Tantrums and Triumphs

“I can’t do it, Mom.”
My oldest turned three a few days ago. He’s just recently started telling me, “I can’t do it.” He will give up easily when it comes to puzzles or putting his socks on his feet. He tells me, sometimes even cries, that he just can’t do it. He’s frustrated, and I can hear it in his voice.

He has no fear in admitting his defeat. Sometimes he struggles to ask for help, causing him to get even more frustrated. I say to him, “Liam if you need help, all you need to do is ask.” And when he tells me he “can’t do it” I always say, “Try one more time.” And if he just can’t get the puzzle piece to fit where it belongs, or his socks aren’t cooperating with his little hands, I encourage him and I help. “You can do this. Look, I will help, and then you can try again.” And eventually, he gets it. He fits the puzzle piece where it belongs. He pulls his socks on (sometimes inside out), but he does it. Because I reminded him that he could.

I wrote only a few days ago that I wasn’t going to be blogging much before the baby arrived (joke’s on you guys), but that was a lie. I can’t not write. I am way too anxious, way too churned up with all the emotions and insanity of life + small business + pregnancy + newborn.

My son is really blunt with me. He tells me when he feels like he just can’t do something, but he is over the moon when he realizes that he can. I feel like that a lot recently. I think of giving birth, and I am anxious. I have done this before, but the anticipation of it…more irritating than an itch I can’t reach. There will come a moment in pushing where I will feel defeated, overcome, and convinced that I cannot do it, despite the fact that I know I will. And there’s the challenges of handling a small business and feeling like a tiny tadpole in a sea of whales. But I can’t do this! God! We can’t do this! This hurts! I’m tired! I don’t want to!

It’s just a bunch of fear. A lot of worry. Uncertainty. But I am able because God tells me I am. I go to him like a little toddler, sometimes tears on my face, and say, “I just cannot DO this.” And He tells me to try again. Like with the socks that get stuck and tangled on my son’s feet, I want to throw a fit and give up. Jesus how could you give us such a difficult task? How can we do this? We can’t. I can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t.

There’s a reason I have a Bible, a reason I need to journal, and a reason for the prayers that I need to pray, even when words don’t quite fit the bill. God doesn’t leave me without resources or give me an out when the going gets a little rough. I need, desperately, the encouragement that I can because I am often convinced that I cannot. He says to pray. He says to read His Word. He says to worship Him in the ways that I was made to, and that means journaling until my hands are cramping and heart is full. Jesus is not unreachable, but rather so close, so near, kneeling to my level and whispering, “Yes Janelle. You can. I made you for this.”

I can. I can give birth a third time. I can be a mom to three boys. I can love my husband well. I can help run a small business. I can do more than I thought possible because God says so. And when it gets rough and difficult, and the puzzle pieces don’t seem to fit, I will probably still say, “I can’t.” God is right here. He will show me how and He will be faithful enough to see me through.

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