I Haven’t Written in My Journal or Opened my Bible in a While

I haven’t written in my journal or opened my Bible in a while. I don’t mean like a day or two or three. I mean a while. Nearly a month. I’m not sure I’ve ever gone so long without opening my Bible or penning a single word in my journal.

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Most mornings my day begins with a temper tantrum. Sometimes my own, but mostly by my two year old. Other days when we get a morning pass from the toddler fits, I’m exhausted, worn down from growing a baby inside me. And even worse, the other days I fritter away on Facebook or Candy Crush. It sounds awful. I know. Irresponsible even to waste time on worthless things. I would have judged the latter answer something harsh a year ago, or maybe even a few months ago.

But my mind. It’s so overwhelmed with crisis parenting right now. Children that only want mommy. Loud cries and vehement revolts against Daddy’s help. My brain hits crisis and I can’t seem to recover. Not today. Or tomorrow either.

I’m living in a fog right now. I haven’t written because it feels pointless to even pick up a pen. I’ve opened my journal no less than ten times in the last few weeks. I pick up the pen only to put it down to answer a cry or pour another glass of milk. I’ve peered at my Bible sprawled on my chair with longing eyes (and then angry eyes) more times than I can count. I want to read and study, but I don’t have it in me. I don’t have the brain cells to string together a thought or understand a word on the pages of Matthew or Isaiah.

It’s not about not making time to commune. I know I could get five minutes here or there. That’s the simple answer. The band aid that I’ve used for so long.

It doesn’t matter what you do, mom of little ones, just take five minutes. (Cue gagging sound stifled by an enormous yawn.)

Waking up early isn’t an option (did you hear the yawn?) and room time for the boys no longer works. It’s completely and fully about being spent. It’s about exhaustion and needs. It’s about knowing the Spirit of Christ is the only way you get through a day. It’s about seeing your sin, the disgusting nature of self on display and so desperately wishing Christ would just return.

To be clear, I’m not even reading books. I read one this month. Slowly. Savoring I called it, but really I just couldn’t think. I couldn’t concentrate. I just wanted to sleep.

And don’t say it. No platitude or pep talk will work. No “this too shall pass” will suffice right now. I’ve tried them all. I’ve used it on myself and other moms to no avail. The gospel is not heard in empty words and borrowed phrases.

But I know the gospel is here. I feel it deep in my bones.

I want to keep giving, but I don’t even know what to give or where the giving comes from. My soul thirsts for Jesus, for fellowship with the One who created me, but these little people – they require so much. So much!

I know my children will grow up, yet this isn’t about them. This isn’t about how I will feel one day about my earthly rewards when they have flown the coop or simply sleep in their own beds or cease to take nourishment from my body.

It’s about the glory of another, a greater One. The majesty of One. The only thing I want. The only thing I need.

Jesus Christ. The lamb of God.

And then today it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Jesus.

He knew we would need to be reminded. He knew we would be too tired to read and too tired to think. He knew we would easily forget the gospel, but He also knew that once we believed in Him we wouldn’t want to forget.

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” ~Luke 22:15, 19-20

Bread and wine. Both symbolic in their meaning and tangible in the ability to be obtained. Consumed. And given to us to take in remembrance of Him.

The gospel for me. For you.

A body broken for me.

Blood poured out for me.

Nothing I do will ever compare, never need compare to the sacrifice He made willingly once and for all.

It is finished. Paid for in full.

The gospel is here in its simplicity. In the bread and the wine. The one thing I can manage to do right now – “do this in remembrance of me.”

I thirst and I hunger. And He has given the bread and the wine. This. Just this.

Reading my Bible, completing a thought, or praying a prayer of more sophistication might come again some day. But it truly doesn’t matter one way or another because this is enough. He is enough.

Son of God with us.

The bread and the wine given to us, for us.

“Do this in remembrance of me.”

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27 Comments

  1. Oh, my Dear, God knows our limits, He knows the stresses and strains, and He even knows when we need to come apart and rest awhile. Do not fear to do so.

    Sometimes, when I have no time/energy to read, I put some scripture sons on in the background (Trilogy makes some wonderful ones http://trilogyscriptureresources.com/trilogy-scripture-songs/ ) And I am refreshed and blessed.

    Take the time God wants you to, you have 3 little ones demanding from your body and mind and soul. You have other needs and people…it is OK to ask others to pick up some of the load, especially carrying that little one within you…You will be in my prayers, Leigh Ann! God bless and keep you today and always. May we meet in Heaven at Jesus’ feet soon!

  2. Thank you for baring your heart so honestly Leigh Ann. I won’t offer an empty words either, just say that I can understand in part, and my prayers will be with you this week and until this season passes. Thank God for Jesus, for His mindfulness that we are but dust, and for His compassion for the weak and lowly.

    I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas and that it is a refreshing and beautiful time for you.

  3. My dear Leigh Anne, Thank you for so bravely and honestly sharing your heart. You have encouraged us so many times, it is time to return the favor. Please don’t laugh but this reminds me of a flock of geese…Did you know that geese fly in a V formation with all the geese honking to encourage the leader to keep leading and flying….and then when that lead goose gets tired, he then goes to the back of the “V’ line to rest…..and honk as the next leader steps up. And the cycle repeats itself. On and on it goes. Take the rest you need. Sounds like now is a season to just REST and ABIDE in His presence. He created you and knows you want to study and learn, which makes His heart glad, but He also knows the limitations of our human minds, bodies and spirits. His grace is sufficient for you to just REST and ABIDE in His presence in this season. Luckily we have a God that we do not have to chase after; He is always pursuing us…totally amazing! As someone once told me, “if you could only only see yourself as God sees you….totally lovable and acceptable, just as you ARE at this very moment! ” Grace and Rest! Paige

  4. Leigh Ann, I completely understand what you are talking about. When I was pregnant with my son, I went through pre-partum depression. I felt like it was something I couldn’t acknowledge or even talk about because people would wonder if I didn’t really want this child (which I really, really did!) or why I wasn’t able to put my trust in God and snap out of it (which I also really, really wanted to be able to do). For the nine months of his pregnancy, I felt like my head had to keep talking to my hopeless heart and emotions. I was living from moment to moment, unable to focus or think about the future.

