When You’re Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Photo via Creative Commons, Flickr

Photo via Creative Commons, Flickr

I sat in my car close to tears, my most recent parenting failures played on repeat in my mind.

My niece had failed her spelling test that morning. My son was cranky because of dental pain, and I still hadn’t managed to arrive on time to gymnastics practice even once.

I owned all of these failures and let their weight crush me until a familiar verse shed a new light.

“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here,” (Psalm 103:15-16 NLT).

I’ve always seen this verse as sobering—even a little sad. But on this day when my cares mounted, it set me free, because it reminded me that I’m grass—not God.

It made me feel lighter somehow. I felt silly for fretting. If my life seems like a blade of grass in the expanse of eternity, then I need to get busy being a happy blade of grass.

Maybe you’re like me, and you take yourself way too seriously. You worry and forget to pray.

That day in the car God reminded me to do my job—the trusting part, and leave orchestrating the cosmos up to him. Our days here are short, and God’s numbered them already, (Psalm 139:16).

Next time I’m tempted to see a world that orbits around me, I’m going to remember who breathed supernovas into existence. And I’ll think about grass—or the wildflowers growing in my backyard.

Before the layer of ice formed across my back yard, I was growing some blue ribbon, Texas-sized dandelions. They bloom on borrowed time, because if the ice doesn’t kill ‘em, I will.

13 thoughts on “When You’re Taking Yourself Too Seriously

  1. Memories came flooding back for me when my two girls were young and in school and I experienced some of the same feelings that you are talking about. I smiled through the whole blog and then thanked God for your words and my memories. Just last week I helped my oldest granddaughter (16), with an essay for her English class and it brought me such joy to still feel needed. She admitted that she felt bad that she had to ask for help. And I told her how much joy it gave me to help her. After all that I prayed and thanked God for being able to help her. And I wondered how my two daughters felt growing up if there were times that they felt bad about asking me for help. I pray not. Thank you so much for this memory and I will pray for you. It is not easy being a young Mother but it is oh so rewarding.

  2. Glad you had this moment with God. I too (and most if not all mums I guess!) feel this way! I had a similar moment in church a couple of weeks ago, someone was a little grumpy, and my words didn’t seem to help much (!) then the service started and half way through the second song he started singing very wholeheartedly – it hit me so hard that God is the only one who can change hearts and I should just , as you said, do MY job and trust him with the rest!

  3. Please pardon my intrusion,
    I hope you won’t mind a comment from a man. Miss, you spoke to my heart today. Even though I’m away at work sometimes 12 hours a day, I still manage to somehow find the time to miserably fail as a parent! It can also be crushing for a Father. I shall look at my short-comings in a new light from hence-forth. I often take my eyes off Christ and during those selfish moments, my failures often seem bigger than they really are. Thank you for indulging me and thank you for being you!

  4. Beautiful piece.Couple thoughts, and NOT to be too provocative (or maybe? :) we could also think that maybe God lives in and as part of each one of us, or can if we connect to that higher power which is life? But still, we are blades of grass. We pass onto other blades of grass and seasons, while that which is the wonder of life itself, lives on.

    Re dandelions, they’re a little bitter, but are one of the more nutritious foods per calorie on the planet. (Roots pretty good too, but somewhat potent, so have to use with care. Can be ground, combined with maca powder, carob, chicory root (the depression era substitute for coffee?), for a pretty good coffee type beverage. Way better with some milk, honey and cacao or cocoa power added. )

    Just sharin:)

  5. Oh how I remember those days. Why do we moms turn so quickly to the whole “failure” feelings?? The good news is it is a marathon not a sprint. Now hear me out. I know that sounds backwards . . . but it’s not about being perfect in all the little things. It’s about a marathon of moments where you’re there. Loving. Pouring out. Letting them grow . . . and leaving the big stuff to God, trusting Him to water and feed and grow those precious lives that HE cares about even more than we do. Hugs to you, sweet momma. You’re doing a great job.

    • These words truly calm my heart. I believe you and choose to believe God! I see how I am trying to make them well-behaved and perfect in some ways. I am learning though how futile this is. Thanks for your refreshing words Paula.

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      • Paula, thanks for digging this up for me. Yes, it is all about relationship! It’s fear that pushes me to push them, and I see it. I was thinking of your comments this morning as I cleaned. I was actually singing– not frantically trying to mark off my to-do list. This is how I want my kids to remember their days at home!

        Truly, what a beautiful article, and I love your tag line about breathing the fragrance of Jesus.

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  6. I’m thrilled my own struggles produced fruit of joy in you. HE is good, isn’t He? To remind us it is about HIm and not us, to take the pressure off of us weary moms and remind us HE is always on the job . . . I love the thought of you SINGING!!

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