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With All My Might

December 1, 2009

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
-Ecclesiastes 9:10

Weary. Exasperated. The feeling of giving up because it seems that discipline produces little effect.

It’s been challenging with the little guys lately. With the boys waking up earlier and having less play time outside due to rain, cold, and fleeting light, everyday life has been tougher on us recently. Things that I thought we were past have suddenly resurfaced. Chronic amounts of whining. Lots of climbing (I found Owen on top of the T.V. as well as climbing into the oven–don’t worry, it was not on). Lots of throwing. Lots of fighting.

I’ve found myself giving up. Subconsciously thinking it doesn’t matter what I do because it’ll never change. Maybe I should just ignore it. Bury my face in the computer screen and pretend I didn’t notice that I’m being disobeyed . . . again.

I have to admit, I’ve not been giving parenting all my might.

I need fresh faith. And I was reminded of this in a recent Morning and Evening reading by Charles Spurgeon who writes:

“Don’t wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we “find to do” day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never have any time but the present.”

I admit I often live in the future. Imagining an idealized future when my kids are older and they start listening, stop whining, and are able to talk better. But I have work to do now, in the present. And in tackling this work I must “be careful as to the way in which I perform what I find to do–‘do it with all my might.’ Do it promptly; do not fritter away my life in thinking of what I intend to do tomorrow as if that could compensate for the idleness of today. No one ever served God by doing things tomorrow.”

And so I must face the problems and challenges of the day with all my might. But thankfully, this doesn’t mean in my own strength. There’s help for me, if I seek it.

“Then let’s seek His help; let’s proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our ‘hand finds to do,’ let’s wait upon the Lord for His blessing. What we do in this manner will be well done, and will not fail in its effect” (emphasis mine).

16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2009 11:53 am

    I sigh as I read this. It’s one of those days for me here too. When all of my might isn’t very much to begin with, and God’s glory is the last thing on my list of priorities when it comes down to survival… Thank you for the encouragement, and for your faith.

    Praying things a little easier for you, Mama of two.

  2. Meredith permalink
    December 1, 2009 12:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing. It’s nice to know that we are not alone in our weariness. This was a timely reminder to persevere in the job of motherhood that God has given me each day.

  3. December 1, 2009 2:01 pm

    So totally feeling you! Isn’t it just the kindness of God that He gives us another day, another chance, another run at doing it His way, rather than ours? His mercies are truly new every morning.

  4. December 1, 2009 3:00 pm

    oh, we all have these seasons, and oh, we all know that defeated feeling! and you’re right- staying engaged with God’s help and being present in the moment really gives good perspective, and heals the brokeness we might feel between us, and our children, who do not come with an easy button.

  5. December 1, 2009 3:40 pm

    thanks for this, Danielle. great reminder…and the photo is beautiful, too–love the DOF.

  6. December 1, 2009 4:43 pm

    So well expressed yet again, friend. I know this will serve to encourage many mommas as this temptation is so common to us all. You are not alone! I recently put this quote up on my cabinet to encourage me w/ a similar temptation to check out and ignore the task of training/disciplining my kids:

    “Inconsistent training is ineffective training. If we are distracted by projects or pleasure, we may miss valuable teaching moments, opportunities to encourage, disobedience that requires discipline or a chance to show affection.”

    This has been spurring me on in mothering lately.

  7. December 1, 2009 5:01 pm

    It is so good to confess this and admit your dependency on the One who is stronger. And it’s encouraging for all of us to see that we’re not alone- we’re in this together.

    Your hard work and toil will be rewarded and God is definitely not silent.

    PS. I’m a little anxious to enter that stage- we’ll be there soon.

  8. krista permalink
    December 1, 2009 7:49 pm

    So true…I’m right there with ya! Thanks for the encouragement friend. It was certainly needed. (I like Bri’s quote too–just copied it onto a index card for my fridge!)

  9. December 2, 2009 4:17 pm

    I’m so glad we’re all in this together and can encourage each other. Briana, I like the quote too. Especially the reminder that we can miss opportunities to show affection. That’s so true. Sometimes we’re so caught up in teaching our kids what not to do, especially at this age, we can forget to encourage our little ones and shower them with affection!

  10. Annie permalink
    December 2, 2009 4:41 pm

    I think the fact of the matter is that it (energy, quickness to laugh, patience, etc.) just isn’t in us everyday. It comes and goes… But when I have days or weeks like that, I try to think about all the many days I did have it in me. That always helps me remember that it will be back. And also helps me be a little less tough on myself for shortcomings that are only human. 🙂

    Practically speaking, I think this is a hard time of year for us folks with small children. The cold and dark are coming (or already here) and the season ahead seems so long without the outside world to play in. Long and short, I’m with you…

  11. December 6, 2009 9:51 pm

    Oh, yes, the climbing.



    My husband keeps telling me it will be years before we own anything nice, because it’s just not worth the investment at this rate. Our boys are BRUTAL to furniture!

    Glad we’re not alone.

  12. December 7, 2009 1:04 pm

    Oh, these seasons come and go at our house too. Right now we are in the season (again … sigh) of the girls disregarding my instructions. I ask them to clean up, they disappear to another room. It can be frustrating and I often want to give up, but I’m just trying to stay consistent, believing it will eventually pay off.

    And the climbing … Savannah would love your boys!

  13. Bethany permalink
    December 8, 2009 10:13 pm

    Right there with ya. Adelee has started the fit throwing. Earlier than my boys did 2.5 instead of 3. She has been climbing and getting into things. Things have been kicked up a notch especially when I am nursing the baby. IT is hard many days and yes I have had those moments of wanting to ignore it or give up. There are days I sometimes do and get frustrated with myself. I do think it is important to be consistent but it is also important to not just be saying no all day to work on a few things a few areas especially when they are so small. It will be more manageable for you and for them too they can’t change everything over night. Gee even for me I can’t change all of my faults and bad habits at once….gotta break it down into a few areas of work at a time. With the kiddos For me that has meant removing some temptations, picking my battles for the week so to speak. Putting some things away. Asking myself what are the most important things to teach her right now and what can wait until we have dealt with those. Not that they don’t get addressed but there are things I wait on expectations that can be delayed. Mostly safety issues now and respecting mommy issues. It is hard but like many said it will ebb and flow. You will have seasons of intense discipline and seasons where it isn’t as much. Hang in there. I won’t say it gets easier it just changes……I spend a lot more time talking with my older boys now and dealing with a whole new set of issues. HUGS HUGS HUGS. And come to CA if you need a little break from the weather. You can stay with us.

  14. December 9, 2009 5:38 pm

    I’m late in responding to this post, so you may not see my comment, but oh how I can relate to this! I call myself the “when, then” girl — when I get married, then I’ll be happy…when I have a baby, then I’ll be happy. When the kids are both in school…then I’ll be happy. Etc. etc. I am when, thenning my life away, always with my eye on the future, instead of my feet and heart in the present. It’s hard for me, but I am trying to change this day by day, bit by bit. Faith helps.

  15. Beverly Suela permalink
    December 14, 2009 11:00 am

    That encourages us alot.
    I admire everything you had written,
    it’s so wonderful, so inspiring;
    I loved it so much.
    Thank you!☺

  16. Bethany permalink
    December 14, 2009 6:43 pm

    A friend shared this with me and I listened to it while nursing today. Thought it would be encouraging to you too

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