This time of year stresses me out.
All the back to school stuff. The mandatory parent meetings. The long list of places that need parent volunteers. The steady stream of emails, documents to sign, handbooks to read. Doctor visits. Shopping…
I’m weary just from typing it all down.
The back to school season gets to that part of me that wants to be the mom who can do it all. And do it all well. I want to be that mom who juggles it all. I want to be the mom who shows up to everything, who coordinates all that needs coordinating, who has a job and title at each school, sport, and activity. I want to be the mom who perfectly meets everyone’s expectations (including mine!).
In years past, I’ve said yes to all the requests. I’ve attended every meeting. I checked every box. I quickly got overwhelmed and burdened. I started forgetting where I was supposed to be and when. Then I became the mom who signed up for cupcakes and forgot to bring them.
Yeah, that mom.
I wrote Sufficient Hope to remind moms, and myself, that the gospel is sufficient to give us hope in all of life. The truths of who Jesus is and what he came to do doesn’t just transform our lives in eternity, but it also transforms our life in the here and now. We can have real hope today because of Jesus Christ.
Since this is true, it must mean that the gospel has something to say to this crazy time of year. It must have something to say to moms who feel pulled in every direction, who struggle to juggle all the requests and meet all the expectations, who are weary and overwhelmed.
As I preach the gospel to my own heart at the start of a new school year, I am reminded that my identity is not wrapped up in how many volunteer roles I have. My worth and value is not found in the tasks I manage to accomplish each day. The measure of how I’m doing as a mom is not based on how well I juggle everyone’s schedule. My identity and worth is found in who Christ is for me. Jesus Christ lived the life I could not live, died the death I deserved, and rose in triumph from the grave. Through faith in him, I am united with him. God looks at me and sees all that Jesus has done for me.
The wonderful news about the gospel is that Jesus is for me all that I cannot be.
This means I don’t have to do certain things to find acceptance and affirmation from those around me. I don’t need the accolades of others. I don’t need to beef up my mom resume by committing to everything I’m asked to participate in. In fact, I can say “no” to things and rest secure. That’s because I am completely loved and accepted by my Maker. He sees me wrapped in the righteousness of Christ. I am his beloved.
The gospel also reminds me that Christ is wisdom incarnate. He is the source of all wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). When I am overwhelmed by all that the world demands of me, I can turn to him and seek his wisdom found in God’s Word. I can pray for wisdom and discernment to use my time in ways that glorify him. I can ask him to help me number my days so I can remember how fleeting life is (Psalm 90:12). Our life here is brief. Time is a non-renewal resource; we need to use it with wisdom.
Lastly, the gospel reminds me to find my rest in Christ. When I am overwhelmed after a crazy day, when the expectations are too great for me to meet, when my human limitations are maxed out, I find my spiritual rest in Christ. As I abide in him, through his word, prayer, and other means of grace, I am renewed and strengthened and enabled to spend my days and life for his glory.
Moms, this time of year can be crazy. It can be overwhelming at times. We may feel pulled in many directions. But we have hope. We have a Savior. We can rest in him.