Stop Striving: Surrendering Brings Peace

laundry

Sometimes we just need to surrender.

Last week was a crazy week. I worked hard, striving to get things done. We got moved into our new house (yeah!), but my husband had to be out of town for work (boo!). I was excited about unpacking, and then I discovered Focus on the Family was coming to my house to tape videos for the Lead Your Family Like Jesus Curriculum. (Oh my!) It was time to strive even harder.

In addition to caring for three kids under six years old and trying to unpack, now I had to get my house pretty enough to be videotaped. Add the longer commute to take my daughter to her therapy school, and I have to admit I was one stressed mom. There was no peace in my home.

My kids must tell when I’m stressed because they were whiney and clingy. Exploring our new place—and all the boxes—they got into everything. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Do not touch that!”

Today, after repeating that phrase a few dozen times, I realized that my striving hasn’t been getting me too far. It was time to surrender.

Waving the White Flag

1. I surrendered to realistic expectations. Is it realistic that my house will stay clean with three little ones, that they’ll play contently with toys, and that I’ll be able to answer phone calls and emails without interruptions? Probably not. Today I remembered that these are little kids and that some day they’ll be big and gone. A mess is realistic. Having to lead, guide, and discipline my children is realistic. Having to wait until after bedtime to answer emails (or write this blog) is realistic.

2. I surrendered to depending on God. I’m a person who likes to handle things on my own. I take pride in doing a job well. I like to be organized and feel in control. Yet a busy schedule and kids is more that I can handle. I’m not always organized, and I’m rarely in control. I need God. Reminding myself of that and turning to Him changes everything.

3. I surrendered to being and not doing. I love marking things off my to-do list, but today I just sat down with my kids and played. We played blocks. We played toy animals, and I wondered why I don’t do this more often. “Being” a mom is more important than doing things around the house.

4. I surrendered to grace and compassion. God has given me so much grace and compassion. When I remember this I’m more likely to give it to others. Grace means undeserved favor. It’s offering to others what I’ve received from God. Compassion is sympathy for another. When I allow myself to be filled up with God then He works in me, the fruit of the Spirit changes me on the inside and it’s evidence is on the outside. The peace can be felt.

When I view the world around me with grace and compassion, everything changes. My emotions change, my actions change, and my interactions change.

Are you facing a crazy week? I know you’ve been working hard. I know you’ve been doing all you can to make things happen, but from experience I can tell you that some days we just need to surrender.

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Comments

  1. Great advice, Tricia! I loved being a mom, when my kids were little. Now that they are grown, I can look back and enjoy the wonderful memories. Being a mom is a great privilege. Enjoy it!

  2. This weekend I planned to make progress on my work-in-progress. It didn’t happen. What I realized was I needed the time off more than I needed to get my word count in. On Saturday evening, I was able to join my sister and a couple young friends for a rousing attempt at tennis (I haven’t played in years, hence my use of the word attempt). And yesterday, I used my afternoon and evening making a chocolate fudge cake (research of the yummy kind for my WIP) while getting a couple movies off of my to-watch list. It felt great to just relax and unwind while enjoying friends, family, and free time. I’m praising God for the weekend I had. I now feel energized for the week ahead… and the progress I expect to make on my WIP.

    So happy your move was successful, Tricia! May you have many years of happiness in your new home. 🙂

    Blessings,
    Andrea

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