Thanks to the great Power Outage of 2019, I did not get the chance to speak hope to the Nesting Moms at Foothills Church this week. That sweet time has been rescheduled for January. But I still want to love on those mommas, so this short post is for them.
Hope Eternal Comes From Our God, Love himself, who is Eternal
As a mom, life can feel a lot like the movie Groundhog’s Day, where Bill Murray gets stuck in a time loop and lives the exact same day over and over and over. Every morning, he wakes up to the sound of “I Got You Babe” on the radio. He goes to report the same Groundhog’s Day event in Punxsutawney. Everything is the same. There is seemingly no hope of moving forward to a new tomorrow. In the Nesting Years, we can feel like we are stuck in a Groundhog’s Day of changing diapers, and wiping noses, and speaking the words, “Ask first,” or, “Remember to say, Please.” Day after day after day. Laundry, dishes, grocery shopping. Wash, fold, repeat. Interrupted sleep, snotty noses, cancelled playdates. Yawn, wipe, repeat. Am I right?
We can very easily fool ourselves into a depression thinking it will always be this way. Our child will never learn to poop in the toilet. Or say thank you. Or tie his shoes. Whatever it is for you, whatever that thing is that threatens to be eternal, God says, “Wait. I’m working here. Please be patient.”
But, I love this promise Philippians 1:6, a promise for every weary Nesting Mom out there in the world:
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
God is at work, even in this Nesting stage. He has not forgotten you. You are not stuck in Groundhog’s Day for eternity. Ok, so you’ll be here for a while, but not forever.
Now, personally, I have a child with severe trauma and some of his issues may not end while he is living in my home. Thankfully, he poops in the potty! But there are other things that God has asked me to wait for, for a very, very long time. However, waiting does not negate this promise.
The truth is that in God’s timeline of eternity, my son’s broken-ness, AND MINE, will be healed. In time. And in heaven. One day, these Groundhog’s Day frustrations will be over.
The challenge for me, and for you, is to remember that this place, these struggles are not eternal. They have an end. This is merely the middle of our story. God is still at work. He isn’t finished yet. He isn’t finished with our children and he isn't finished with us either.
I challenge you, just like I challenge myself, to keep an eternal perspective. Paul Tripp, in his book Forever, says we are all “eternity amnesiacs.” He lists 7 symptoms of Eternity Amnesia:
Living with unrealistic expectations
Focusing too much on self
Asking too much of people (our children, our friends, our spouses)
Being controlling or fearful
Questioning the goodness of God
Living more disappointed than thankful
Lacking motivation and hope
Did you recognize any of those symptoms in your heart? If so, I have encouragement for you. Remind yourself to look farther down the road. Put on your Eternity Glasses, so that your vision is focused less on the troubles of today and more on the joys of eternity. One way to do that is to name one thing each day that you are thankful for. You can teach this to your children too.
At our house, we often do this at dinner time. We go around the table and name one thing to be grateful for today. I encourage you to write these down! Keep a family gratitude journal. And go back to read it a few times each year. Gratitude builds hope.
Hope looks farther down the road. To find hope in your Nesting years, you must keep an eternal perspective, because God, who loves you best, is eternal.