• Ashley Bowman

For the Mom Who's Been Off Track Lately

Updated: Aug 1

It's summertime and life is in disarray.

The summer season is always a time of great upheaval. Schedules are upended. Routines are disturbed. No school means more time for sibling battles and endless eating (followed by endless messes!) and later nights means less sleep, crankier kids and more work for mom.

With vacations, late nights, camps, summer parties, day trips, back-to-school prep, house remodeling, along with trying to manage two wild toddlers and two older kids' summer activities, things are completely out-of-whack over here.

In this chaos and commotion, my quality time with God has drastically declined.

Consequently, I was feeling a little bit distant from God and unfortunately, I was feeling a whole lotta guilty about it.

I was beating myself up about not getting up early and getting my workout and worship time in. I was berating myself for not getting Bible study done in the morning and not making a healthy, homemade dinner at night. I was belittling myself for forgetting to talk with God throughout my day and not keeping my kids on a solid schedule.

When I lack time with God, I've noticed I'm a more impatient and irritable parent and person. I was weighed down by guilt of that too.

Until suddenly, I was serenaded.

As I was doing the laundry that was piled up from all the outdoor play, "Good Good Father"played on my phone, reminding me I am loved by God ("that's who I am")

and then

as I was cleaning up after yet another snack time, my oldest son played a song I had never heard before that reminded me that God knows exactly what I need

and then

as I was driving home after a day prepping for the new school year, "Reckless Love" came on the radio and reminded me about the "overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God" that chases me down even though" I couldn't earn it and I don't deserve it."

It was like God was actually singing over me with joyful songs of love. Just like the Bible says,

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you by his love; He will rejoice over you with loud singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

Even though I've not been upholding spiritual disciplines, working out, making dinner every night, or keeping my kids on a good schedule, God reminded me:

He still loves me.

He's not condemning me.

He's not angry at me.

He's still right there with me.

Even better, He's extending grace, love, and unmerited favor upon me even when I feel like I've been the worst lately and life has been muddled and messy and I've done nothing to deserve it.

And that quieted my restless soul.

"The Lord is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness" (Psalm 145:8).

As moms, sometimes we can get so busy that we can feel like we are drowning, and it's a battle just to keep our head above water, let alone keep up with a normal routine.

And during that time God is still right there.

Still loving us.

Still extending grace.

Still singing over us.

Still showing us unmerited favor.

We don't have to do all the things and check off all the boxes for God to love us. He just does.

Obviously, I want to prioritize spiritual discipline and actively seek after God throughout the day, leaning on Him for everything. I'm the first one to tell you the importance of staying close to Jesus through worship, prayer, bible study, scripture meditation, etc. That's my central message to the world...we desperately need Jesus. I know the importance of working out and eating healthy and keeping kids on schedules. But when life is crazy, things are hectic, and you are find yourself off track with these things, God's not upset with you. God's still right there, loving you.

He's not abandoned us because we aren't seeking Him. He's with us always.

He's not standing over us angrily, looking down at us with disappointment and disapproval. He's happy about us! He's singing over us with joyful songs! He's holding space for our human limitations and quiets our souls with his grace, mercy, and love!

When life is all out of sorts and we find ourselves falling short, let us remember we serve a compassionate, gracious, merciful God that loves us very much.

And maybe we can extend that same kind of grace to ourselves.

"Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust" (Psalm 103:13-14).

Side Note: I highly recommend keeping Christian radio on throughout the day! And I highly recommend the songs listed above. :)

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