Unblocking the Grace of God

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In our house we love pickles. Not sweet pickles, because those things are nasty, we love dill pickles. Baby, zesty, stackers and spears…we love them all! I also have a husband who is incredibly strong and feels the need to tighten down every pickle jar like he is protecting them from any unforeseen contamination or threat. So you can imagine the frustration my kids have as they attempt to retrieve said pickles and are faced with the sad limitations of their strength. I have often watched them struggle as their little faces and muscles strain to twist and turn the lid with little to no avail. And finally, with a bit of despair and defeat, they turn to me (who is patiently waiting next to them) and ask for help.

And it makes me wonder…How often do I struggle, get frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed out, depressed or anxious while He patiently waits for me to simply ask for help?

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” (MSG)

I think too often we walk around as women, sisters, friends and mothers carrying burdens we were never designed to carry, the results wreaking havoc on our emotions and bodies. We get headaches, ulcers, nightmares, breakouts, hair loss and more because we are overly stressed with the cares of this world. How many of us might experience true joy and peace if we simply handed over our pickle jar to our Heavenly Father?

I am a fixer and a master at multi-tasking. I love math, numbers and finding solutions. I can also juggle a number of tasks, projects and problems at one time without showing much of a struggle. And although these are strengths in me, if not guarded, can easily turn into a great weakness. The error comes when I put merit and weight upon my God-given abilities and cease asking for help. And it is at this moment, when I see MY strength as sufficient, that my world crashes down on me and you can find me in the fetal position overwhelmed by life.

I wish I could say I have mastered this…the handing over of the pickle jar thing…but I haven’t yet. I find myself in a constant tug-of-war with Jesus as I hand things over to Him and then later discover I have taken it back again. But as I am winning this battle over my will, let me share with you two ways that I practically hand over the jar. Maybe this will help you too.

1.    I verbalize my need. I know it may sound weird talking to myself, but there is something so liberating when I say out loud for myself and God to hear, “I need your help with (fill in the blank).”  When my confession for help is only in my head, I easily dismiss it and allow the busyness of my life to suck me back into routine and handling things on my own until my next emotional breakdown. I mask and divert my frustrations and overwhelmed thoughts with distractions. But when I break the silence and say it out loud, something breaks in me. The power the enemy has had over me is released. He doesn’t want me to tap into the grace of God, but rather wants to keep me limited and bound in my own strength. Verbalizing it out loud is one of my keys for breakthrough and it may be one of yours too.

2.    I listen. I need to talk, but equally, and possibly even more importantly, I need to bend my ear in attention to the Father. When I am doing it all on my own, I am limited, but when I hand my burdens over to Him, I unlock and unleash all of Heaven to move on my behalf. Sometimes I hear the words “hold still” while other times He gives me peace in the midst of a storm. At times I have heard Him share with me solutions to problems I would have never thought of on my own. The point is…I have to listen. I ask Him questions and I write down what I sense He is speaking to me. It is a simple and practical practice I have done for years and it works!

So today, if you find yourself overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated with life and all that it brings, choose to admit you need help. Hand over your pickle jar and allow His strength to come into its own. He is patiently waiting, and will continue to wait for you to admit you need His help. And the moment you do, His grace (His power and His abilities) will come rushing in like a flood.


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Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!


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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina