Elayne Grossmith offers encouragement to moms who feel overburdened, inadequate, and disrespected: straighten your crown!
During the passion of Christ, He fell three times while carrying the cross, and each time, He got back up and continued His grueling journey. Our Lord showed us that there are times when you give way to exhaustion when the load is heavy, and the burden seems overwhelming. But He demonstrated how it's necessary to get back up and push on to find out how good it will get in the end.
It's a powerful lesson that should motivate us to have the courage to continue as moms and to maintain hope because things do get better. But, there will be times when the most overwhelming burden you'll face will be your thoughts and feelings about yourself. Your attitudes about how adequate, loved, or worthy you are can be the heaviest cross you bear.
It's so easy to succumb to the feeling that you've failed. There are so many challenges for today's moms, and it can seem like you're always under the scrutiny of others. Your boss evaluates you at work, the school evaluates you based on your kids' performance, and then you have to meet the criteria for "super-homemaker." Any one of those critiques can cause you to feel inadequate, and you can begin to doubt whether you're up to the task. But rest assured, no one gets it all right. The critical point is taking your lead from Christ, getting up, picking up your cross, and continuing.
Another demeaning rut you can get into is thinking that you're unloved, whether or not you're in a relationship. Relationships are complicated and often dissatisfying. If you're relying upon one particular person for your sense of feeling loved, you could be making a big mistake. Unless, of course, you derive that powerful feeling of love from Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the loving sacrifice He made for you.
Regardless of who loves you here on earth, you're never alone or without love. He's there for you and waiting for you to make contact. Let Him hear from you when you need help with your cross by saying this short prayer.
Lord, help me remember that when I pray, I bring You close, and when You are close, I am not alone or afraid. I call on You, and the world eases around me. There is comfort for my hurt and peace from my worries. So, let my whispered voice start and end each day with the promise of prayer, confident that with Your name on my lips and Your love in my heart, all things are possible. Amen.
You can put copies of this prayer in various places in your home and work environments to remind you to talk to God often. Try placing it on your bathroom mirror, near your kitchen sink, on your nightstand, and at an accessible place at work. Say it as often as you can during the day to help you get back up whenever you stumble.
The most misguided feeling you can have is that somehow you're unworthy of the effort, attention, or respect of others. Maintaining that mindset leads to mistreatment by a partner, children, a parent, and even a stranger. It can start as an insignificant act like your son or daughter insisting they won't wear the shirt you handed them and throwing it on the floor. Always point out anyone's failure to treat you with respect and any disrespectful act. Accepting someone's disrespectful act toward you without acknowledging what they did is a sign that you have no respect for yourself. You're a child of God, and no one has a right to mistreat you.
When you stumble and fall into the destructive habit of disrespecting yourself, even for a moment, raise your head and read this beautiful quote by an anonymous author about your Heavenly Father.
On the darkest days, when I feel inadequate, unloved, and unworthy,
I remember whose daughter I am, and I straighten my crown.
Copyright 2021 Elayne Grossmith
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About the Author
Elayne Grossmith is an advocate for creating lasting relationships by "loving with your brain." She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and completed a two-year fellowship in neuropsychology. She has offered psychological and neuropsychological services through her private practice and has testified as an expert witness for Ford Motor Company. Elayne was certified as a Qualified Medical Evaluator by the State of California.