How to thrive, not just survive

“How am I suppose to do this? This is impossible!?”

Sound familiar?

This is the thought I have reluctantly entertained and believed during some trying times during the past two and a half months. (Mostly during the early mornings when I haven’t had a lot of sleep). I’ve had mothers remind me that this is not a normal beginning to motherhood, but I think adjusting to having a new person to be totally responsible for is challenging for any mom! During the abundant time I now have to think and pray, thanks to a hungry little baby, I’ve thought a lot about the question above.

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These past few months have contained some of the most challenging moments, most unpleasant memories, and most joyous times in my life thus far.

During those times when I just wanted to give up or bail out, God has been so faithful and reminded me of His all-sufficient grace. There were times at the hospital when I didn’t think I could survive being there another day. There are times now when I am discouraged thinking that all I do is take care of Leo and how on earth do mothers take care of more than one child? I can remember that God has given me this day’s grace (and even a one-child grace). When my husband is weary, Leo is fussy, the laundry isn’t done, I can remember that this is day that the Lord has given me, and He has given me everything I need to not only “survive” it but THRIVE it!

It’s so great to be able to learn these truths now, as I don’t think it is going to be any easier when we move overseas. I can already see how difficult it’s going to be. Raising a child, managing a household, learning another language, building relationships with people from another culture, missing family, etc. How am I supposed to be a “missionary” if I can barely be a mom? I am only seeing more and more what a weak, selfish, lazy person I am.

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So, how am I suppose to do this? By believing on the truth that God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Remember that only through choosing to rely on Him am I able to have the grace, the patience, the self-control, and the discipline to raise this child, to wash those dishes, or to be compassionate towards my husband (Galatians 5:16; John 15:5).

Through God nothing is impossible! He has prepared us not only to live the Christian life at home, but also in the context of a foreign culture sharing his good news with others. He has given us everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 1:3), He has given us His Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22, John 14:26), and He has given us the authority to “go” (Matthew 28:18-20).

So whether you are struggling with being a mother, discouraged working a 40 hour job, wanting to return home from overseas… if you rely on Him, life is not only possible, but full of joy once thought impossible! Join me in choosing grace instead of grumbling, and thriving instead of surviving!

~ Lauren

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7 Comments on “How to thrive, not just survive

  1. Lauren; you are right on, oh that I would have had that wisdom at your age. I was still brain dead.God bless all three of you.
    Gramps

  2. God bless you, Lauren. As your grandfather has written, what you have said is spot on. It is interesting that once baby number two comes along and then three etc, we mothers still “get it all done”. It must be the fulfillment of God’s promise, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
    Thanks for your encouragement to us all in whatever situation we are in.
    Leo is a very beautiful little baby!
    Lynette from NTM PNG

  3. I have noticed you and Leo at church…you always look so serene, and Leo looks like he’s thriving (and seriously adorable, too!). You two are a walking answer to prayer, and God’s grace is written all over you. You don’t have to say a word to testify about Him. I just never quite get up the nerve to come over and say “hi” because I’m a big chicken and I never know what to say. : ) Yeah, parenthood is a huge adjustment…all of us who’ve been there feel overwhelmed and exhausted and wonder what we got ourselves into and how we’ll ever make it work. It’s okay to sit down and have a “what the heck” moment and be tired and frustrated. Because you’re right…God is always right there, picking up the pieces, helping weary hands keep serving.

  4. Well written – deeply expressed. I think that’s they way it is, you know? We cross the threshold into various arenas of life that simply seem too much to bear — but you got the principles and the perspective — thank you for sharing. I’m thinking I’ll reblog your post. Thank you.

  5. Your Blog is so cute!
    I completely agree with your thoughts. His grace is all we need!
    As a mama of three almost grown boys, that remembers early motherhood well,
    may I be able to encourage you in a way another mama encouraged me?

    She prayed these words daily, and they still ring in me…
    ” Lord give me strength and wisdom to accomplish all that YOU have for me to do today. Your strength is more than enough.”

    Blessings to you and your family, on this amazing and rewarding (even though sometimes messy and wanting to scream) journey!

    Shaey

  6. It’s a wonder that any of us are able to do it! It gets easier the more practice you get. Then it’ll get harder. Then you’ll make an adjustment and get used to it again. Then it’ll repeat. It’s like the stock market – lots of ups & downs, but the general trend is up. And the laundry… it’ll probably never be all done again. As soon as it is, someone will poop.

    And no, it’s highly likely your next baby experience will be nothing like this. You won’t know what to do all over again, because you haven’t brought a newborn home. But you’ll get through that, too. And you’ll be an awesome mom to every lucky little D that the Lord gives you.

    I’ve got a few friends with 8 or more kids. They tell me it got a lot easier after 4. 🙂

    Here’s an article that will offer encouragement:
    http://rachelmariemartin.blogspot.com/2013/02/dear-mom-who-feels-like-she-wants-to.html
    I’ve been there. Recently. And they still tell me, “You’re the best mom ever!”

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