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Skateboards and Jesus

Tears leaked out of the corners of my eyes as I sat on the edge of the bed. I silently cried out to God, “No one told me it would be this hard!”

No one told me how difficult motherhood would be. How I would ache and cry over these boys. Bending over backwards to give my best to them. And still, in my humanness and brokenness, continually come up short. I find myself so often asking God how in the world am I supposed to do this mom thing. Why would he have made me a mom when I have zero capabilities to achieve anything close to success? I can count on one hand how many times I have actually felt like I was doing something right as a mother. Felt like I actually was getting some where and not just treading water. Every. Single. Day.

Later that day, as I was driving through town, I saw two guys on skateboards. They balanced with ease on their boards. Not phased by the traffic rushing past. Completely unshaken, they coasted along enjoying the breeze and warm sun on their face. As I continued driving, I noticed the one ahead starting up a steep incline. I was in awe as I watched him continue to coast UP the hill. With little effort he sailed up and over the other side. Now I am no expert, so I have zero clue what kind of magical aerodynamics allowed him to ride up a hill with barely a peddle and gravity not making him fall quickly from his perch. But the image of his ease, and obvious knowledge of how to defy gravity, has stuck with me.

Being a wife, mom, or even simply a successful adult, often seems like an intimidating mountain to climb. Exhausting and defeating. We take one step forward only to slip and fall back two. But what if we are looking at it wrong? What if there is some formula that allows us to ascend up these hills with effortlessness like the skateboarder?

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

I don’t know about you, but 9 times out of 10, motherhood leaves me feeling weary and faint. Drained from the battles over food, toys and boundaries. Deprived of sleep and sanity, I often lack strength. Strength to fight the spiritual battles well. To extend love, grace and mercy and show self-control when all I want to do is scream like a 4-year-old and then eat a box of mint Oreos as I wallow in self-pity.

But what if, like the skateboarder, we realized that we have a tool at our disposal to make the journey easier? When I think of that man soaring up the hill, I couldn’t help but think of his skateboard kind of like those eagles’ wings we are promised. On his own two feet, his trek up the steep hill would have been weary and long. But with the assistance of his board, and equipped with the knowledge of what it could do for him, he sailed by with delight.

What if we allowed God to be the wind beneath us, the eagles wings turned modern day skateboard? Pressing in to the mountain instead of working so hard against it. Using the knowledge of who God is and his unlimited wealth of power within our reach. Letting his hope, joy and strength be renewed in us each morning as we turn to him with all our limitations so that he can fill us up with all his goodness and mercy, so that we can pour it out onto the people around us.

When our focus is on God and all he can do for us and through us, our eyes can be fixed on the road ahead of us, instead of the noise around us. As we stay the course with Jesus, we aren’t distracted by the cars rushing past screaming for our attention. Un-phased by the spilled milk and tantrums, we are free to enjoy the sun on our face. Unintimidated by the mountain ahead, we don’t stop short losing momentum. Instead, we press forward with hope and assurance that God will carry us all the way to the top and over the other side.

So often, too often, I rely on my strength. My momentum alone. I get knocked off my board by taking my eyes off the goal. I get distracted by comparison and run over by guilt. This is not God’s best for me and it keeps me from being the wife and mom he has called me to be. It prevents me from reaching to him as my complete source of strength which would allow me to run and not grow weary or faint. I am so thankful that every time I turn back to Jesus, he scoops me up in his love. Kisses my bruises with compassion. As a loving father, he sets me back on my board and gives me the push I need to get going again. Refocusing my heart on him and his ability, he promises to never leave my side. No matter how big the hill, his ability doesn’t change. In fact, the bigger the mountain, the more of his glory he can reveal through me.

I still don’t know how the skateboarder got up that hill. But I do know how I will make it up mine, soaring with Jesus’ strength under me and in me every time.

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