Category Archives: Failure

Defeat

susan phone 308This summer, we took the kids to Devil’s Den.  But at the start of our adventure,  Abby was scared.  She clasped my hand tight trying to hold me back from the trail.  But once she was engaged in our little adventure, we all had a great time.

Fear can be so paralyzing.

Faced with fear,  I hold back too.  In my own  way.  I won’t speak in a group until I feel very, very safe. And even then, maybe never.  When I go to the gym, I plug earphones in my ears so no one will talk to me.  And you are likely to cause a  panic attack if you catch me by surprise at the grocery store.

I  know that God has released me from fear’s POWER and DOMINANCE over my life, and yet, the struggle to depend wholly on Him remains.   But that’s the beauty of God’s grace.   Where self defeat leaves me, Jesus picks me up.  In the moment, I  can choose to surrender to him.  And then, He replaces my loneliness with His comfort, my isolation with His closeness, and my lack of self-confidence with His God-confidence.

 

 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.                                                                                                                                      Isaiah 40:29

 

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An Overcomer

Anyone who has spent any time in my house knows that I am saturated in christian music.  I always have the radio on.  Always.

My need arose from the first time I had ever experienced the awful combination of depression and anxiety.   With my radio on, I could constantly hear God’s truth.   And even though I have currently exited the darkness of depression and anxiety, my radio stays on.  I need that constant reminder.  A reminder that God loves me.  That He wants good for me.  That He gives me purpose.  And that He is absolutely amazing.

But recently, one song has caught my attention.

Overcomer (by Mandisa)

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

 As I struggle through periods of anxiety, I really only considered myself an overcomer when the anxiety was conquered.  Right now, I feel great.  I have energy. And joy is bubbling in my heart.

And it is easy to see that God has delivered me.  That He has overcome.

But in a K-Love interview with Mandisa, she was talking about being an overcomer.  We aren’t an overcomer beacuse of conquering an objective.  But instead, we are an overcomer because of what Christ did on the cross.

And that really made me think.  I get frustrated when anxiety starts to take root in my life.  In those moments, I do not feel like an overcomer.  But the beauty, grace, and love of God is more than my failures.  He overcomes even when I am at my worst.  Because victory is never in my actions.

But in His.

And so, when I do fall, my heart can take great hope in His deliverance.

His love conquers ALL.

 

 

My Portion Forever

God is my portion forever

 

Zaiah kept blowing harder and harder on his little recorder.  And he was very upset. He thought that music notes would literally come out the end.

He was frustrated.

But his presumption was entirely false.  He needed me to explain that cartoons are not real.  That music is what you hear not what you see.  He needed to know the truth.

But sometimes the truth is not so light hearted.  Sometimes the truth is  very hard.

Like the truth that I fail  my children.  Every day.

 I get frustrated.  I snap.  And withdraw.   I half heartedly teach them about God.  And neglect to show them, with my every action, the love and gratitude for my Lord and Savoir.

And then, in the quiet moments, when I can watch them calm and peaceful in their sleep – my gut wrenches.   We are so busy trying to navigate through parenthood that we miss the beautiful, cherishable moments.

We are so busy trying to feed, clothe, bath, and maintain a relatively calm household – and we forget that our main objective is not to feed their mouths but to feed their souls.

So this summer, we have made a distinct point to be more intentional about the moments we spend with our children.   Here are a few of the intentional moments we took to share Jesus with our kids:

  • Last night, my husband sat them all down to do a family devotion.  And we prayed for Mama and Daddy to have the commitment to continue that regularly.
  • We went on an “Owl Prowl.”  We didn’t see an owl but we had the opportunity to point out all of the beauty in God’s creation.  And as they learned how to call an owl with their voice, we had the opportunity to encourage them to use the voice that God gave them.  My daughter, especially, needs encouragement that God made her beautiful.
  • We have been more consistent in requiring all the children to help with the chores around the house.  It gives us the privilege of teaching them responsibility – that God has abundantly blessed us and we are responsible to maintain and care for all that He has given us.
  • I have enjoyed sharing my flowers with my kids. I get to see those precious faces light up as they get a little wet and dirty.  And as I cherish them, they learn more about their cherished identity in Christ.

These are only a few of the opportunities that we have seized in the countless moments that God provides each day.  Instead of desiring to spend time together, or to provide them with all our needs, we have recommitted to pointing all things back to our God.

