Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 29, 2011

the problem with coasting

This morning, I was remembering those first few weeks after Hannah was born.  It seemed like multiple times an hour, all I could do was pray and ask for help.  I remember writing in my journal…  “Motherhood will be my training grounds in learning how to hear God’s voice.  It will be my crucible.”

One of the definitions of crucible is this:

–a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development–

Yet after those first several weeks, an interesting thing happened.  I gained more confidence.  I became more aware of patterns.  I tried my hardest to develop a routine.  And as I did, I started to cry out less and less.  Those desperate “What do I do now, Lord?” prayers became few and far between.  I was figuring it out on my own.  I was coasting.

The problem with coasting, however, is that it is rooted in self-sufficiency.  And one of the greatest lies we believe is that we are self-sufficient.  Therefore, whenever I realize that I am coasting, I brace myself for what’s coming.  A divine interruption.  A holy roadblock.  The severe mercy of the Lord.

It comes in the form of a financial crisis, a complication at work, a verbal throw-down at home, and in many other uniquely fashioned, orchestrated just for you, ways.  For me, this time around, it has shown up at my door disguised as a 5 month old baby who has developed one very strong will.

It is a baby who screams when you take the bottle out of her mouth to burp her, who whines between bites of food if you take your time feeding her, who doesn’t like to nap, and who pitches the equivalent of a tantrum when she doesn’t want to do what she is doing at that moment.  I often feel like I spend my day walking on eggshells mainly because selfishly, I just can’t stand the whining.  Russell and I have talked at great lengths about how we want to parent and one thing we feel strongly about is what it means to love.  Love is meeting someone’s needs.  Love is doing what’s best for that person.  But love is not giving someone everything they want.  Love is not catering to every desire and like.  We know that all too well in our own lives.  So, how do you teach a 5 month old that the world does not revolve around her when she barely understands that her own hands and feet belong to her?  How can you determine, with 100% accuracy, what are needs and what are desires?

All of these questions are floating through my mind these days as I find myself back in the same position as those first few weeks….  “God, help me.  I don’t know what to do.”  On the surface, I don’t like being in that place.  To be honest, it’s just really hard.  It’s hard to hear His voice… if you don’t have a lot of practice.  But deep down, it’s where I want to be, and in my sober moments, I thank the Lord for it and I ask Him to bring me back there….  every time that I start to coast.



  1. i loved this post. so much.
    thank you bud.

  2. This meant SO much to me today. Thank you Eliza Joy.

  3. When did you start drinking???? 🙂

  4. I understand this all too well. 🙂 I go through such very similar things with Loic. Often I ask myself if I’m just being selfish or spoiling him or teaching him incorrectly or just plain out confused. It’s so difficult when they can’t talk to tell u what’s really going on. Is it a “want” or a “need”? Who knows! But the Lord. I’ve come to accept I won’t be a perfect mom though I still try day after day. Sometimes I just think he’s being fussy then I realize there’s something actually wrong (like he hurt himself or got his finger stuck) or sometimes he’s just fussing b/c he got a rain drop on his head. I’ve been realizing lately that the only real thing I can give Loic is not a perfect mommy but an environment where the Holy Spirit is welcome and dwells with HIs peace and where He can begin to hear the Lord and where I can hear the Lord for HIs perfect direction b/c I know I so dearly need it.

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