Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Under Attack

Well, today's post is going to be a little heavier than I originally planned. I had wanted to do a post on some thoughts I've been having on being a good steward of the homes that we have. And, I will come back to that. But, today, some other things have pushed to the front of my mind and since writing always helps me sort through my thoughts and often brings me some peace, I'll post on these things today.

There are times that we come under attack. Sometimes we don't realize it and other times it is obvious. Today, I've been feeling like I'm under my family is under attack. I'm talking about a spiritual attack. I feel like the enemy is doing his best to wear us down.

There have been several things that just keep adding up until it all seems so overwhelming. We haven't suffered any devastating tragedies or life-threatening illnesses (those are the obvious attacks). Instead, bit by bit I feel like he's been trying to chip away at our peace and well-being.

-We've had a difficult winter with colds, flus, and viruses. We are worn down. We are ready for health and strength.
- We're still struggling with some tenant issues. We're ready for resolution.
- My husband's job has demanded a lot of his time and energy over the last few months. He is feeling stressed, frustrated, and discouraged. We're ready for rest.
- Raising boys is hard work. I still struggle to find what is the most effective discipline when discipline is necessary (which some days seems to be often). We're ready for peace.

Then this morning began as many mornings begin...with a bang. As soon as my husband leaves for work (which is early) it seems to be a signal for the boys to wake up and get started. I went from being sound asleep to hearing the 3 oldest boys stomping downstairs like a herd of elephants.

The baby was still asleep and I try every morning to remind the older boys that they have to keep the noise level down so the baby doesn't wake up. "Quiet" isn't a word in boy vocabulary apparently.

There's also the fact that I need time to wake up. It's hard for me to go from being sound asleep to being on full alert. (I've wanted to try to wake before the boys and get my day started before they are up, but it's hard to do when I'm still up at least 3-4 times during the night with the baby or the 3 year old.) When I have to deal with noise first thing in the morning, I get cranky!

Long story short - I reminded the boys multiple times to be quiet. They didn't listen to me. The noise level actually escalated. I got frustrated. They still didn't listen to me. I snapped. It wasn't pretty.

Eventually I got the big two sent off to school. The little two were fed, dressed, and a certain amount of quiet had been achieved and that's when the enemy started in on me...

"Wow Karen. You really blew it again. Your boys don't listen to you at all. You want them to give you respect but how can they respect someone who throws a temper tantrum just like you just did?"

"You know, there are women who balance work and homelife and volunteering and lots of other things and somehow they hold it together. You can't even seem to get a grip on mothering."

"By the way, have you looked around your house lately? Filthy, filthy, filthy. It's no wonder your kids are sick all the time. If you would clean a little better maybe there wouldn't be so many germs floating around."

"And boy, oh boy. What kind of mom are you if you feel a sense of relief when your children leave for school? You should be able to be with them 24/7 and enjoy every moment. They are going to grow up before you know it, and then what?"

"You know you really should be able to do more. Most women do more. When's the last time you volunteered at church or in a ministry? You're really not pulling your weight."

"Speaking of weight. Yours is still pretty out of control. Gluttony is a sin you know and self-control is a virtue. Other women still have fabulous figures after having a lot more kids than that's no excuse. Just another area where you are failing."

"You and John are both exhausted and stressed and what do you have to show for it? You've always said staying home with your kids is the best choice, but then John has to work himself to the bone and what do you have? Look at those people around you with nice homes and nice stuff, and they seem to have much more downtime than you? Are you really living the simple life when you struggle so much?"

"And what would you do if something truly devastating ever did happen? If you can't cope with life now, how would you ever cope then? Can't you see how blessed you are? You should really be more grateful."

And on and on and on.

Little thoughts that keep coming into my mind stealing my joy and stealing my peace.

It's enough!

James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Submit to God.

Resist the devil.

He will flee.

We have the advantage. He is the one who has to flee. We are not running from him. I picture this puny, annoying, little pest darting around, poking and jabbing but without any real power. He'll try to get in as many jabs as he can. But if we resist, he has to flee.

Because the Power that we have in us is greater. Our power comes because we are children of the Most High God. Through Him we are strong.

And, today, I was reminded of how great His power is. Psalm 29 says, (emphasis mine)

"The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;......
The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;.....
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, 'Glory!'
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace."

When I take the time to pray. When I take the time to read His word, I am tapping into that same power described in these verses. That's something the enemy would like me to forget. And, unfortunately, I often do.

But for today, I am claiming this promise for myself,

Isaiah, 51:16.
" I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you with the shadow of my hand -
I who set the heavens in place,
who laid the foundations of the earth,
and who say to Zion, 'You are my people.' "


  1. It's such a hard time of year Karen. We're all ready for spring and some fresh air. Do not let the enemy fill your head with such crazy thoughts that make you feel less than. You are so important to your family...and I bet you're their favorite person in the world. I'm going to say a prayer for you right now!

  2. Love this post Karen! I can totally relate to being under attack!! It can be so draining! I love the way you are able to be so honest with yourself and your thoughts, and so open with what you share! I love the scripture in Isaiah that you posted here....just maybe it is He that put all those word in my mouth last evening. As I ponder all that happened today I'm moving in the direction that it's okay to have a voice and to take a stand. Maybe I could learn a little balance in my stand but I don't have to be silent anymore. After the fact I viewed myself as a failure and wished I could control my mouth...but now I feel like it's okay...that there will be a season of speaking out and standing up for what I believe is right in such a bold fashion. It brings much healing to me.

    I am praying for you and your family Karen. That the rest and peace you all need will be given to you in abundance!! Hugs to you today!!

  3. Karen, hang in there. I really think this time before spring really springs is so hard, we are all craving that sun and warmth and the chance to see things begin anew. I know I have those same kinds of thoughts and you just have to keep going, you are so strong and your faith will carry you. Blogging about it is a great way to work through some emotions. Thinking of you.

  4. What a wonderful post. But please don't compare your self to other women. God made you who you are. No mistakes. He made us all different and we all are able to handle things differently. This is your time for your boys don't worry about others things. But I so agree with time with the Lord everyday. It is what will get you through the day.

  5. Just yesterday I read something in my Bible study homework (Angela Thomas' "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?") and want to share it with you. Imagine these lists side by side.

    ~spotlights sin and keeps reminding you of it
    ~tries to make you confused
    ~keeps you wounded with repetitive lies
    ~reminds you what the world says
    ~disappoints you with cheap imitations
    ~never stops trying another way to trip you up

    ~forgives repented-of-sin and remembers it no more
    ~wants to make your path clear
    ~heals wounds and replaces lies with truth
    ~tells you what He has said
    ~rewards you with real gifts and blessings
    ~never stops providing abundant strength for resistance

    This hit home for me and after reading your post, thought you might appreciate it too:-).

  6. Oh, Karen. You have no idea what a blessing it was to read this today. I haven't felt as discouraged as I am today in....a very long time. Thank you.

  7. Recognizing the attack is so crucial to defeating the enemy. Press on! The victory is already ours!!!
    Thanks for the reminder for me (all of us) to be watchful too.

  8. When I was in seminary someone very wise told me that the Devil gets involved in your life at a much greater level when you're doing what God wants. Remember you're exactly where God wants you to be! I pray that God's peace finds you today. May you find comfort in his presence.

    I struggle with this too. Your honesty is refreshing as so many people hide this part of the faith journey. Thanks for sharing!


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