Generation Cedar

Sometimes, a story just moves you to share it.

I receive fairly regular emails from moms in the trenches with questions or maybe just looking for a place to vent. I’ve been blogging here for 10 years (!) and not only do I get to hear from some of you wonderful ladies, I’ve developed some close friendships from this little corner here, and I’m so thankful for that.

Naomi wrote me a heart-stopping email this week. I’ve changed her name, but she gave me permission to share her email:

“Dear Kelly,

Sometimes God whispers to us where we are, and it’s a sweet thing to realize He’s intimately interested in the details of our lives. But sometimes, he just yells. And I had to tell you about such a time for me.

I am mom to 4 boys and a little girl, and my life is busy, as you might guess. But lately, I have felt more than overwhelmed. I’ve read so many books about “how to” do this job of parenting, and I want to be a great homemaker and a great wife and a great mother and “all the great things” but how can one woman be all that? So lately my naturally critical nature has turned inward and I had started to count all the failures. I get so discouraged but I know that’s not a good place to be, no matter how bad I feel at all the other things.

So it was that I was feeling all those things late one night and I saw a link to your little devotional book on my friend’s wall–“When Motherhood Feels Too Hard.” I was drawn to that title immediately because it spoke to the raw place in my life at that moment. And I ordered it, not all that confident that I would feel any different, but desperate to hold onto something that would pull me out of this pit I was in.

So this is why I’m writing: to tell you that I can’t believe how the Lord used your book! It was as if all the overwhelming to do lists fell away and I was able to focus, clearly and remember what this mothering thing is all about.

I literally woke up the next morning a different person. Revived. Renewed. I had a whole new outlook on my job as a mother. It was like another person had moved into my body.

I know you don’t me, and probably get a lot of email so don’t feel like you need to respond, but I pray you never stop saying the things you’re saying and I’m praying for you to have the energy to keep encouraging moms because you made a huge difference in this mom’s life, and the life of her family.”

Can I just say, “tears?” And I didn’t share that with you to boast in any way–I sure hope you know that. But I believe there are mothers all over the place who might feel this way. And I’m telling you, when I wrote that little devotional 6 years ago, I CERTAINLY felt that way and I believe God guided every word, and every step, and I have received many other emails similar to this one and I share it because I want to give you hope!

Since the birth of Generation Cedar my heart has been to lift mothers up and give them courage and strength to endure the race that is raising children for the Kingdom of God. I believe that is one of my callings. May this short, powerful devotional change the way you see your job.

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9 Responses

  1. I was in that pit for about 15 years. Always critical of myself, but taking it out on my kids. Never happy. Thank you for posting this. I will be ordering your book-not because I’m still in the pit, but because I still need to be reminded of all the ways God has been faithful to me. And, I’d also like some insight on how to encourage other moms who are where I was.

    1. I am a mom of 11 (10 at home) ages 21-1 and I am in that pit now and can’t seem to get out. How did you do it? I so take it out on my children too. I ask my husband to help and he doesn’t know how. I hate that it is destroying my family with bickering and poor attitudes all around. It feels like It will be like this forever because I don’t know how to get out and stay out. I am so tired.

      1. I’m sorry for the pain you’re experiencing in the pit, Michele. I’ve been there — as recently as mere weeks ago, in fact, as well as other times — and am praying for you with understanding.

        I believe there’s an awful lot of spiritual warfare going on in the lives of Christian mothers. The enemy is doing his best to discourage us in this important, life-breathing motherhood experience.

        Putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) is our defense, and taking the sword of the Spirit, the Holy Word of God, to combat the lies satan tries to feed us, is to go on the offensive against the enemy. In Christ we have the tools and the strength to fight the battle.

        And what a blessing when God also gives us people in our lives who faithfully point to our Savior as the Source of our peace, both here and in eternity. (And some of them write encouraging books filled with pages reminding us to continually look to Him for Truth.) 🙂

        Praying God’s peace as He leads you through the valley, Michele. He won’t let you go.

      2. Michele,

        I’m sorry too, you are there. It’s an awful place to be. And because everyone has a different kind of “pit”, make sure that you are not suffering from an actual depression caused by chemicals or lack of in your brain.

        I think refusing to stay there is a good first step. I’ve had times where I just *got mad* and rebuked Satan and his attempts to destroy me. Seeking God’s Word and just meditating on it and singing hymns out loud, and intentionally rehearsing the things for which I am grateful, and forcing myself to take thoughts captive and my words as well (when I was tempted to say “I’m overwhelmed” say, “Greater is He that is in me” instead.

        I’ll pray that the Lord gently lifts you out to his glorious life-giving purpose for you.

        And what 6 arrows said: good stuff.

        1. Michele,

          I have no children at home. But to add another twist to what Kelly said. Do you have YouTube? When things really get to me, I search for my favorite hymns and Christian songs on YouTube and listen/watch and sing along, sometimes over and over. It does help. You can listen while doing other things, too.

    2. Denise I’d been in a discouraged place for a long time and I had had to admit there were longstanding issues to be addressed before it lifted. God tells us that there are things like hope deferred that makes the heart sick. In my case there were needs of the children that could not be met due to a wong heart atttitude in me and a major standoff between my husband and I. These were not going away on their own. While they lingered so did my seat in the pit. Your issues Im sure are different but something is likely there that is causing despair.
      Two Scriptures come to mind: “God took me out of the mirey clay and set my feet upon a rock”. And ” lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for God has been a shelter for me. A strong tower from the enemy.” So often the pit is filled with feelings of lostness or not knowing which way to turn. I found Instistute of Biblical Law an excellent book to help me find solid ground on which to stand. Even when I did not see everything the author was talking about , the practicality of the application, the centrality of God, and the lack of one more to do list was so uplifting.
      Also did you know that the opposite of understanding your way is not confusion but deceit! I just found that in Proverbs 14. Now Im not into internet fraud or forging documents 😉 so this spoke to me about my feeling of confusion stemming from not facing a real issue or not being honest with myself. Praying. God is real and solid and a very present help in times of trouble.

  2. Lovely reading this post. Thank you to the letter writer for allowing her email to be shared. I am glad for the deliverance she’s experienced from the Lord.

    Your book, Kelly, is a good reminder of where (in Whom) our hope and comfort lie, and I think it’s time for a reread for me. 🙂

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