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When Strong Mamas Feel Quite Weak

May 29, 2013

One of the most precious hearted women I know, lives on land that grows real food, and flirts with her farmer man all the while typing out words that are works of art.

And yesterday, she invited my words to come sit on her porch for a spell. So, I thought that maybe you’d want to join me over at Ann Voskamp’s amazing blog.

Here’s a bit of what I’m talking about over at the farm…

You know what I’m sometimes tempted to do as a mom? Draw a straight line from my child’s wrong choice to my weakness in mothering.

That will just about kill a mama. Crack her heart open and fill it with paralyzing regret of the past and fear for the future. And that’s exactly where Satan wants us mamas to stay. Paralyzed.

But what if that’s the wrong line to draw?

To read this blog in its entirety, click here.

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  1. Jill Beran

    Absolutely loved this post Lysa! As a mom of 5 as well, I pray God lets it sink deep into my heart and memory! Thank you for always sharing your heart!

  2. Wendie Connors

    Your “diet coke-vending machine mishap” post is HANDS DOWN my favorite post of yours! It spoke directly to my heart in the exact moment I needed it. God used you BIG time, Lysa, with this one! Thank you! Peace, love, and JOY!

  3. Christine Marie

    I am currently in that paralyzed place. Yesterday a friend walked in my office and I was at a breaking point. They held my hand and asked God to make it better. Throughout the night I forced my thoughts to go back to the prayer my friend prayed and I said to God, these are your children Lord. It may sound selfish to say that this post is for me today but I am taking in that breath of hope and keeping it so very close to my heart.

  4. Michelle

    God is using your words to heal and restore me. Thank you for being vulnerable and honest in the hurt we as mommies feel when we see our little ones going a different way than what we had hoped and prayed for them. As a mommy to 4 beautiful gifts I see them struggling with the temptations of this world and my heart aches for them to follow Jesus. I have been thinking “if only I” thoughts and your sharing realigned my thoughts. God will work in His ways and His timing is perfect.

  5. Brandy

    Oh, Lysa! There you go again! Talking straight to my heart!!! I love you! Diet Coke is my liquid heaven, too; and today has been a particularly rough “mommy” day for me. I have to be tough Mom today and bend, yet not break, and give thanks to God for granting me grace when I don’t do it all just right 🙂 I’m going to buy myself a DC right now! Toodles! <3

  6. Stacy

    Thank you!

  7. Tammy

    Thank you for this! I live this way and have for over a year now. I will go back and forth from being a “paralyzed mom” to an “I can handle this mom”. I did all of those things: took my daughter to church regularly, gave her attention (lots), cheerleading, Girl Scouts, dance, loving Christian home – she is now living with her “no count” boyfriend, throwing her money away into “bad” stuff, has very little contact with her family. I do know that the way she is living now is not because of something I did or didn’t do; but it is still very hard to move on some days. I have complete faith that God will work good things into her life and bring her back to her family and to her Lord – His will will be done in His time. Please pray for her and for me!! I was also just thinking that a diet coke might be what I need here at lunch time. Thanks again!

  8. Erin G.

    Thank you – actually can’t thank say thank you enough. I’m a momma to 5 including one we are struggling with – a lot – right now. This post spoke to my heart – from the necessity of Diet Coke! 🙂 to the very real paralyzing fear of why me…where did we go wrong…why is God letting this happen…we’ve tried so hard…thank you for again speaking truth into my heart….God gave us our daughter knowing we were the ones to handle the challenges (with God’s help!) – so hard to grasp that truth in the middle of what feels like an endless battle ground. But God is faithful and we press on with hope! Thank you!

  9. Claire

    Oh Lysa and other dear mamas–I was your struggling daughters–from the time I was 17, for nearly a decade I made horrible chocies–having been raised by precious parents who did all the “right” things. Don’t let satan’s lies drag you away from trusting God to bring your girls back to Him–He brought me back. I will be forever grateful to my parents and their friends (a small group before there were small groups) and my own friends who were further on in their faithwalks than me for their faithful, unrelenting prayers for my safety and return to Him. 30 years later I chase hard after Jesus, raising 2 beautiful teenage girls–always praying, without ceasing for them and their friends. Be strong mamas, be the WRONG mamas for satan to mess with–sip on those Diet Cokes and trust our Lord–He is sovereign and doesn’t ever waste a minute!!

