The Armor of God for Burnt-out Mamas

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you're doing something completely normal and then you look down and realize you're naked? You find yourself scrambling to find cover, feeling embarrassed, exposed, and vulnerable. I have to say, those are not my favorite kind of dreams! One time, in a dream like that, I decided to act as if it was normal. I kept walking around in my dream with my chin held high, pretending that my nakedness was acceptable, while on the inside I was dying from shame.

As much as I dislike dreams like that, they illustrate perfectly a repeating struggle of mine. (No, I didn't forget to put on pants today!)

Are you feeling burnt out, Mama?

Life gets busy, I think we can all agree on that! As a new author, I still need my day job to pay the bills. I have four kids and I'm married. I know I'm not the only one struggling to balance marriage, family, work, faith, friendships, and household responsibilities. Just when one thing seems to be going right, something else tips off balance. Then, like an out-of-practice circus performer, I'm cringing while my spinning plates smash in shards all around my feet.

When I feel like I'm not keeping up, things begin to fall apart for me both emotionally and spiritually. I get burnt out. In the face of what is now considered a typical modern-day life-style (busy 24/7) I find myself irritable, stressed, and anxious, which in turn affects my relationships with friends and family.

Two months ago, I temporarily gave up a volunteer position with the church that I truly enjoy because I felt so overwhelmed with responsibilities. I began to feel like everything was hard. I felt like everybody wanted something from me and I had nothing left to give. I began to doubt my calling to be a writer as I struggled to find just a few hours a week to sit down and create. My Bible time became just another to-do, something that weighed on me rather than lifting me up.

In frustration, I asked God, “Why is this so hard!”

I was shocked when this thought jumped immediately into my mind: “Because you're running around naked.”

At first I was confused, but then I glanced at my Bible, the book that had lately felt like a chore to pick up. I remembered the spiritual armor listed in Ephesians 6:10-18 and realized I had failed to put it on for weeks. I was facing every challenge in my life wearing nothing but my birthday suit. (Figuratively, of course!)

Have you ever felt like the spiritual armor of God was just for the "big" things?

I don't know how, but time and time again, I forget how important all the everyday moments are to God. Parenting, marriage, careers, you name it, these things are battlegrounds for our time and energy, and for our hearts. I had tricked myself into believing I could face my daily grind all alone. That I just needed more get-up and go. More organizing. More self-care. If only there was two of me, I could do it all!

Self-sufficiency is an easy trap for me to fall into because I am a doer. I take pride in gettin' 'er done. I like to be strong and independent. I have a good support system in my husband and extended family. However, nothing compares to the strength we find in God. God doesn't mind it one bit when we are dependant on him. He prefers it!