Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mommy's Moment: Motherhood, Mud Running, and the Gospel

To anyone who is on Facebook and is my friend, you've recently been inundated with last Saturday's Mud Crusade pictures.


I couldn't help myself.

There were genuinely some people who wanted to see them.

My apologies if you were not one of them.

And for those of you who have taken the road less traveled, meaning one without Facebook, I'll leave you with a few.

But first...

Mud running, well, it's a lot like motherhood.

At least for me it is.

The Mud Crusade was filled with obstacles...some were easy while others proved much harder, often resulting in plunging into a mirey pit.

In motherhood, it's quite the same. Obstacles are always thrust before you and if unprepared, you often fall helpless in the mud.

I feel that way a lot.

My obstacles aren't climbing a large wall or swinging across monkey bars, or even attempting to pounce from log to log like an over zealous

My obstacles are obstinate children, bad attitudes, milk splashed across the floor, or chocolate smeared hand prints along our once clean wall. They are banged up knees, burned dinners, hurt feelings, 106 degree fevers, broken toys, lost blankies, bathtime, nightmares, wet beds, overflowing laundry, sleepless nights.

It's how I handle these obstacles that often leave me in a mirey pit. Lately, I've been convicted of my bad attitude, of my sin, in the midst of these obstacles. I'm often unprepared, meaning, I've let that crucial time in God's Word slip that day or several days. I've rested in my own strength (which as seen in the Mud Crusade, is very, very weak) to handle situations. I've become blinded to my ever present need for the Lord. When I "hit" these obstacles I'm often personally offended. I'm bothered that I have to deal with them. My tone is harsh with my children and I rush through the obstacle, not taking the time to deal with my children's hearts, let alone, my own.

I leave the obstacle covered in mud.

You see, with some obstacles in the Mud Crusade your degree of muddiness reflected your ability or inability to execute the task at hand.

One such obstacle was the monkey bars which spanned across a large pit of mud. As I wrapped both hands across the first rung, I realized I was weak. I realized my strength wouldn't carry me across this pit. And, I quickly dropped into the mud.

It seems lately I've been dropping in the mud a lot during motherhood because again, in my own parenting strength, I am weak and when left to my own strength, I'll get muddy.

But, there is hope. Hope.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2

Because, the Lord has saved me from myself. He's saved me from my sin. He's saved me from my good works. He's saved me from my failures. He did this on the day of my salvation and He does this each day as He pleads for my behalf at the right hand of God.

Therefore, as a Christian, when I fall into that pit there is hope for me. I don't have to stay in the mud. I can rise up and press on. I can turn from that sin and know the Lord has paid the price for it. Instead of seeing a muddy Jessica, He's sees the perfect righteousness of Christ. Praise the Lord for Christ and His life, death, and resurrection!

Therefore, I can "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrews 12:1.

And you know one last beauty I gleaned from the Mud Crusade? I didn't do it alone. I ran alongside a friend. Together we encouraged one another, helped one another through the obstacles and finished the race.

As I walk through motherhood, and life in general, I'm reminded that the Lord did not intend for us to do this alone. Of course, we have the Holy Spirt, but we also have the Body of Christ, other believers. I was so thankful to have my friend, Amy, run along with me. And I'm so much more thankful to have friends and family like Amy to run the real race with me. People who can encourage me toward the Lord, who help me when I'm "stuck," who celebrate in good times with me and mourn in bad times with me.

Praise the Lord for other runners to run the race with me. And praise the Lord that He doesn't leave His children in the mud.