Monday, January 27, 2014

because i love my God

my 5 year old will not poop in the potty. for some reason, peeing in the potty clicks for her, but not pooping.
i know, it's really crazy right? yes, i know how to potty train. yes, we've tried every single thing you can think of. yes, it drives me crazy.

i had read in an advent devotional some time ago by paul david trip:

You and I were created to love God. We were hardwired to live in an intimate relationship with the Creator that would shape every motive, every desire, every choice, every word, and every action. If at any moment you asked me what I was doing, I could say to you, “Because I love my God.”
Why do you speak to your spouse the way you do? 
Because I love my God. 
Why do you treat your children the way you do? 
Because I love my God. 
Why do you spend your money the way you do? 
Because I love my God.
Why do you schedule your life the way you do? Because I love my God


the devotional went on to say how something went terribly wrong in the garden of eden and now we stray from that. and because we're made to be lovers, we'll find something to love. namely, self.

when i read that, it knocked me on my face. that's me! i particularly thought of changing an almost 6 year olds filthy underwear everyday. the frustration for me because it made me uncomfortable, it grossed me out, and i had better things to do with my time.

not to be left out of this discussion is that lila is special needs, and although we don't have a label for her, she literally does not understand the concept. perhaps she's stubborn too, but i mean, i can't be angry enough with her to make her change. there's something that doesn't make sense in her mind.

with that said, yes, i'm not my favorite person in those moments when i yell at her and shame her for not doing what i want her to do.  it's very ugly.

when i read that article, i felt a call to repent for my heart towards lila. and to know that deep in my heart, i am not doing this particular uncomfortable job for her or for myself. it is because i love my God.
it made me weep. i had gotten very far away from that call.

do you know how many times i yelled out loud in frustration, while throwing yet another pair of undies away, why am i doing this? why is this my job?!
fuming in jealousy for my husband's ability to leave the house and not deal with this. THIS.

i had gotten away from my true motivation and the answer i had for me was, because i love myself. 

but i felt like a true remedy got whispered back at me when i read that devotional. because i love my God. 
my mind back tracked.
because you loved me when i sat in my filth--at my dirtiest, because pulled me out and washed me clean. because of your love for me...
for that i can be motivated. for anything else, i can only behavior modify for so long before i become the irate mother who feels entitled to have all of her children potty trained properly as a toddler.

and yet, even saying that phrase can't change me. phrases have no power. but it became my prayer, my reminder, my cue for repentance. when i would cry and put in her in the bath, i would say over and over again in my head, because i love my God. because i love my God. make it true in my heart. 

lila says, mommy is sad. mommy tying (crying).
i say, mommy was mean. mommy is sorry.
lila says, i sorry. i luh you. 

how does this 5 year old show more grace to me than i show to her? it is an undeserving gift.
and through my mundane, he is changing me. chipping away at me.  i still have to keep that prayer close to my heart. it still must be near to me every day, i am that quick to turn away. but when that phrase pops into my head, not just in this situation but in any difficult moment, i know it is my cue to run back to the cross.
to ask for God to change me, right in that moment, hovering over the bathtub.

why am i making this dinner. because i love my God.
why am i giving up what i want to do with my time. because i love my God.
why am i scrubbing this floor. because i love my God.
over and over again all day. write it on my heart and write it on my children's faces, on their hind ends. write it on my tongue and write it into my DNA.

it's how i understand: God made me to do this THING, this hard thing, in this very moment. why me? it was permitted for me so that i could see Christ. He loves me so much, he uses the mundane hardship of my life to show me Himself. A wise and kind God is who He must be. Gracious and abounding in love.
He must be that.

55 comments:

  1. every single day, without fail, i get wrapped up in loving myself more than i love my family.
    i need to make my own list of all the things i do that are mundane and cause me to think more of myself than others.

    great truth this morning...

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    1. Every single day! I'm right there with you.