And just as I did before, I have days in which I fail miserably.  Where I miss the point of motherhood all together.

But even in my failure, God is glorified.   My children still see my short comings.  But more importantly, they also the God of unfailing love and forgiveness who cherishes us even in our weakest moments.

 

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.   Psalm 73:26

 

 

God Fights This Battle

Abby’s new project has been learning how to fold laundry.  As an anti-sock folder, I am especially anxious for her to learn to conquer the socks.  But the thumbs countering her fingers gives her trouble.  And it’s not long before she gets discouraged.

But tonight, she came running from the bedroom with a proud smile on her face.  And a pair of folded socks in hand!

Abby triumphed over her discouragement.

But I am so tempted to get stuck in my discouragement.

This past year, I have fought some minor battles.  Alongside the onset of postpartum depression and intensified anxiety, I battled a muscle tic, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.   A diagnosis of Reflux and Lactose Intolerance relieved much of my troubles.

But my biggest hurdle was the physiological element to my blood pressure and muscle tic.   As I relinquished control to God, He has changed my heart.  And His peace in my heart has resulted in control over the muscle tic and blood pressure.

But severely painful abdominal attacks and vomiting remained a mystery.  But after much testing, the doctor has concluded that it is a physical response to anxiety.

With my recent past, I can’t really sustain an argument.   Unfortunately, I felt my mental status being attacked and it set the stage for a panic attack.  And my blood pressure and pulse gave her proof in hand of ongoing anxiety issues.

Regardless of the validity of that assessment,  I am discouraged.

I have no doubt that God has worked a miracle in my life and released me from the choking grip of anxiety.  But it discourages me to have yet another physical reminder of my weakness.    

                   Because I realize that the internal battle will go on.

And yet, I will not be defeated.

Gods love, hope and strength carry me.

God fights this battle for me.

And He cannot be defeated.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

Obsolete Inadequacy

Leesy rapidly dismounts any prior organization and stirs up chaos in the activities of her older siblings – as she topples towers and eats their prized possessions.

She seeks and destroys.

But the destruction in my life does not root from chaos and disastrous messes.  The greatest destruction lays in my own mind.  In my thoughts.

I am not good enough. Incapable.  Everyone hates me. I always fail.  I do not deserve that.  I annoy everyone.   I always mess this up.  I am invisible.  I always say the wrong thing.  

But when I engage in such  self destructive thoughts, my heart sinks in despair.  And I simply can’t divorce my mind from dwelling on internal turmoil.

know, in the depths of my soul, that I am completely inadequate.

But God has slowly been redefining my inadequacy.  My inadequacy used to be a shame.  A complete failure. Consuming.

But in Christ’s redemption, my inadequacy is obsolete.  Because of His great love, and the price He paid for my soul, I am treasured.  Priceless.  Cherished. Simply because I am His child.

In a new position of great worth, my inadequacy is celebrated by His constant empowerment.

Because of my weakness – because I AM inadequate –  I can joyfully operate in His power and His strength.

 

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

 

Isaiah 40:29 NLT

 

Hold Me Tight

Walking through a parking lot with four young children invites countless opportunity for irreversible mishaps.

I only have two hands.  And so, I balance the diaper bag, my purse, and Leesy on one arm.  And then with my other hand, I hold Zaiah’s hand – who holds Eli’s hand – who holds Abby’s hand.  It’s an excursion rather avoided.

DSCN6856During one of our outings, I let go of Zaiah’s hand to adjust my purse.  But Zaiah was clearly displeased.

“Mama,” he squealed, “Don’t let go.  I might run away!”

He was acutely aware of his own temptation.  He needed me to hold him tight.

And I need God to hold me tight.

Especially in those numerous moments of temptation.

And failure.

But I often fail to lean on Him.   And I stumble.  My concerns slowly penetrate my hearts peace.  And soon, those concerns magnify and occupy my heart.  And that crippling anxiety threatens to overcome me.

But as that fear creeps into my heart, my desperation leaves me acutely aware of God’s loving embrace.

Even in my failure, God is holding me tight.

And I am confident in Him.  I will never return to where I once resided in complete defeat.

His power resides in me.

And He will finish the work He has begun.

 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

                                                                                      Philippians 1:6

God’s Love Covers Me

Behind the plastered smile lays the real FEARSANXIETIES,and STRUGGLES.

