Today I wanted to tell you, my dearest sleep-deprived-mama-friend, that you are not alone.
In For the Sleep Deprived Mama who Feels Ashamed Part 1, I shared with you how sometimes those late night feedings got the better of me. I got angry, and then I felt ashamed.
And I’m guessing that you, my sweet mama friend, have been there.
What do we do in times like that? It’s so important to not try to “fix ourselves in our own strength.
Because we just can’t do it.
As I mentioned last time, anytime we are looking to change a behavior in ourselves, we can’t jump straight to behavior modification and expect change.
We must first ask ourselves WHY.
In my first blog on this topic, we tackled the important question: Why am I supposed to Love?
We got our bedrock foundation going back to the gospel of Jesus Christ and how He loves us! How amazing is that!
Now I want to share with you what I was learning in the practical side-
How can I love when I don’t feel like it?
As I was praying and searching the Scriptures, I found this section in Galations 5 that talks about living in the Spirit. Verses 22-23 read:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against such things there is no law.
I think people often say Christians are supposed to act loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, etc. because of this verse.
In fact, it’s easy to treat this verse like a checklist.
Am I being loving? Check. Joyful? Check.
But if you look at the first part of this verse, you see that these attributes are actually FRUIT.
Now imagine with me your favorite fruit, juicy and delicious, growing on a tree. It didn’t grow there overnight.
In fact it didn’t have much say in growing there in the first place.
It grew there because the TREE was healthy.
The roots were doing what they were supposed to, gathering just the right amount of nutrients. The tree was planted in the right soil. And it was getting enough sunlight each day.
All these things added together made the lush juicy apple a possibility.
So if we say “I just need to have patience” or “I just need to have love” and try to muster it up, it’s not enough.
We need to be planted in God’s Word, filled with the Holy Spirit, and renewed in the sunlight of His love each day.
Then the fruits of patience, and joy and love will grow – and extend to those middle of the night moments.
Because we’re relying on Him and His strength.
Do you see what that really means?
How amazing that Jesus HIMSELF will supply us with these things as we trust and rest in Him moment by moment. And of course the first step is surrendering your life to Him in faith, believing what He did on the cross (if you haven’t given your life to Christ, I encourage you to read more about that in “My Story” here.)
As Paul says earlier in Galations 5, verses 16-17,
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh…
The Spirit within us will grow the fruit of patience, love and joy, as we constantly surrender our selves, our thoughts, and attitudes to Christ and His Word.
That is definitely good and hopeful news to me! How about you?? I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments!
Press on, dear mama friend. Rest in His grace and love, and seek Him moment by moment. He promises to provide the grace and strength we need.