  10. Janet

    Thank you for breathing hope into my paralyzed place. You summed it up so perfectly.

  11. Ann

    Dear Lysa,
    God spoke to my soul through your blog today. I wish I could speak with you face to face to share my story of how this played out in my life. I couldn’t agree more that Satan will use every opportunity to crush our mama heart and leave us as ashes. I am so thankful that God has another plan and through our love for Jesus He empowers us for greater things. A few years later, I may not be back to full power but am not dead either and I never stopped fighting to save my child. If you are ever in Atlanta or should it make sense to you that I should share my story, I would be proud to travel your direction. Lysa, mostly I want to say, one southern girl to another, I am much obliged and should we ever find each other I would enjoy “porching” with you for a spell. Your words have been a gift to me today. Sincerely!

  12. Charlotte

    This is exactly what I needed to hear and read today.

  13. MJ

    God’s timing is amazing. I just needed to hear this, after a melt-down discussion with my daughter, and butting heads with the other…as one pointed out, they’re good kids, go to church, love God, not in trouble the way most people perceive trouble–but they’re still making choices I’m not comfortable or happy with, and I fall into the trap of thinking I failed, thinking everything I invested for so mnay years–due to a twist in life that brought other influences, influences I wouldn’t choose and still don’t want. I AM saddened by it all–things oculd have been different. But, yes, I am strong enough to pray God helps me bend, not break…to tell satna he will not win…to trust God and my children to follow HIm. After all, it’s what I did –followed God to this hard place as my parents looked on with misgiving–stop pursuing a career as a physician? stay home to be a wife and mom? homeschool? I feel like I’ve drawn a target on my back and my family, and its been well-aimed at. Thanks for the encouragement that it’s not my failure–although surley there are plenty–but my desire to live for God that is at the bottom. Blessings to you.

  14. MelissaMarie

    With 3 little’s at home I have already begun to recognize a strong fear, that even though I am trying to do everything right that someday they will slip down the wrong path and that somehow it will be my fault.
    I am beginning to see that this fear is deception… that my job is not to save them from walking down a wrong path, but to stand in the gap for them – to pray for them, to love them and be real with them and be God’s hands and feet for them, to submit to God’s leading and allow myself to be used by him. That when I mess up (because I do all the time) it does not discount me but offers me an opportunity to live as repentant and redeemed before them. I feel so afraid sometimes, but I am everyday trying to trust a little more. Thank you for your words!

  15. Vicki

    Okay so I go against the grain a little with Diet Pepsi instead of Diet Coke but the rest is all true. So many times I’ve said “if only I hadn’t” or “if only I had”. I’ve never looked at the situations the way they are pointed out as from God’s perspective. Sometimes we don’t see the forest for…. I have learned to pray: LORD, in spite of what I did please step in…… Now I will have words of comfort for those who struggle today as I do. Thank you Lisa and Ann!

  16. sue

    Thank you!!!

  17. Dawn Yostt

    I too am at the paralyzed point. My oldest son, a sr. in high school. Ran away from home April 7. He is totally addicted to his girlfriend (17 years old) and when we tried to get him to spend SOME time with us a little less time with her, she started “pitting” us against her and he chose her side everytime. He has promised to come home twice, she has talked him out of it. She found him an apartment and he is living there. Her parents are not helping us at all. We took his car away from him a week and a half b4 he left and now her parents have recommended to him that he SUE us for the $ for his car. He is doing just that. This is ripping my heart out as he is graduating next week, I won’t be the one ironing his grad. gown, my husband doesn’t even want to go to his graduation, we’re not helping him get ready for college, if she doesn’t talk him out of going… I miss him SO much. But I have a 17 year old, a 9 year old a 8 year old and a 5 year old also and we need to be setting the right example for them. Thank you so much Lysa for sharing this, it really spoke to my heart!

