Moms will admit to wrestling with mommy-guilt; the feeling of not being or doing enough for their children.
There’s another kind of guilt many non-moms are familiar with; the twinge in your gut when you compare your childless life to that of a frenzied momma.
Last week I was reading a book, and the author wrote about long days, endless laundry, sticky messes, constant cooking and sleep deprivation.
I read her words while sitting in my tidy bedroom, on top of my neat bed in a quiet house after about seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, about to start a long morning devotion.
My life was heavenly.
Her travails made me feel small, irrelevant.
Like she’s the mover and shaker, and I am just, well, spoiled.
Did I miss God somewhere? Why did I have so much (time, quiet, sanity) and she had so little? Shouldn’t we be the same? After all, I am a woman and shouldn’t I be carrying “womanly” burdens like her?
It’s absurd typing the words. But the struggle was real last week.
And today I want to explore the “too blessed” feeling because many struggle with that type of guilt; it sneaks in, makes its home and we have no clue because we have never considered its existence.
We are familiar with the drive for more, of wanting what others have. We call it envy. But the unrest that comes when we have more than others? It’s a strange phenomenon.
And because we don’t understand it, it steals the joy right out of the blessing.
We feel guilty about having more (resources, time, good health, a good marriage, a spouse, a great job – insert your “more”) and miss the pleasure and purpose of the blessing.
We miss the opportunity our “more” presents to those who may be having less.
I was thinking about my angstness and thought about the new bride who is having a sad time in marriage because she has been comparing her lot.
I talk about the messy-sticky-parts of the early years on this blog. And maybe your early years of marriage have been sweet and beautiful.
No knocking heads. No wrestling over whose turn it is to cook and clean up. No issues in the bedroom. Nada. It is a smooth, delightful start to matrimony.
But you’ve been hanging around Intentional Today (and other rumpled spaces), where the messier side of marriage is highlighted.
And the twinge down in your gut, of feeling small, irrelevant, spoiled, hounds you.
The company has caused you to downplay your blessing, maybe even stifle it.
When an office mate talks about her imperfect man, you feel the urge to say something too.
You hunt for faults where none exist; you blow up little misunderstandings because you just want to look normal.
Instead of celebrating your season of blessing, other people’s difficult seasons have changed the conversation in your head.
And you have traded the goodness of God for the drudgery of ordinary.
When I was the soul unrested last week, the spirit of God gently reminded me “What is surrendered to God you should not feel guilty about.”
I have been learning to surrender and trust God’s timings and seasons.
But I find it easier to surrender the messes, much harder sometimes to surrender the blessing.
It is easy to trust God with the hard times. Much harder to give Him the good ones.
To acknowledge the grace without trying to explain it. To accept our pleasant season without comparing it to another persons hardship.
But today I want to encourage you, unrested one, as the Lord encouraged me last week; enjoy your lot.
Quit over-thinking and over-processing. Open your hands and heart wide to receive His blessing. You don’t have to apologize for it.
You don’t have to minimize His favor to stand with your friends.
You can pray for others but don’t take up their burdens as your own; lay them at the feet of Jesus.
That is how your blessed-ness becomes a blessing to others; when your delightful marriage becomes a sweet aroma to the brokenness around you.
Your season is for such a time as this; your loving husband provides a heart-margin so you can listen to a hurting wife and offer hope.
Your child-free season is a time to devote yourselves to God, not take guilt-trips.
Watch out for the small foxes that spoil the vineyards in bloom; low currents which blot out the beauty in your season.
Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming! Song of Solomon 2:15
My soul-unrested happens at the grocery store, watching a toddler meltdown. Or at a restaurant, next to a momma wiping a riot of regurgitated meal off a two-year-old chin.
I feel for mommas. Unfortunately, I take up a burden that isn’t mine to carry.
When does your soul crush? What blessing have you forsaken because your eyes are scanning those that are differently blessed? What area of marriage do you need to reclaim your joy?
I wrote this in my journal last week
I am a runner, an achiever, valuing tomorrow more than today. My life is filled with more tomorrows than today’s. More voids than peace, more dreams than reality, more prayers than contentment, more thoughts and churning than rest, more plans than living now. There is nothing wrong with wanting and dreaming and expecting more in Christ. But I have to recognize, appreciate, find peace that Jesus is with me right now. And realize this is life; made up of today, not tomorrow. I need to love and celebrate now. Because today is all I have been promised.”
This is my prayer for when I am un-rested
Lord, teach me to measure my days, not with man’s tape measure but your own. May I work harder to be still, more than I do to be in motion. May stillness and waiting (Isaiah 40:31) become as important as my next breath. “
Question: in what ways is God tagging your heart to rest?
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*This post was inspired “Simply Tuesday,” a devotional by Emily P Freeman. If you want to find God’s peace in our busy overachieving world, this devotional is a great resource. Find out more here*
Tired of the fussing, fighting and distance? Want to restore joy, healing and happiness to your marriage? Or maybe you just want to love better, create the marriage of your dreams, God’s way. My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years will set you on that road. Buy it here Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF I UK/Europe PDF . Or Click here to go to the book page.