I ignore them, and instead of God interrupting my sinful heart, hypocracy invades my sinful heart.

And I fool myself into thinking that plastered smile is real.

I bury my HURT.

I bury my FRUSTRATION.

And I bury my SELFISHNESS.

And then, when I realize the awful path I have chosen, I cringe at my failure to rely on God.  My body physically reacts – my muscles increasingly, and powerfully, tense up until a muscle tic overtakes my control.

Panic sets in.  Then, I realize that I lost focus.

 And I hate it.

But when I don’t pretend perfection,  God heals the hurt, frustration, and selfishness.

But despite my imperfect faith, GOD IS perfect.

Even when I wallow in my imperfection, his LOVE covers me.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear……….

1 John 4:18

This post can be found at Grandma’s Blog Hop

Where I am Weak, He is Strong

The Mistake

Any sain individual would have been hysterical at the absurdity in our household.

Over cookies.

Mike, unfortunately, had a day that involved inside-out underwear, no lunch and a large pile of work issues.

He had a bad day.

And I knew it.

He asked me to make him cookies.  Eager to bring some light to his day, I agreed.  But, as the evening wore on, a pile of dishes beckoned along with the procrastinated checkbook, bills, and taxes that needed my attention…immediately.

Overwhelmed with my surmounting list of duties, I opted out of the cookies.

Mistake.

We battled all evening.

I calmly held my position of martyred, overworked wife…until I finally snapped and exploded on his selfishness.  And he, of course, bitterly and intensely battled for the one morsel of goodness in his day.  It wasn’t just cookies – he wanted me to make them (out of love, of course).  And my heart was violently opposed to any devotion of love.

It finally climaxed as he cleaned the kitchen AND cooked the one kind of cookies I hate - Peanut Butter.

A bitter end.

Guilt

As the day ended and I looked at him fast asleep, the guilt kicked in.  I knew I had failed on so many levels.

Even when he provoked me, he needed my love and encouragement.  And instead, I dished him out the same dose of conditional love and disregard he had received all day.

But to add to my distasteful failure, I had also been praying for extra grace, patience, and kindness so that I would not explode on him.

And I still exploded.

But, fortunately, my God already is graceful, patient and kind.

Where I am weak, He is so STRONG.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

The Baby Gate

Plans

I planned on having a positive start with a new group of women.  And I planned on relying on God’s strength to overcome my temptation to succumb to anxiety.

I have hope.  Hope that God is continuing the change He has begun in me.

But, perhaps, I was a little too confident of my ability to lean on Him.

Clumsy Me

I attended a new women’s bible study.  It was the first opportunity I had to connect at our new church.

I was excited.  I knew exactly where I was going – which relieves a huge portion of my potential stress.  And I was early.  However, I walked in the door only to find myself standing smack in the middle of the study – which was already in progress.

This was not part of my plan.  It threw me off guard.

Instead of abiding in God’s peace, I automatically reverted to my old habits of self reliance and insecurity.  And when I get nervous, I am clumsy.

I tried to put Zaiah into his class but He vehemently objected. I tried to force him to separate but we engaged in a push and pull battle leading to my clumsy climax.

 I tumbled.

And broke the baby gate.

Failure

 

Me

As I finally sat down with the other women, I cringed.   I could feel that old, awkward, insecure blanket of fear wrapping around me.  I knew in my head that I had no reason to succumb to the pattern of anxiety that had dictated my thoughts and actions for years.  And I knew that God had the power to release me.

But I panicked as I tried to force away my anxiety.  My thoughts raced, my breathing sped up – I knew I was in the beginnings of a panic attack.

But then, a verse appeared on the screen.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 ESV

 

This meditation of my heart is not pleasing to my Lord.

I am so fearful of outwardly revealing my anxiety that I am completely and totally focused on ME.

Failure

I had planned on a fresh start.  And I planned on living in God’s abundant strength.

But I failed.

Not because I arrived late and interrupted.  Not because I am a clutz and broke their gate.  But I failed because I retracted into the perilous amiss of my mind.  I dwelled on my own mess.  Me.  Me.  Me.

I feel horrible.  But God wipes clean my mess.  He gives me His compassion.  He is faithful even on these days that I am not.

And tomorrow …..

It is a new day.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

                                        Lamentations 3: 22-23

Continue with Rely on Him | The Ruckus and Labels

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Double Jeopardy