Cereal on the Floor

You come down to a dirty kitchen. AGAIN!!! The kids have made yet another mess. It seems like everything you do and all the effort you put in is not appreciated or just undone moments later. There are dirty clothes all over the house, some kind of science experiment growing on the leftovers in the fridge, and you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth yet.

stressed-mom-home-9362937You mutter under your breath, “I should just do it all myself,” but the fatigue is too much. Your body can’t stand to wipe another counter, rinse another dish, or cook another meal.

You just want to quit….but you can’t.

Better yet, you won’t.

 

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This is what you are “supposed” to do. This is what you signed up for when you started a family. You signed up to be sleepy all the time, never being able to pee alone ever again and to repeat yourself over and over and over again, just to have nothing change.

They call that insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result. You signed up for this insane job that doesn’t pay and sucks the life right out of you. But unlike most sane people, you don’t run for the hills. You don’t quit. You don’t look for better opportunities or a better place of employment with better pay. You stay, and you wake up everyday with the intent to do the best job you can despite the difficulties.

You are not insane, you are a mom and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

It goes without saying that although some days can be tough and long when raising little humans, you find yourself right in the middle of God’s will with cereal on the floor. No one warned you of the bittersweet role you would take on or how the source of such great joy and love could also be a source of such great poopy diapers. But isn’t that just what life is like? A mix of great and grievous. Fun and fatigue. Laugher and lessons. You’ve heard the saying before, “anything worth having is worth working for,” and oh how you work to break up fights among siblings, model forgiveness, drive to yet another game or recital and grocery shop.

But then you remember one simple truth that puts it all in perspective… “her children rise up and call her blessed. “ Proverbs 31:27-30 (AMP) puts it like this…

“She looks well to how things go in her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired);
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying,

“Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness],
But you excel them all.”

Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.”

WOW!!! Awe-filled respect for the Lord is what keeps you going back again and again. Reverence and worship toward Him is what fuels the fire inside to see your household and family reflect His image. Your service is out of obedience to the Lord and you trust Him to give you everything you need to get everything done. You remember that His grace is sufficient for dirty dishes in the sink and sticky floors. His grace is sufficient for nighttime feedings and sick days, and bills that are over due. And His grace is more than sufficient for a tired body that’s going through hormonal changes.

When days become weary and the workload seems never-ending, remind yourself of the reward that awaits you for doing the hardest job you will ever love.

You are doing a noble job.

You are to be admired.

You are a mom.

You my friend, are a Kingdom Mommy.

©2016 Ajene M. Gailliard   All Rights Reserved

A World of Hurt

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Over the past two weeks, I have heard lots of devastating news. A child, vulnerable and violated. Someone revisiting pain from the past. Someone else losing a very close loved one, work troubles, car troubles and one and on and on.

I just want to rescue people. Don’t you? I want to take away their hurt.

Protect them.

Fix it.

I want to erase the pain. But I can’t.

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Let’s be honest. There is not much that I can do. I can tell them I’m sorry. I can offer my prayers, be there to listen, but really it ends there. We are in a world of hurt, full of sin and iniquity. Subject to tragedy coming to our doorstep at any time and in many different ways. I used to think I could protect myself from it. Prepare for the blow and be on guard against it enough to stop it, but that’s not possible.

As a mom, I want to keep my children as far away from it as I can. I want to prevent them from experiencing any harm. I know the devastation of abuse and neglect. I know the effects of loneliness, rejection and fear. If I could, I would wrap them up in my arms, carry them through this life, while shielding them from anything negative. I would never let them encounter something that might challenge their self-image and make them question who they are. I would be there for every single fall, so that I could catch them and stop the hurt of bruises and broken bones. I would keep hurtful words from reaching their ears, catching them before they land on their hearts.

Yup, that’s what I would do and more. I would even go as far as to say, that I would take all those hits for them. I would exchange my comfort, joy and peace for their discomfort, distress and grief. They would never be sick, sad, frustrated, lonely, afraid, or broken in any way. They would know ultimate bliss. Elation even. And they would be in paradise.

But as much as it pains me to say it, that is not possible.

I can’t do it.

But I know someone who can.

I know someone who will.

He already did.

He took the hits. He exchanged His glory for sinful flesh and lowered Himself so that we could have joy, peace…forgiveness.

He endured pain and distress for our benefit.

And He waits longingly to heal the brokenness in every single one of us.

Jesus said, in John 16:33 (ESV)

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.

In the world you will have tribulation.

But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

He was speaking to the disciples, preparing to ascend to the Father. He was trying to prepare them for His departure and for the persecution they would face. And at first, they couldn’t understand what He was talking about.

Mothering our children can be like that too. We spend all these years preparing them for what is coming, and at a certain point, they have to “go away.” They  don’t quite understand what they will face. We know of the coming challenges they will encounter in this life, and we won’t be able to help them in the same way we used to. We can counsel and advise, but they will have to navigate the waters of adulthood on their own.