  18. broken

    Oh, dear Mama-sister! I found you today for the first time on Ann’s blog.
    You are the FIRST person who has been able to minister to my b.r.o.k.e.n. heart.
    My firstborn son, Josiah, (yep, named after KING Josiah; 2 Kings 23:25) has decided there is no God. And he is pursuing that belief.
    I call him my evangelical atheist. And I cry a LOT.
    He is a 20 year old brilliant college student. Studying molecular biology. He works hard, he studys hard. He still likes me as his mama, most of the time. He just doesn’t believe.
    Many times I have asked myself, (and God) “what did I do wrong?” Did I shelter him too much? Too little? Did I yell too much? (Yes, I did) Was I too lenient? Too strict? I’ve had people tell me I was one way, and others tell me I was another. I thought I was raising him to follow. I thought I was raising him to obey. Where did I go wrong? How can I make it right?
    Now, I have people telling me all the things a good Christian should say. “God loves him more than you.” “He’s just rebelling right now. That’s what young men do.” “He’ll come to his senses, you’ll see.” And I cry a LOT

    But now, here you are. Saying that God trusts me? That he knows I won’t let go of the desire to pray for my son’s soul? I read the Old Testament and it scares me. Many righteous men have had rebellious sons who have died. THAT paralizes me.

    And you’re saying:
    “I’m supposed to draw a straight line from my child’s wrong choice to my STRENGTH in mothering.”
    “What mama is strong enough, persevering enough, tough enough to bend without breaking under the weight of the choices this child will make?”
    ” What mama will not just pray about this child but will truly pray this child all the way through their stuff?”
    “What mama will be courageous enough to let me write her child’s story?”

    It’s like you’re coaxing the scared little kitty out of the corner, with the promise of warm milk. And the warmth of your words brings strength to my bones.
    Hope. Strength. God-breathed strength. And I rise. I spit in satan’s face. This one came from my womb,
    He is MY son. I will go down fighting, I will go on praying! Powered by the Holy Spirit, I will stand in the gap and PRAY!
    Thank you for reminding me that the power of life is in the sword of the Spirit.
    Thank you for standing with me.

    • Jan

      God Bless you ‘broken’! I have a 22 year old son who isn’t walking what we showed him either. But I have never blamed myself or questioned God, I just blame the devil. The world is his and he has control over those college campus’ and gets these kids so confused. I will be praying for you and for your son cause just like my son, he’s coming back to the Lord one day!

  19. Lauren

    I read the one on how you compared your legs to that of someone else. i do this with my talents. I say I do it because it relaxes me and not for others but it doesn’t always work. So, hopefully I can put the comparisons away and take up again what i’ve always enjoyed doing.

  20. deb

    I have so many tears in my eyes I can hardly see to write this, and they are running down my cheeks. THANK YOU, sometimes I feel like the only christian mama on the planet with a kidlet off the rails.

  21. Danielle

    This post was so for me. I definitely struggle with seeing every weakness my children have as “my fault” or something I could fix if I could just be more patient, consistent, or whatever. Thank you for your words today.

  22. Amy

    Beautiful! Thanks!

  23. Danielle Street

    This was something I needed to read today. Thank you! I confess to seeing my children make wrong choices and linking it to thoughts of thinking I must be a horrible mom. May we all continue to encourage one another to put on the full armor of God as we raise our precious children. Love Your Sister in Christ, Danielle Street

  24. Nancy at Westside

    Thank you Lysa for this post. What a dose of healing is found in your words and perspective. My little ones aren’t so little anymore, they’ve passed the teen years now and it seems I’m on my knees more than when they were small. God is faithful and sometimes He asks me to take my hands off and just let Him do the work… it’s hard but I have learned to trust Him with them and to know that He loves them more than I do. He’s the only one that could do so!

  25. Heidi

    Thank u so much for this post! I too have been paralyzed lately and struggling to catch my breath. I am a momma of five and several weeks ago my oldest who was 17 told me she was pregnant – which shattered my heart and my life. I have been clinging to Gods hope trying to get through. Tomorrow she graduates high school and before she graduates we are going to a 4d ultrasound. I am adjusting my hopes and dreams for her, adjusting my expectations and trying to stop looking for where I went wrong.


  26. Chris Carter

    Wow. This is SO powerful Lysa… I MUST share it with my sister…. thank you thank you thank you. You are a MIGHTY force of God… in a broken world, full of children. Our children.

  27. Kimberly Shepperson

    Hi Lisa, I would like to “reblog” this post onto a Slovak website and translating would be necessary. could you please let me know how I can contact you about obtaining the correct permission to do this? Thank you!

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