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Jul 29, 2015

Faith in the Motherhood Trenches

When I am despairing about how I have treated my kids, or about a messy house, or about any number of things(the opposing team likes to just add every little reason to despair, fear, or get angry)... Faith will win EVERY TIME. The term faith sounds cliché. Like, we hear the word all the time in church...but making it an actual shield against the “attacks from the opposing team” is a very active brain endeavor, as well as a physical one. Faith is believing in things which are not seen, which are true. To start, we have to see the truth of the moment. We have to see what is really going on in our brains. (this was a big breakthrough for me, haha maybe I am the last one to figure this out... :)

My Cognitive Faith Therapy
There was a day I was just having the worst day.  Someone had suggested this exercise to me, and so I tried it. I wrote down how I really felt inside. If I put my emotions into words, what would they say? I embarked on complete honesty, no matter how ugly my thoughts seemed… (Things which are not seen, which I was believing). My lists, at first, shocked me. (TIP: keep your list private. It backfires when those closest to you see the lies clanking around in your head.)

Scene: Messy house; husband home after work, but not helping like I want. My baby is fussy and hanging on my legs, whining and not letting me cook, my toddler trying to sample all the things he shouldn’t from the counter, there is a date planned in an hour, and there is no way it seems that I can get everything done.

Negative thoughts I wrote: There is no way I can get this done! My baby is driving me crazy, I am so frustrated at my toddler, my husband is such a lazy butt! I shouldn’t have to say anything to him about helping! My house is a mess, I am a terrible mom! Why can’t I balance it all like other moms? I am so overwhelmed…

After jotting my thoughts of the moment on paper, I counteracted each negative thought with what I thought Jesus would see me from his vantage point if he looked at my life in that moment…

Truth thoughts:(Seeing things which are not seen which are true): All things are possible to God, even my little house crisis. My baby just wants some love, and probably is distressed because I am… poor thing. My toddler is just showing normal development, and is hungry. Should I really be angry over normal behavior? This is a learning moment, and I am equipped with the skills to calmly have a teaching moment with my toddler. Christ can give me the strength to accomplish all of these needs. What a blessing to have a learning moment for myself that God has tailored just for me. My husband has agency and is not perfect. He is a son of God, who is learning too and loves me. I can be patient, and ask for help from him in a way that shows love and honors his ability to choose. I am a Child of God, with all the capacity to accomplish what is needed through Christ. My house is messy, but I am learning to budget my time. God dosen’t love me less because of a messy house, so I can love myself despite my choices. I can change. God dosen’t care about how I compare with others, he loves me, and only wants me to be my best self within my responsibilities. He can enable me to accomplish my righteous desires.

After completing this faith list, I felt so much more at peace, and empowered to finish the evening. All of these great ways to balance what I needed to do came to mind, like putting my baby in his highchair by the counter with a toy, to make him feel included. I was able to ask my husband for help, and not sound like a grouch. For me, all those truths were things which were not seen which were true at the time, which I could not see because of all the lies that I was believing in my head. I switched out the "I can't do this"lens, to the "Truth of the Gospel" lens. Jesus can help us always. Darkness flees at the presence of light.

Discover things which are not seen which are true. Satan can be so sneaky in our heads, but we can flesh him out!

After doing this exercise many times I began to be so frustrated with all the lies I was believing and acting on I wanted to change. The way I was being yanked around was disgusting to me. I was appalled by how blind I had been. I wanted to take back my life, and get rid of my belief in lies. Satan was going to get kicked out of my brain, and out of my home! And that my friends, that is how faith leads to repentance…;)  but repentance is a topic for another day. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! Way to go. The only thing I would add to your process is to first validate your frustrations-feelings, etc and tell yourself how you love yourself unconditionally. Then state the truth (reframe) as you did. You will be even more receptive (if that's possible!) To the truths that you are internalizing. Go girl!!