By Emily Goss
Spilling the blueberries all over the already dirty kitchen floor was what put me over the edge that day. Now, you know there was twenty-seven little things that I allowed to beat me down to get past the point of no return; but spilling the blueberries is what broke me.
Usually when I have a day like this, and I finally get a quiet moment alone, I try and trace back to the “turning point” of my day. On this day, I knew the reason I felt broken. The culprit was a lack of encouragement.
Did you know that kids are rarely encouraging? I mean maybe you have children who bring you breakfast in bed accompanied by a handwritten poem as to why you are the best ever…
At my house, it’s mostly, “I need juice,” from the minute their little feet hit the floor or, “Why didn’t you wash my princess shirt? I don’t want to wear polka-dots!”
“You never let me do what I want to do!”
Not exactly do my sweet little ones score high on the words of affirmation scale. And before I know it, I’m feeling beaten down and insufficient.
Our Pastor recently made a statement that struck a nerve for the mommy in me: “Sometimes you have to encourage yourself because there might not be anyone around to do it when it’s needed.”
Let’s face it, if I am relying on my kids to encourage me every day, I better not hold my breath.
If I’m relying on my husband, well, he may not get the memo while he’s busy at work.
If I’m relying on a friend to pull me up out of my funk, that friend may be relying on me to provide the encouraging words.
As moms, we have to learn to encourage ourselves. We have to remember to remember, even when it’s hard. Remember what? The goodness of the God we serve.
Psalm 103 says: “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits-- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” (v. 1-4)
Forget not all his benefits. That bears repeating a third time: Forget not all his benefits. The Message translation says, “Don’t forget a single blessing!”
Did you know when David wrote this Psalm, he wasn’t exactly writing it to the Lord? There are plenty of Psalms where he is praising the Lord for His goodness but in this particular passage, he is making this statement to himself. He’s reminding himself to praise the Lord and to remember the many blessings of God.
So, when I’m low on the encouragement I need, I turn to God’s words. You may find it helpful to pen down an encouraging verse and place it in a visible place so you can be reminded during the day. You may want to memorize this short verse: “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2). Be prepared to encourage yourself with scripture throughout the day. And also, remind yourself of the Lord’s benefits. He will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), you are precious and loved (Isaiah 43:4), a child of the King (Romans 8:17), and no thing or no one can ever separate you from Him (Romans 8:38-39).
And then maybe the blueberry spill won’t be so tragic…
O my soul, Bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! Psalm 103:2 (MSG)
Lord Jesus, I often find it hard to remember all the ways you’ve blessed me. Remind me, God, and refresh my soul through the power of your Word. I confess in my day to day, I can feel overwhelmed and discouraged; help me in these moments to encourage myself with your truth. Amen