    Jesus understands how you feel right now. He was tempted in all things as we are tempted. He knows what it is like to not have time to eat because other people’s needs keep getting in the way (Mark 6:31). He knows what it is like to desperately need some quiet time away, and yet to find that people had already gone on ahead and were waiting for Him with their needs (Mark 6:33). He knows what it is like to be surrounded by people constantly demanding His attention, making requests, touching Him. When people are offering platitudes, God understands your heart. May He comfort you and give you strength when yours is gone. May He remind you of His love. I am praying for you!

  5. I just wanted you to know I am so grateful for the day I came across your blog. It seems that though the circumstances are different you and I are on common ground often. Thank you for your honesty, it let’s me know I am not the only one and that we can again make an intentional choice to get back to our secret place. A GOD used you in my life today thank you for being willing

  6. Thank you for sharing this. My husband is now entering his 16th month of chemotherapy for colon cancer. So many responsibilities have fallen on me for him and our 3 remaining children at home, until I feel completely beaten. I tried for about 5 months to keep a steady study time in the morning using a new routine, but exhaustion overtook my intentions and I’ve now been off track for 3 months. I feel terrible that I miss so many things — including down time with the LORD — but I feel helplessly overwhelmed sometimes. I often talk to the LORD through silent prayers as I do the chores I can, and cook meals, and I feel He’s ever-present in my trials despite my lack of quiet time with Him.

    I am praying for peace to start in my life such that I can return to the quiet of my studies. Thank you for sharing your trials. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only Christian who’s faltering, and it’s bolstering to know that I am not alone in my travails. I pray that you (and I along with any other reading and struggling) can find that place to be still again.

    1. Hey, I’m currently going through this right now. I feel exactly as this it’s feels terrible and I feel all alone. How long did it take you to overcome this season ?

  7. Oh my! I feel like you took the words right out of my head! I am in the same place. So hungry, but no time and little capacity. The Lord is showing me that I am to be His hands and feet to these little people. As I pour out to them (again and again), His Word is still in me… He is satisfying every need. My simple goal right now is not an elaborate quiet/study time, it’s writing pertinent scriptures on index cards and putting them on my kitchen window and on my bathroom mirror, and a simple memory verse with the kids for the week. “For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9

  8. I cried when I read this just now. I too am a pregnant mom of a two year old. I recently stopped breastfeeding him and this pregnancy has been so so so draining. We’ve had to take on part time jobs to make ends meet and even though I know God is in it, it is such a time suck. Between the tantrums, the mommy clinging, the stress of a baby coming in 8 weeks, a little boy who refused to sleep in his own bed, and bad dreams (why I’m up at 4:30) I am so lonely for Jesus! I know he is here with me, even through the craziness of the days and I too, like you, long for heaven and the graduation from all that life brings. Some call that depression.. I call that desperation and just needing strong shoulders to lean on. Anyways, thanks for sharing. It was timely and refreshing to my soul! Jesus is enough, Jesus is present, Jesus is life to me and he is bigger than all of the things I go through, the fatigue ect.

    This moment at 4:30 – me crying typing is sweet because I have found the object of my souls desire even through harsh circumstance.

  9. Leigh Ann (and all the readers struggling with this) I hold space for you in my heart and prayers. Thank you for sharing. It is a feeling I have been having for months, and after reading this post I give myself permission to be and grow and change, take care of my four little ones without guilt.

  10. So often I feel like you are inside of me. This so perfectly describes me. I’m pregnant with my fourth, a bit of a surprise after moving across the country away from all of our friends and family. I’m struggling to take care of my three children, ages five and under, while still making the time I so desperately need for Jesus. It’s been an extremely hard past six months, but your words are so encouraging. Sometimes I can get so bogged down in everything I know I *should* be doing and I feel like such a failure because I’m not doing them. Thank you for the reminder that Jesus is not only here with me, but he is carrying me through this season when I cannot walk on my own. I always find such encouragement by your words and this post is no exception.

  11. This hit home for me today because I’ve been going through something similar. Oh, I’ll still pull out my Bible once in a while, but it’s been weeks since I read slowly and engaged my thoughts with the text. And journaling? Ha, that takes time. And I’m too busy right now. Even though I’m not a mom. Or married. But I am still in need of this reminder that Jesus is enough, simply and completely enough.
    Thank you for sharing, Leigh Ann, and being honest, and helping me remember the truth in Jesus’ enough-ness.

  12. Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency. I’ve felt so guilty about not seeking God with the same vigor that I once did. But guilt just makes me feel worse, and just adds to the time I’m not spending with Him. Thank you again.

  13. Thank u for being so real, so honest in sharing your heart. I have 3 auto immune diseases and my season right now is needing Him and his word in me. However the pain and the need for sleep overtake this. I have felt so guilty, so dirty and thought how disgusted he must be with my feeble efforts. I know these thoughts are from the enemy. Nevertheless, they reign over me in succession. Most of my day is spent in trying to bring my thoughts captive just to stay above water. Thank you again…u have lifted my heart.