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  2. What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing! I was having the same feelings and issues with my 3.5 year old who has SPD. Her OT recommended the book "Ready, Set, Potty" and I started reading it and the lightbulb went on in my head. I needed to get on her level and get her to poop on the potty in HER way...not mine...if you haven't read it, I'd give it a shot!

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  3. I needed this! Thank you SO much for sharing and for sharing your heart.

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    1. I need it too. Have to re-read it. Lol

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  4. I just want to tell you, I simply LOVE your blog. God really uses you. This post...I needed it so much. I have a toddler, as I am getting the two of us in the morning as my husband is already at work ..I find myself more often than not getting frustrated. Wanting to get out the door, her to the sitters and myself to work on time. I am sitting there screaming to God, why is this morning on a continual basis...why is she not getting ready in the time I want her too...why is she spilling the milk as we walk out the door...
    Thank you sooo much for this. It gives me such a repentant heart.

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    1. Man I relate so much! We need God to help us see it's about him not us!

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  5. I have been challenged and inspired by reading your blog. I appreciate the way you share your heart.

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    1. You sweet thing! Thanks for your kind words

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  6. Saying that over and over now, Because I love my God. Its scary to think about just how selfish and entitled I am when things get tough for me. Praise God for you!

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    1. He's kind to show us the depths if our sin and our need for him every minute! Painful but do good.

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  7. I had a similar problem with my son when he was that age. He wasn't special needs, but was always pooping his pants. I understand your frustration because so. much. poop. I did a lot of research and figured out that he had encopresis, or stool hoarding. Some children, for whatever reason, start holding back their stools. This causes the bowels to stretch to the point that they can no longer feel the pressure or urge to go. It just kinda slides out. I found a program online that recommended daily enemas to make sure the bowels were clean and to allow the muscles to return to their normal size. This along with some behavioral changes (I don't remember exactly what we did, my son is 24 now) worked for us. I hope this helps, because I remember it seemed like my whole life revolved around cleaning soiled underwear and the constant smell. I was ready to tear my hair out. Please look up encopresis and see if this is what you are dealing with. It's actually a pretty easy problem to solve.

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  8. "How does this 5 year old show more grace to me than I do to her?" Gosh does that hit home for me! I get so caught up in getting things the way I want them. I am quick to anger and yell and sometimes hold a grudge against my kids. They always forgive and forget any mistake I make. They just love and want to be loved. I thank God for new days and new chances to be the mother they need. Good luck with the pooping in the potty praying you have no more messes to clean up.

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    1. I know! I say, hey sorry for earlier when I yelled...and laynes like, oh I didn't remember you yelling. Lol! Give me that brain.

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  9. AWESOME post, Jami!
    Love this: "because i love my God. because i love my God. make it true in my heart."

    So many things true in my head that don't resonate in my heart and in my actions.
    Lord I believe, help my unbelief!

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    1. I pray it often. I don't believe in so many things I profess!

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  10. jami- there is so much beauty in the raw honesty of motherhood and the grace that covers it all. thank you for this fresh and much needed reminder. yes BECAUSE OF GOD, amen.

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    1. Grace grace grace!!! It's all I got.

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  11. ugh...i so wanted someone to say that I was being selfish. In my mind everything makes sense and what I do is for everyone else...but deep inside..it's not. It's about me. I love myself. I'm self-absorbed and the world should revolve around me. Even God...to the cross I go, to the only one that has everything I need and everything I think I want. Thanks sis

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    1. Totally! I can tell you all the reasons I do what I do and it will make sense...but deep down, I know why I do it! Ugh. So hard.

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  12. Just this morning I had to apologize to our 3 year old for quick, rash discipline that wasn't really needed. Like you said, children give grace so freely...why can't I? Thank you for the reminder of Who I'm serving.

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    1. Our eyes need to be shifted often!

