I don’t have much time to write this as my smallest one is about to wake up from her nap, and I don’t want her to wake my other two as it’s a miracle to even get them to nap . . . so short and simple, here we go:

As a mom with 3 kids who are 4 years of age and under, and as a woman who works part-time, and with all the hats that I wear, time is literally of the essence. I find myself always wishing for more time in the day, yet really I just need more time to rest my weary bones. And as I run from this thing to that and from helping this child to that child, I find myself relying more and more upon God. I am realizing that without Him I yell a lot, I lose my patience, I get cranky and short-tempered. When you come home to a moody, mouthy 4 year old, a wild, non-potty trained 2.5 year old, and you’ve already been at work all morning with a cranky, teething 5 month old, you just feel VERY STRETCHED . . . to put it mildly. Any one of those would be a patience stretcher, but all three together can feel overwhelming. Yet any set of circumstances can feel overwhelming. Life can feel overwhelming.

Nevertheless (my husband’s new favorite word), life does not have to overwhelm us.

For some of you, that’s a no-brainer. You just don’t get overwhelmed. Yet for others of us, it’s a challenge to not get overwhelmed. I fall in that second category, and so does my four year old. So it’s been a big revelation for me to finally realize that the reason things feel overwhelming is because we get so focused on them. That focus affects our emotions, and then before we know it, our emotions are unsteady, wavering, and just overwhelmed. And that’s normal and human. But for those of us who are in Christ, we have Someone who is not human living on the inside. We’ve got the Holy Spirit who is growing up our spirit man, and if we get into alignment with Him and let Him do His thing, He will rise us above our feelings/flesh/overwhelmed state.

Galatians 5 speaks of the fruit (the signs, the display) of what someone who is walking in alignment with the Holy Spirit will demonstrate: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hello, I need all of those as a mom. Yet if I yield to my flesh, then yelling will be the fruit. If I yield to my flesh, my mouth will spout off a lot of short-tempered, impatient yuckiness. So the question to ask myself is who am I yielding to? The Holy Spirit whose fruit is so good and so beneficial to me and those around me? Or my feelings ruled, up and down, here and there flesh? It’s my choice to decide which of the two to yield myself to.

And in the heat of the moment, we don’t always make good choices. But the point is that with practice, we improve. The more we make good choices, the easier it gets. The more we yield, the easier it gets. The more we bear good fruit, the more appealing it is. Our society gives so much credibility to feelings, and it is producing so much self-centered, unbalanced, negative fruit. It’s a diet of complete junk. Yet the God kind of life that produces the fruit of the Spirit is the life that produces such wholeness, health, well-being, happiness, fulfillment, and eternal fruit. Yet so many times, we pray and pray for God to give us patience, give us love, give us self-control. We forget that He already has!! He gave us His Holy Spirit who is ready and willing to work those things in us. We just have to yield. We just have to choose to walk in them.

God has already given us all we need; we grab hold of them by faith. So I’m trusting that as I yield my flesh and yield my feelings of being an overwhelmed mommy, He is working patience, kindness, gentleness, and most importantly, love into this being of mine. I’m expecting to see lots of good fruit this year. 🙂

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