The most important thing to remember is that we are weak, weak people. We are weak emotionally, physically, and we easily become weak spiritually. If we are not careful our flesh will literally suck the life right out of us. But here's something we seem to forget, if we surround ourselves with flesh we will get the life sucked out of us even faster! God recognized this in us from the beginning of creation. He gave Eve to Adam, Aaron to Moses, Elisha to Elijah, Silas to Paul, and on and on and on. Even Jesus had 12 chosen disciples. Sometimes we just need something physical to plug into so we can reharge our battery. The problem when trying to plug our spiritual selves into a fleshly socket is that we will short out and become, well, useless.
But what does this have to do with motherhood? This is why it is so important to practice discernment when we decide who to surround ourselves with. Here's a real life example: I am beyond exhausted, frustrated, and cranky. Eden was up all night with a cold, Maddox was having night terrors, and as soon as we finally got everyone settled down and asleep at 3am Kason decided it was time to par-tay! Physically I am done, emotionally I am hanging off of the cliff, and my spiritual self is on the back shelf completely.
I call up a friend who says she is on her way and for me to put the coffee on. She gets here, we pour a cup of coffee, and spend the next two hours while the kids nap talking about how difficult being a mother is. I cry, she says she understands and even cries a little herself, we hug and she leaves. The problem is, I feel even more exhausted after she left and now that the kids are awake I feel completely d.o.n.e. done. But I don't know why because I felt "better" while she was here. I felt so "understood". I felt "encouraged".
Now imagine if I had called a different friend. I tell her what happened, she tells me to put on a pot of coffee because she's coming over. As soon as she walks through the door I start crying, but instead of letting me have a pity party she tells me to go take a shower and she will take care of the kids if they wake up. While I'm in the shower I have my time to relax and finish "pitying" myself. As I come out and see that she has done the dishes and is folding my laundry I immediately feel the need to get to work cleaning up this crazy mess of a house while the kids are taking their nap. She leaves and my house is in better shape, but so am I. Why? Because instead of having me spend two hours plugged into my flesh and focusing on how difficult things are she realizes it is time for me to wake up. She realizes that I need time to pity myself, but that it's also time for me to pull it together. She encourages me that, yes, I had a bad night, but guess what it's morning! The kids are all napping at the same time and instead of trying to make the best of my day I am still stuck focusing on the worst of my night.
The spiritual gift of goodness is one that I absolutely adore. It is the partner to the gift of kindness, but it is the physical act of it's emotional counterpart. The reason I love it, is because, ironically, goodness is all about rebuking others. That is what I need! I need a fellow mother to have a tender heart for my situation (kindness) but a firm hand when it comes to how I handle it (goodness). I don't need a mother to give me advice, I need a mother to give me guidance. I'm so blessed that very early on in motherhood I learned the art of taking a shower!
If you haven't yet read about your super powers now is the perfect time to do so!!!