The Better Question — What Can I Give?

Dear Lord, give me strength. Give me patience. Give me calm. Give me health. Help Max to listen. Make Reid take a solid morning nap. Help me to prioritize and be productive. Patience too, did I mention that? I need patience. Big time.

night walk

These are the words that shuffle through my mind and off my lips most mornings. As I climb into the shower, foggy from too few hours of broken sleep, I ask over and over again for the Lord the fill me up, to be my everything. To carry me through and see me from sun up to sun down. I find myself practically begging, give me this and give me that, give me more please. Peppered throughout the day, I find myself pausing to breathe deep and whisper the same sentiment over and over.

None of these things are outright wrong, they’re all inherently good, actually. Strength, patience, respectable priorities – I should feel no shame in asking for these things. So, why after a mid-morning lamentation did I feel a twinge of guilt? In my weakness I was turning to Him, calling out, crying from my overwhelmed and burdened heart to the one who can fix it all and carry me through. I was hoping for that rush of peace, an overwhelming sense of his presence; the calm that I prayed for. Instead, I got a question.

What can you give?

What? Wait a minute! Me? Give more? Lord, don’t you see that I’m giving everything I have? My time, body, effort … my very soul feels given to my family. And I feel empty. And tired. How can I muster more?

And then it all made sense. This is how he was going to give me strength. He was calling me to do more, to give more, with the promise that he would see me through. A step a faith, a walk on the water if you will. He would be my source of energy, he would be the calm in the chaos that is being a wife while mothering three little ones. If I could give more – another story, a few more minutes of snuggles, patience during a skipped nap, an evening or two solo while my husband played golf – he would be by my side, pressing me on, filling my cup. 

So often I find myself trying to go at this life alone. And then I crash. And that crashing isn’t pretty. I wait to find Jesus when I’m down rather than allowing him to be my constant. Slowly, I’m learning. Two steps forward, one step back. Oh, ornery soul, when will you stop repeating your mistakes? But today, for now, I’m remembering this lesson – when I give more, he gives more. Not because I’m worthy or deserving, but because of grace. Always because of grace.

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  1. MPawnetick says

    Word. “Abide in Me”- I might get a tattoo of this on my arm to remind me!

    • Gretchen says

      Such a good phrase/reminder!

  2. says

    Oh I just love this! I’m going to print it out and stick it in my day planner for a few weeks from now, when I expect to feel a little overwhelmed mothering three of my own!! I’m excited but so, so nervous lol.

    • Gretchen says

      I’m glad it hit home for you <3 You'll rock littles!