As much as it will pain us to not be able to fix every issue, prevent every mistake and protect them from every misstep, we can rest assured that our Heavenly Father has already given us everything we need, and He’s done the same for them.

Jesus overcame this world. He told us we would have trouble. He came to save us. He came to deliver us from a world of hurt.

Surrender it all to Him today.

He can handle it.

 

©2016 Ajene M. Gailliard   All Rights Reserved

Refocus

As I shared with you the last time I posted, many changes have happened for me in the last few years. I won’t get into everyone of them now, but I will say, much of it had kept me very “distracted.” Not in that I haven’t been doing the things necessary for life or for my family, but I have not been doing all that I believe the Lord has for me because I had allowed myself to take my focus off of what was most important.

Fearing God. Keeping His commandments.

Something happened to me several years ago. I went through a season of spiritual abuse.

What is that? I’m so glad you asked because before it happened to me I didn’t know what it was either.

My definition of spiritual abuse is when someone misuses his or her spiritual authority over you. They try and use your relationship with Christ to manipulate and control you by misapplying scripture, the role of the Holy Spirit, prayer, church traditions, etc. It can be very subtle or very severe. I will go into more detail about this much later, but I did what to at least give you an introduction.

Like many other forms of abuse, the perpetrator attempts to isolate you from your family and support system using fear to make themselves the highest authority in your life. Again, it can be subtle and unrecognizable at first, but over time in becomes apparent that their will for you supersedes God’s will.

The blessing from that experience for me was that God continued to show Himself faithful, even in the midst of it. He was with me through it all, but I did experience great grief and overwhelming fear after it ended. What that did was make me doubt the things I had believed about God, myself and even my calling.

I was a young mother, struggling to hold on to the self that I had know and trying to find the “new me,” while still trying to embrace these roles of wife, mommy and homemaker. Career woman had been my mantle for so long and now I was in unfamiliar territory. That is when the enemy of my soul set a trap for me and attempted to make me feel as if my identity was in question.

I spent about two years in that relationship and when it ended, although I was free, I wasn’t without scares. It took some time for me to assess the damage and begin to embrace the healing that was in front of me. One of the biggest side affects of that spiritual abuse was that I was left out of focus.

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Have you ever tried to take a photo, and upon looking through the lens everything was blurry? You wait a moment, and then another. You try and adjust the camera (or your phone) but things are still unclear. You may even prematurely snap a pic and what is revealed in a dizzying display of a moment you attempted to capture. How frustrating. But then you try again. Take another look, wait a while and then, like magic, everything is clear and you are ready to create that lasting portfolio.

I was left just like that out of focus picture. Things were unclear. What I thought I saw before did not reveal itself in the same way anymore. I was dizzy from thoughts of inadequacy and fear had a grip on me. My desire was to be clear. Precise. Focused. But unlike a few moments of waiting with a camera, I didn’t magically get back to where I wanted to be. The process of waiting was much different for me then for that moment waiting on the other side of a lens. I had to put in some work. A lot of work, emotionally and spiritually. I had to make every effort to refocus my attention on the truths that had remained.

God did not abuse me. He was not unfair or unjust. He did not change. I was worthy to be healed. I was worth the cost Christ paid on the cross for me to be able to obtain the healing I needed. I was free. I could overcome. He had not given me a spirit of fear. He was with me. God was going to work all of this for my good because I loved Him and I was called according to His purpose. My purpose was still in tack. I would have to wait for Him to deliver me. I would have to believe that He would.

The enemy worked hard during that time to get me to see only what he wanted me to see and focus on the wrong things. The facts were still real, I had been mishandled by Christian people I trusted, but that didn’t change God’s truth. Once I realized what the enemy had been up to, I made a decision to refocus. To give attention, concentration and effort to the things I had believed before. Much of what I will share upcoming on this blog will be many of the things I learned during this process and how it all has been a blessing in disguise.

I encourage you, no matter what my be your current, or even past, reality, to choose to refocus. Place your attention and faith in the One who created you. You are a picture seen through the lens of God’s heart. Trust that even difficult seasons and challenging events are not the end of your story, just the beginning of another chapter in the book written on the pages of your life.

His grace is sufficient. He is faithful.

He will never leave or reject you.

You are worth it. You can handle it.

He will heal you.

Just trust Him.

 

©2016 Ajene M. Gailliard   All Rights Reserved

Hello Again World!!!

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Can you believe it’s been 5 YEARS!!!! Yes, over 5 years ago I started this blog. So much has happened since my very first post. I have moved into a new home, gone through a total home renovation, gotten a perplexing diagnosis from my doctor, my husband transitioned careers, and I could go on and on. I have missed posting and blogging and sharing my heart.

I am ready to get back to it. There are some exciting things in store this year and I can’t wait to share all of it. I will do my best to keep the conversation moving along this year and keep the blog posts of interest to you… and me.

Hello World!!!!