that make the world go round (ha-ha).

So I forget. I forget how utterly dependent I am on Him. I forget that He is helping me each step of the way. I forget that without Him I can do nothing.

And I have done that with mothering.

I have taught parenting classes for years. I know all the “right” answers in my head. I have studied and researched and written and pondered mothering for the past sixteen years.

And there was a time I was doing most of it right. I was loving and patient and nurturing and focused and dedicated.

And then things changed. More children came to our home. I began having health problems. I began our miscarriage journey. I had Fisher and went through a year of hell recovering from his birth. After two more miscarriages and many broken hearts, our business was closed, our income cut by two-thirds, our Annesley was born and our life was changed dramatically. No more lunches with my sweetie, no more evenings to play together, no more Saturdays to work in the yard, just lots and lots of hours of him working hard to support our family. Then, when we finally adjusted the best we could to this new way of life, I discovered the breast lump and went through months of pain and fear (and growth!). Then, we were hit with the hip injury that has caused me such pain, incapacitation, and frustration for the past seven months.

Truth be told, I am worn out. My emotional reserves are gone. I have a wonderful life, I know this and I am so, so grateful for it. But, these last twelve years of physical, emotional, and financial stress have pretty much done me in. If everything is running smoothly and children are cheerful, obedient, and helpful, I can hold it together, but the second that changes, I fall apart. And really, when does it it all run smoothly? You know how you feel after you have been up for 36 straight hours and you are exhausted and hungry and can’t think straight? That is pretty much where I am living now. I am still functioning, still doing good things, still smiling, but my face is creased with the grimace of pain and my heart is struggling to stay in a place of love.

And I think I am finally learning that I must rely on the Lord.


I no longer have any of my own strength or my own brainpower or my own willpower. I have given everything I have and there is nothing left of myself to buoy me up.

It is oh, so evident in my mothering. My well of patience is about one inch deep. My well of love is perhaps a little deeper, but it is also harder to find. My well of nurturing is covered over with cement and needs to be unearthed.

And I have finally realized I cannot rely on myself and my knowledge and my dedication to mothering. It is not enough. I must rely on the Lord. I must receive sustenance from Him if I am to mother these precious souls in the way I desire.

Katie continues with:

I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this “more than I can handle.” Because in these times, God shows himself victorious. he reminds me that all of this life requires more of Him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining through our lives. And as I surrender these situations to Him, watch Him take over and do the impossible, I am filled with joy and peace – so much more than I can handle.

I want that peace. I know He is working miracles in my life on a continual basis. I know He is guiding me and loving me and teaching me. Now I need to give me to Him completely and let Him be my reservoir, let Him nurture me and them, let Him be my everything instead of thinking I am my anything.

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  1. Wow, those words from Katie are amazing (as are yours)! Thank you for sharing.

    • tracy


      Read Katie’s book! It will inspire you deep down to your little toes.

      Love you!

  2. Max Finster

    Tracy, I came here from Dorothy’s Facebook post. I share your feelings about trials and trust in the Lord. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts and feelings. It is encouraging and uplifting. Keep Smiling.

    • tracy

      Welcome Max! How are things in your life?

      Thank you for your kind words! Submission is such an ongoing process. I thought I had learned it clear back in 2004 during Fisher’s pregnancy, but I have to keep learning it again and again.

  3. Very uplifting. You are one the strongest, greatest moms I know.

    • tracy

      Sally, I just love you. You are such an inspiration of living your life with integrity and fullness. I love your FB posts and am in awe of how you are living your dreams. Thank you for being my friend and giving me so much mothering encouragement.

  4. {{{{{{Hugs!}}}}}} I love you– you’re always such an inspiration.