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  13. Yes! Thank you for this! My 8 year old has high-functioning Autism, his tantrums and mood swings send me reeling. I am brought to the end of myself, over and over again, becoming an angry, selfish, and bitter mama more often than I care to admit. Thank you for this much needed reminder of WHY I am doing this in the first place!

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    1. Ugh! I so hear you. If we lose site of why we are here on the earth , not for us but for His glory...to see him more, it gets so ugly so quick. We need him!

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  14. Jami, thank you SO much for sharing this! This year, more than any other season of my life, has shown me how desperately I need Jesus on a daily, no, hourly, geesh, minutely (?) basis, haha. And I think that's kind of the point of what He wants....us to be completely dependent on Him! Thanks again for this reminder!! :)

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    1. Totally. It's not about escaping all the hardship. It's about entering into the hardship and seeing how much I need Jesus.

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  15. Jami, I want to tell you how very much I enjoy your posts. They speak to me in such a way...I know it is The Lord connecting with me. Today's was especially touching; I too have a precious girl who is special needs (although I'll be honest and say I struggle with that term...we all have special needs, don't we? :). My Zoey also has no specific diagnosis; she is just "delayed". She sleeps with my husband and I, and after laying awake for a few hours last night feeling her little feet kick me in the back, face, etc., putting her just sucked on thumb on my face to stretch out, I finally moved. Into her room. I always swore I wouldn't be kicked out of my own bed, and I woke this morning frustrated and wishing there was a way I could just explain to my 3 year old that it's time to move to her bed. But I can't. As much as I ADORE my daughter, I do struggle from time to time and it's nice to know that I'm not all by myself in that struggle. :) Sometimes (like this morning:) I need the reminder that this life isn't about me...and our Father has my precious Zoey girl right where He wants her to be. Thank you for reminding me. ;)

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  16. Thank you so much Jamie! I have been thinking about this a lot lately and yesterday at church a sister spoke of her father and how he was always busy with school, work, church responsibilities, 5 kids, etc and she never remembers him complaining. My kids hear me complain a lot, and it is because I'm selfish and don't want to do certain things with my time. Thank you for this reminder. It is because of my God that I was blessed with these children and am lucky enough to stay home with them and serve them. It will surely be my prayer to do it more selflessly. XO

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  17. Thank you for this. I'm currently working on potty training my almost 4 y/o. He isn't special needs but he is incredibly stubborn and the training is not going nearly as well or quickly as I would like. I know he knows what to do and can recognize the urges. I have a really hard time keeping my cool when he makes mess after mess in his pants but I hate myself in those moments that I loose my cool. It breaks my heart that I can speak that way to my little boy.

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  18. Just started reading your blog and wow...you have certainluy been blessed with some good writing skills! I find myself excited to see what you will post because its so spot on. I love how you have used your blog to share what our God has done in your life. How great He is sister!!

    Stephanie

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  20. Wow! Wow! Wow! Thanks for sharing something so personal and spiritual! Blessings...

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  21. Oh, I love this. I have a painting of Mary with sweet baby Jesus at her feet hanging laundry on the line. That painting hangs in my laundry room and reminds my heart every day. I will now utter these words! Love this. Thank you for sharing!

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  22. A mentor and mother of seven once taught me the phrase "I get to..." Which absolutely changed my heart towards my family. I love this God centered phrase as much! I'm gonna need to post those both above my sink :)

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  23. Thank you. We all need the Gospel being preached to us again and again. It never gets old. Thank you.

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  24. Thank you. thank you thank you. this rings so true for me. Because I love God.... if I were to let that be my motivation for everything I do, my life would look so different.

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  25. This was what I needed to hear today. Thank you. Truly motherhood has revealed how deep my selfishness can be found. And how amazingly God can use me as well. Your words reminded me of a great book I have read multiple times (and intend to keep reading for the rest of my life); The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

    http://www.amazon.com/Practice-Presence-God-Brother-Lawrence/dp/0883681056/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391013992&sr=1-3&keywords=the+practice+of+the+presence+of+god

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  26. Our middle child is special needs and I struggled potty training her as well. Mostly because she was deaf and we didn't know it. Then we found out and took a crash course in sign language. And I kept on getting toy box and toilet mixed up and well... that set us back a bit. It's so easy to fall into a pity party. If I mother for ME, I do it so poorly. If I mother for my Savior, I change. It's just that I forget so easily.

