As I sit here to write, my house looks like a mess. Clothes everywhere, papers in piles, crumbs on the floor, leftover dishes from dinner last night on the counter. But I also think….at least I have some coffee and I made my bed…take that, Thursday! But in all honesty, the Holy Spirit guided me to share my heart with you. And one thing I’ve learned over the past few years is to follow where He leads.
The past few weeks have been tough. We had our 4th child, Annie, on January 20. She has surprised us in many ways throughout the pregnancy, birth and 3 months of life and is a complete blessing to our family. (Photo credit: Violeta Harrington)
In the following 6 weeks after her birth, life was great! We had meals brought to us EVERY SINGLE week night. My husband, mother-in-law, and a friend helped get the kids to and from school. My mother-in-law also picked up laundry in the morning, would wash it and bring it back clean and folded later in the afternoon. And I got a lot of alone time to love on Annie. As I was changing a cloth diaper one night (yes, we started cloth diapering on our 4th…we love it!) my husband said to me, “I think you’re handling this better than when our other kids were born.” I tucked that compliment just far enough away to remember, but it quickly turned into pride.
Fast forward 5 weeks later to Easter Sunday 2015. All the help I relied on had stopped. I was sad and frustrated and tired. I could not control the constant sobbing on the ride to church, during church, and all throughout the rest of the day. My husband didn’t know how to help me and the kids kept asking if I was ok. I couldn’t even look anyone in the eye for fear of bursting into a million pieces. I was so mad at myself for not being able to worship the risen Christ and the more I thought about it, the more I continued to spiral downward. The ONE day during the year for the most JOYOUS celebration! And I couldn’t get to a point of worship or thanksgiving. (Easter pic below...I managed a smile for the camera!)
What changed in those few weeks? Looking back, many things came to a peak on Easter Sunday. Lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of proper nutrition, post-partum hormones. I felt our house was more a place to keep STUFF and manage STUFF and pick up STUFF. It was not a joyful home. I was completely overwhelmed. But the biggest struggle was making time with God. I felt Him near and I tried to keep clinging to his promises, but I still felt overwhelmed and frustrated. From the time I awoke to the time I went to sleep, I was needed by someone else and forgot to give my attention to God. Each day began to blend into the next and I felt like I was struggling to stay afloat. Every 3-4 days I would be super exhausted. When this happens I am very quiet and walk around doing menial things while looking at no one.
And then, while in the car yesterday, turned on the radio to hear this song: “I’ll Keep On” by NF ft. Jeremiah Carlson.
Here are the first few lines:
Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I'll keep on
But I'll keep on
But I'll keep on
You know when God speaks to you and the world seems to stop around you and everything going in your ear is crystal clear? Yeah, that. Those words are exactly what I was feeling. After the song ended and I could breathe again, I realized...
I’ll keep on, because I know that when I am weak, He is strong. 2 COR 12
I’ll keep on, because I know He has a plan for me. JER 29:11
I’ll keep on, because He commanded me to be strong and courageous. JOSHUA 1:9
I’ll keep on, because He goes before me always. DEU 31:8
I’ll keep on, because there is good work to do that he equipped me for. EPH 2:10
Does this sound familiar? God's promises in scripture are the basis of Inspired Apparel designs. Which of these speaks to you?
So, in God’s timely manner, the VERY next song was “Brave” by Moriah Peters.
No one ever told me This would be easy
But I never knew That it could be this hard
Oh the worry the worry the worry Is weighing on me
Could you help me break down All these question marks
And make me
Brave, I'll fight like a soldier
Brave, Rise like a warrior
Brave, Won't stop till the final day
Brave, I want to be stronger
Brave, Gonna be bolder
Brave, Look up and I see the way
You make me brave
I know I know I'm no superwoman
But impossible is possible with You
So no, no, no more running, no more hiding
Strike the fire so I'll be fearless too
Another earful of His truth comforted me in my moment of weakness and built me up to face the rest of the day. Was I still tired? Absolutely. Did I leave clothes in the washer overnight? Yes. But my perspective changed from trying to control everything around me to resting in His grace about my beautiful messy life.
And I know I can keep on. And I know He is here, helping me be brave.