If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
“Trying to do the Lord’s work on your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” -Corrie ten Boom
- It’s time to meet with your wise Counselor, the one who cares so very deeply about you and those things that concern you today. Take a minute to think about those things that you’ve been trying to do in your own strength and in a moment of prayer, place them in His capable hands.
- Read the words of James 1:5 and take a few moments to meditate on it. Write this verse in your journal.
Leaning on His Counsel
During a recent visit to the zoo, my children and I stopped by to see one of our new favorites, a 14-month-old orangutan named Ember. While watching her play, I struck up a conversation with a docent who had stopped by to visit this playful little one while on break. She shared with us that Ember means bucket in Swahili. When Ember was born, her mother didn’t have any older females to teach her how to nurse and care for her baby. She simply had no clue what to do with Ember. The zookeepers would retrieve Ember in a bucket and bottle-feed her, and then pass her back to her mother in the same bucket. Upon receiving her baby, the mother would wander around her enclosure, holding her baby in that bucket, completely lost and uncertain about how to care for her baby.
Hearing all this presented me with some strange emotions that I wasn’t anticipating to encounter in the primates building at the zoo. As I looked through the glass at that mama, I felt some solidarity with her. I guess I too have had my days as a “bucket mama,” feeling completely lost with my own little ones and wishing desperately I had someone to show me the way.
So what is to be done? Thankfully, I have found the Holy Spirit to be so faithful in my “bucket” moments. In my darkest, most lost moments, I have encountered Him, gently reminding me that I can lean on Him and ask Him for wisdom and guidance. When I do call out to Him for help, it always surprises me how consistently I find Him. He has taught me and instructed me in so many different ways. At times, He simply speaks as that still, small voice in my heart. On other occasions, He uses a book, a friend, or an experienced mother to instruct me.
Today, no matter what you find yourself lacking, stop and ponder what you do have. God’s Word has given us a great promise:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3).
You may not have the support you crave from your mother or other experienced women, but you do have something infinitely better. In those moments when you find yourself “bucket mothering,” feeling lost and alone, open your heart to his leading. He knows your needs and the needs of your children better than anyone, and He will faithfully guide.
Remember 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Reflect on that today in your bucket moments and rejoice that they are leading you to a beautiful dependence upon Him.
Questions to Ponder
- As mothers, it is easy to live with guilt and regret. I think most of us could easily list of the areas we feel we have failed or are failing. Today, ask the Lord to show you a few areas in which you are succeeding and write them down.
- Look at your children and think from their perspective. What positive things would they have to say about you as a mother? Meditate on those things throughout your day, especially when you hit moments of frustration or failure.
I truly believe what our children need most is a grounded and secure mother who is at peace with who she is in Christ. It is difficult to be at peace when guilt and failure constantly bombard you.
Spend some time thinking through one area in which you feel inadequate. For me, it would be getting impatient with my kids during high-stress moments, such as leaving the house. How might you invite the Holy Spirit into areas of inadequacy and allow His work to impart life?
Begin today to pray and commit your area of weakness to God and ask Him for the help you need.
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