Today, I’m so excited to share my dear friend Emileigh Ziebka’s wise words with you! I’ve gotten to know Emileigh through my church and in my Facebook hosted Bible studies. Her heart for God has shined brightly, drawing me to her like a magnet. I think you’ll feel the same way after reading her very personal reflections here. Please make her feel welcome by commenting and sharing this incredible and vulnerable word all around the web!
I have been happily married to my best friend for 9 years. We have two healthy, happy kids—6 and 4 years old. I work from home for a small transportation company, and I am passionate about connecting with other young moms.
A writer, I am not.
A faithful lover of the Lord, I certainly am, and I’ve learned that when He asks me to share something, it’s best to answer the call.
The Lord placed upon my heart clearly the need to share what so many of us struggle with and the comfort He offers us to both admit that struggle and trust Him with it. Society tells us that we need to have it all together. In reality, none of us do.
So before we begin, it’s important you know that I’m a mess.
I had someone say to me recently, “You just have it all together.”
A couple years ago, this would have been flattering. In that moment, I looked at her and made it clear that actually, I don’t. I’m a mess just like every other mom trying to keep her kids alive, husband happy and house presentably clean in case someone stops by.
I have young kids who have activities to be transported to and things to practice during the week, a husband who thankfully loves me and wants my undivided attention when available, laundry and cleaning to do, and a family who all appreciates, whether they say so or not, meals every day. I am so thankful to work from home and love to read in my free time (let’s be honest, said “free time” doesn’t exist with young kids).
Some days, I wear a hat because I don’t have the energy to shower. Some days, I lose my patience when there’s an excess of whining or ungratefulness. Most days, I stay up way too late at night trying to catch up on work or my to-do list. And some days, I choose to sleep in instead of reading of my Bible.
I’m tired about 95% of the time. I’m a mess. But to tackle my mess, I’ve learned there are . . .
Three key ways to maintain balance and the right upward focus.
These involve my vulnerability with my own young kids, my transparency with my husband, as well as in a community of Christ followers.
None of us like to air our dirty laundry! I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t love sharing my personal prayer requests or my struggles with others, including those mentioned above.
I’m a great candidate to listen to yours though! 😉
I am blessed with a husband, community of godly friends and family who speak truth into me. They don’t always tell me what I want to hear but what I need to hear. That accountability is what propels me to be a faithful mess of a mom and wife.
I don’t have it all together. None of us do. That’s why we need Jesus. I’m learning how much my kids need to see that. They need to see my vulnerability, my need for wisdom and community from other Christ followers, and most of all, my need for Jesus.
My greatest prayer for my children is that they will grow to know the Lord deeply and intimately. I want them to praise Him in the good and seek Him in the hard. If they don’t see me turning to Him for strength, how will they learn that’s where they also should turn?
If I let my kids think Mommy is always right or never struggles, they won’t know the true Source of wisdom. If I’m living in my own strength, they’ll learn that’s what they need to do as well.
I am blessed to stay home with my kids, but there are days that are just plain tough. On those days, I pray they will see the light of Jesus in me.
I’m not suggesting as mothers that we let our kids in on every struggle we face but we need to let them grow through some of them with us. Sometimes, I escape to the pantry for a prayer for patience or gentleness or just a chance to breathe! 😉
My kids and I will often stop in the midst of struggle and ask the Lord to help us in that moment.
I cannot be wise in my own eyes (Proverbs 3:7). I need to teach my kids that true wisdom and true peace come from the Lord.
I believe every mom needs a place in their home where they can escape for even a minute to seek His wisdom and His calm. Tell your kids where it is too. I know this puts you at risk for sharing that space. It’s worth it. Your kids will learn to value that space and that opportunity to see their mother seeking the One who calms the mess. In fact, pray out loud so they can hear you.
My husband is a key person in calming my mess. I try to make it a priority to let my husband know when I’m struggling and in need of a break. I don’t always do this well.
- Sometimes, it means telling him I need 15 minutes alone upstairs when he arrives home from work.
- Sometimes it means I need dinner alone with a friend. (Key here is alone, as in no interruptions from wonderfully, noisy little blessings.)
- Many times, it means I need quality time with him. The babysitter is worth it, and the example we set for our kids when we make intentional time together is priceless.
Make it a priority to share your mess with your husband so he knows how and when to support you. Ask him to pray for you specifically about the struggles you are facing in your day and let him support you in it.
[bctt tweet=”Find out what Emileigh does with her husband that she’s not only made her priority but is also a very bonding practice when she’s stressed. #priorities #marriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
In Proverbs 31:11, God calls us to attain trust from our husband and he will not lack anything good. If we’re withholding our mess from our husbands, the level of trust suffers. I want good for my husband, and that begins by putting my trust in Him and him.
I need a community of Christ followers. In Proverbs 13:20, the Lord tells us to walk with the wise and we will become wise. Be intentional about who your inner circle is. Look for wisdom in them. Make a list of them and specifically ask them to be your accountability partners.
When I feel my mess unraveling, I reach out, if they don’t notice it in me first. Find your inner circle and invite them to speak into your mess.
At some point, there was a shift in society that made us believe as moms that we can do it all and have it all. The truth is—we can’t.
We can’t have it all, but all we really need is Jesus.
A dear friend of mine shared a quote with me one day that I’ve really embraced: “Good friends help you become best friends with Jesus.”
If I’m going to share my mess with a friend, I need to know in advance they’re a friend who will examine my mess and point me to Jesus through it. Sometimes intentionally investing in an encouraging or uplifting friend will help calm the mess more than finishing that fifth load of laundry.
My son was praying for lunch after our Moms small group a few weeks ago and thanked God that “Mommy got to learn about Jesus with her friends.”
In that moment, I realized that investing with other Christ followers is just as important to my children as it is to me. I pray and encourage them to surround themselves with wise counsel and godly friendships.
Without it, we’re all just easy prey for the mess.
Give each other GRACE.
We all are trying to coordinate our own sort of mess. We need to stop allowing others to believe we have it all together. We’re certainly not doing them any favors. We need them to see our mess and then see us looking to Jesus to coordinate our chaos.
We also need to recognize that others have their own mess and extend them grace and love through it, and mostly, point them to Jesus.
I need you to know that I don’t have it all together, but I’m making a priority to walk with the One who does. At the end of both my joyful and exhausting days, that’s all that really matters.
Emileigh Ziebka is a wife, mom and faithful lover of the Lord! She is passionate about connecting with other young moms, as well as training up her children to love and follow the Lord.
Even though she might not consider herself to be a writer, God is redeeming her “mess” with a powerful and convicting “message” here that inspires us to be humble, honest and teachable so that Christ gains all the glory.
What is one thing Emileigh shared that touches you, moving you to respond in a similar way?
What are some of the fears you’ve had about showing your weaknesses and messes to others?
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