“What do you wish you’d done differently when you were a young mom?”
I so wish I’d prayed daily to become an innie!
Now I’m not referring to belly buttons but instead I wish I’d grasped in the depths of my heart that my value came from within and not from without. What a difference this would’ve made in my life!
It’s like I’m an empty box and all my life I’ve looked to things outside of me to give me value – what I do, what I have, what other people think of me…
But the reality is when I became a Christian, I wasn’t just saved for eternity, but God’s Holy Spirit literally came to live inside of me.
That’s of greater value than if a ton of gold was poured inside me!
But I still kept living as if things outside were needed to give me value. So when my son was a baby and my husband would come home from work and ask “What did you do today?” I’d burst into tears. I’d had a full day, nursing him, changing his diapers, caring for him… but there sure wasn’t much to show for all my efforts.
Did the enemy ever use this to rob me of contentment.
When my son celebrated his first birthday I decided to head back to school and get more training so I could do something of value. Now I’d heard on a Focus on the Family broadcast that it was important if possible that moms not be away from their children during their first three years of life more than 15 hours a week so I worked out my schedule never to be away from him more than that. When I put him down for bed at night I’d study till 2 in the morning then sleep until 6 am. I lived an entire year only getting 4 hours of sleep each night and I was sick the entire time. Pretty ironic as I was teaching personal and family health!
Even though I wasn’t physically away from my son I wasn’t very present emotionally or mentally. I’ll never forget trying to study for an exam one Saturday and my son kept coming in wanting me to help him, play with him, ask me questions… After about the fifth interruption he went back to his dad and exclaimed, “Mommy isn’t very nice.”
Sadly I wasn’t the only one being robbed here…
And the crazy thing is on the night I graduated the Lord woke me up asking, “Dream big Deb. What’s the biggest dream you can come up with for your life?” And after I shared how I was going to work part time as a consultant, designing programs for hospitals, providing continuing education classes on the weekends, He exclaimed, “That’s nothing compared to what I can do with your life if you’ll give it all up and wholeheartedly follow me.” You should’ve seen my husband’s face the next morning when I told him I believed the Lord didn’t want me to work! But I did what I sensed the Lord was leading me to – and I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am now!
Though I will say, my search for significance (and being robbed by the enemy because of this!) didn’t end. It just morphed into looking to being a mom to give me value. I wanted to be the best mom I could be – and help my son be the best he could be. Sounds good – except it sure can get ugly when you’re looking to this to give your life value and meaning.
“Did you just call me a fool mommy?” My son had been practicing his piano and not very open to correction, so in frustration I’d shared the verse Proverbs 12:1 “a fool hates correction.” Of course I quickly pointed out he was acting like a fool not that he was one. But did that ever stop me in my tracks! I so needed to guard my tongue! The problem was I really wasn’t aware what was fueling my reaction.
What a blessing it’s been to finally understand – not just in my head, but in the depths of my heart – my value is a set thing. And it’s not because of anything I do or don’t do, have or don’t have, or what others think about me – it’s because of what’s inside me, God Himself, that I have tremendous value always! …even on my worst days!
The sad thing is you can’t just do a Bible study or read a few verses and get this. That’s why if I could go back I’d be praying every single day asking the Lord to help me be an innie – to understand and embrace this truth in the depths of my heart. Can it ever help protect you (and those around you!) from being robbed by the enemy!