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  27. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  28. Man! I sure wish I read this about 6 years ago when I was going through the exact same thing. I too, had a 6 year old who couldn't poop in the potty...he is now 12, but learned to at 8. I remember being so lonely and frustrated that my husband got to get it of the house to go to work too. In fact, I still feel that way sometimes. I'm going to make this my prayer.

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    1. agh! i'm sorry about your lack of support. dangit! i'm happy people are talking more about their struggles and that i don't have to keep my hardship a secret. anyway, thanks for saying that you understand. it really means a lot!

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  29. Powerful truth - timeless lesson. Praise God for your heart and your pen that share freely and beautifully to encourage others to walk closer to Jesus!

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  30. I have been there in the trenches with a six year old who would not poop, let alone in the toilet. Anal retention and subsequent encopresis are very common in individuals with autism. He didn't move past this phase until he was 11. There was not a lot of grace left in me as I sat holding a ten year old on the toilet so that his body could pass painful stools. It was terrifying and exhausting. Thankfully, God steered me toward the book Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. Once I stopped trying to control Ben, God had room to work His healing magic. I wish I had had the heart attitude of "because I love my God". Thank God his grace is sufficient.

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    1. i will have to read that!! thanks for the recommendation and sometime i need to interview you about special needs kiddos. if that's ok! i think i have your email?

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    2. Always ok. You're my girrrl, what, what?

      I'm so sorry about that right there.

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  31. I'm a foster mama and I feel this way sometimes over my foster daughter! I love her so much, but it's so hard seeing all the broken and getting mad at it all! Thank you for writing and showing me that I am not alone in this!

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    1. you are for sure not alone. lots of us struggling mamas clinging to jesus. it's so hard. we are good to remember it is about Jesus and not us. and that we are here for a short time. eternal perspective always gives me a good spank. :)

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    2. I am weeping as I read..my eldest daughter sent this to me. I was sharing (read complaining) with her about my trials with her 19 yr old special needs sister. She had been writing on furniture and nail polishing the toilet, yet again. I struggle with not understanding why she does it (she says, "I don't know Mom") and also that 'things' might not change or get better. " because I love my God". Thanks for pointing me back to the cross. May all my expectations be in Jesus, alone. I am going to read this to my husband tonight. Thanks for sharing.

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  32. Jami, thank you for sharing your life. I am reminded of the parable of the talents, in that when God gave you yours, you did not bury it, in keeping all of this heart treasure to yourself, but you have gone and been raw and real, and the harvest of THIS hard learned lesson, will be a hundredfold. Thanks for letting the Lord use you and your precious girl to speak to so many hearts because you love your God. You bless me.

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  33. My goodness, there are SO many similarities with her special needs and my Jack's. He didn't poop in the potty until he was almost 6. I could relate SO much to this post. Everything. I close my eyes and cringe a little bit when I think of the times I lashed out at him out of frustration and then cried in the fetal position from guilt. I used to pray (beg) God to show me one little tiny sign from him that he understood stuff. Slowly (very slowly and with LOTs of therapy), he started showing signs of understanding and then after that trying. The pooping thing was one of our many hurdles. I'm praying for you and her. And, I loved this post. How wonderfully amazing! xoxo, cat (catdmoore.com)

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  34. That one hit me right where I am at. I'm going to have to print this one out and put it where I can look at it frequently.
    Thanks for sharing and again for always being vulnerable.

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  35. This is beautiful. Thank you for your honesty!! I'm not a momma yet. But my hubbie and I are going to start trying at the end of this year (2014) so hearing posts like these make my heart more prepared for child rearing.

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