The Greatest Of These Is Love

Yesterday I had a tough day with the kids. Looking back on it, I see that I was actually having a tough time with myself, which made it hard to deal with the kids. My mind swirled with doubts about being a mother, insecurities crept in, comparisons were made… Not my finest hour, as you can tell. In the midst of these frustrations, I wondered what I would write about next. And that is when I started to feel like a hypocrite.

So I’m just gonna go ahead and throw it out there that I don’t have it all figured out. I won’t be giving you a list of five things to make your life easier or three steps to obedient children. Because, if I’m being honest, I’m reading those types of blogs and advice columns myself, saying, “Yes, please! Tell me how to make them listen!”

And if you’re looking for that type of website, I found one with a plethora of helpful parenting tips called The Military Wife and Mom. It’s worth checking out. I am happy to refer you on to someone who has more wisdom and experience than me.

I’ve been thinking about King Solomon lately. He asked the Lord for wisdom and received it, yet at the end of his life he questioned everything. It was all vanity, he decided. Even such a great king had doubts. Even Solomon in all his splendor felt unsettled in his place in life.

That’s kind of the way I feel right now. Unsettled. I’m struggling with being a stay at home mom, with being content where I am. I’m having trouble seeing the big picture through the fog of toddlerdom.

I just saw a college friend post on Facebook about this. She was talking about feeling dissatisfied on a playground with her kids, which was exactly where I was yesterday having my doubts. Parallel stories.

Madison said: “It’s really hard for me to settle in this place of mainly Mama. I find myself restless – but why? Often because my heart thinks it can’t be content here. That I’m missing something (or something is missing me). But I can be content — with Jesus I can be satisfied anywhere.” Madison recently moved with her family to Ukraine to focus on missions, so she is literally learning to be content anywhere. She shares her heart in such a fun and humble way, so I always love reading what she writes. You can follow theperekotiys journey on Instagram.

At the moment I’m reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. She tells readers to write down their dreams, and then a few chapters later, to write down everything they have accomplished in life so far. I gladly obliged and enjoyed the task. For moms who feel like they’re not being a good mom, (hello, me!) she tells us to look at the evidence. Yes, I have sweet, healthy children who love me and socialize well with others, so I must be doing a good job, for the most part!

But I want more confirmation than that. I want something deeper. Because I’m feeling like quite the complex and conflicted lady these days.

(And if you want a book review, although I haven’t finished it, I will say that despite coming off as pretty condescending, particularly at the beginning, and having weak, wishy-washy faith themes thrown in here and there, it has some helpful tips and encouragement as well as a fun writing style that make it an easy read.)

But, like I said, I’m a complex and perhaps insecure lady who wants more reassurance than a self-help encouragement book can give. I’m going to have to bring out the big guns. Too aggressive an analogy? Sorry, I’ve been around little Lukey too much, who bit my shoulder when I laid him down for his nap today.

And when I said big guns, I meant the Bible. I’ve been convicted these last few days that while self-help books and even devotional books are great, I really need to immerse myself in the word of God for insight, encouragement, and wisdom.

I decided that I needed a good reminder of how God views love. What better set of verses than I Corinthians 13?

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I want to keep this framework for Biblical, unselfish love in the back of my mind tomorrow as I take on another day with my kids. I don’t want my actions or words in this trying season to be a stumbling block for them in the future. Lyla already absorbs everything I say, as well as the way I say it. Lord, help me to model YOUR definition of love for my kids, not the world’s. 

Do you struggle with doubts about yourself, your abilities, or your place in life?

What encourages you? I would love to hear from my readers.

10 thoughts on “The Greatest Of These Is Love”

  1. You’re an amazing mom and wife! You’re doing a great job babe! Love this post, as it is a great reminder of God’s love for us!

    you said you had ~15 more mins of writing… 2 hrs later lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The verse that comes to my mind is Psalm 121 verse 1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” That is so powerful to me when I feel overwhelmed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this post. I have struggles daily as a more introverted mom with a more extroverted child. I need lots of quiet and he craves lots of noise and interaction. God’s word is always comforting and always guides me in the right direction. Another book that has really helped me is called Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. It’s a keeper.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lori, I’m in the same boat with an extrovert child! My daughter asks me a question literally every ten seconds all day. I do really want to read that Triggers book. I think I’ll ask for it for Christmas. I can tell you now that the sounds of crying and whining are definitely triggers for me!!


  4. Absolutely beautiful!!! ❤ I recently read through the book of Ecclesiastics and I did not realize how often Solomon talked about vanity. I tended to remember the beginning especially about seasons, but then in many chapters he is focused on life is life and when it is over, well, it's over. Kinda depressing. I see so many moms beat themselves up and they need this reminder.

    I HEARD of that book!

    I'm going to share this in the community spotlight 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My own kids are 17, 15, and 14 and I can totally relate to you. We all go through those stages, and frankly our culture puts so much pressure on what we do that being “just mom” really feels like we’re failing. And I say that after 17 years of being “just mom”… OK, technically for 12 of those 17 years I was also “teacher/mom” but still… I often struggled with being content or with whether or not I was doing it right.

    Questions came: Am I spending enough time in the Word with the kids? Too little socialization? Too much? How can I teach when I’m not trained to be a teacher? (Ironically, after my kids started going to private school, I was hired to tutor another high school student who’d been thrust into home schooling without the tools given to a kid who grew up home schooling and needed help, and so I’m still “just teacher/mom!”)

    All I can say looking back is those things I did right, I did by the grace of God. All the things I did wrong, I did by trying it my own way or in my own strength. The toddler stage will pass and new stages will come with new challenges and new delights. Hang in there, stay humbly in the Word, and remember that you are only human – but God is truly God!!

    Liked by 1 person

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