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What to do When You Want to Give Up

September 28, 2018

I wanted to give up. It felt like God was asking too much of me. I thought he was being totally unreasonable.

C and L were about three and I kept them home from church on Sunday night because I was sick. Ken had left for church (to preach) and it was just the three of us.

It had been a long day/month/year. We had been potty training and it wasn’t working. Within minutes of when Ken left, one child had a nosebleed. She didn’t want me to hold pressure on it and I was trying to convince her to let me help it stop. I stripped her down and put her in the empty bathtub to at lest contain the mess.

My second child walked into the bathroom and I could smell it. Another accident. I laid my head on the edge of the tub and cried.

If you are a parent I’m sure you have been there. One of those days when you just want to hold up your hands and ask God, “what do you expect me to do?”

Here is a list of six things to do in those moments.

  1. Pray.  God hears us when we call out to him. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God heard their cries. He didn’t save them in their timing. He pulled them out of slavery in his perfect timing. Cry out to him. Be comforted that he hears you, and that he has not forgotten you.
  2. Trust His Word. Remember Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28? Well take this chance to take God at his word.  He has a plan. He loves you. Joseph waited 13 years in Potiphar’s house and in prison before God rescued him. It isn’t easy to wait, but while you wait, cling to his word. Think about the past times of waiting in your life. Most likely the thing you were waiting on didn’t happen when you wanted it to. Trust God’s perfect timing. Trust God.
  3. Take a Deep Breath. Calm down and try to be practical. Is there anything you can take a step back from? Is there anyone you can ask for help? Sometimes its as bad as I think it is, but sometimes it isn’t. I often remind my kids in the middle of tears over a school assignment, that everything seems worse in the moment. It applies to me too. I have to tell myself in the middle of a stressful situation that I can’t see the whole picture when I am emotional.
  4. Do the Next Thing. Yes, the things on your plate are too many to count, but if you can get a few of them taken care of your load will be lighter. Prioritize! Focus! Attack the thing and check something off. If the big project you feel overwhelmed about is too much to think about, take time to finish something small. Sometimes it encourages me to write down all the things I finished in a day. It feels better to look at a list of everything I accomplished than a list of empty check boxes.
  5. Give Yourself Grace. When they are grown your kids will remember that you supported them. They will remember that you fed them and held them. They will not remember whether the bathroom got dirty (it did) or they missed show and tell because you forgot.  Yes, I am that mom that showed up to a birthday party with no swimsuits or towels because I forgot the invitation said swim party!  Let the little things go and try again next time.
  6. Remember to hope.  Oh my goodness I love living near the mountains! I have always loved Psalm 121. I love to say to myself, ‘my help comes from the Lord.’ I recently found out a new thing about this chapter. During this time in Israel, people had built places of worship on the hilltops to worship other gods. The author is looking up to the mountain where the high places are, and is remembering that our God is able to help while those false gods cannot.

Find a passage that you can remember when you are having a hard day. From my kitchen window I can see (over a few rooftops) the top of the mountain. Every morning I look out my window while the coffee is brewing and I say to myself. ‘My help comes from the Lord.” On the bad days it echos in my mind “My help comes from the Lord.”

What are some things that you do when you want to quit?

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