This transcript is made possible by our generous donors. Learn how you can join them. This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Laura: Well, hello! Welcome back to another episode of Risen Motherhood. I’m Laura, and I have my sister-in-law, Emily, here with me.
Emily: Hey, guys!
Laura: I think the first thing we want to talk about is we released the cover of our book!
Emily: Woohoo! [Laughter]
Laura: Yeah, it was so crazy and fun to share the cover with you. The response was unbelievably overwhelming, humbling...so generous.
Emily: It was really fun, because it’s been a project we’ve spent almost two years working on in some form or fashion.
Laura: Like privately or in secret.
Emily: Yes! So it was a joy to reveal the look and feel of the book. Hopefully there will be more sneak peeks to come. If you haven’t seen it, definitely go to our website risenmotherhood.com/book to see the cover, find out how to pre-order, and find another really exciting thing we created recently.
Laura: Oh, you’re talking about our little printables! Yes! People asked us if it’d be ready for Mother’s Day, and unfortunately, our book doesn’t release until September 3rd of this year. But! We created a little card, so if you want to get this—maybe your husband wants to for you or you want to for a friend or baby shower gift—you can give the card to say, “Hey, I got this Risen Motherhood book and it’s on its way to you! It’ll be in your mailbox after it releases!” It’s super fun. You can print them for free and stick them in a card. If you want to pre-order now, you can still tell someone the book is coming their way.
Emily: It’s super beautiful and a great placeholder.
We want this to get the book in front of moms who are weary and tired and stressed out and maybe annoyed—like we’re talking about today! [Laughter] They need the hope of the gospel. It’s a joy to be on a shelf where a mom shops, because she might see it and grab it. Or maybe she’s on Amazon and it’s in that recommended section, so she clicks on it and puts it in her cart. We want it to get to moms right where they’re at. Pre-orders help us do that.
Laura: That’s what book distributors look at to decide whether they’ll carry the book or how many they’ll carry or who they’ll show it to. Like Em said, our hope is a mom whose never heard of Risen Motherhood sees the cover of the book, reads the back, and thinks she might check it out; inside is the hope of the gospel. We pray God uses that in her heart, because it’s not us. It’s not our words. It will be the Lord using it. We’re grateful for your support and you; we wouldn’t be here—or even have a book deal—without you. So, thank you so, so much. We’re really grateful to you guys.
Emily: Yes. All right, speaking of Risen Motherhood—
Laura: Let’s go!
Emily: We’re going to jump into today’s show. As we launch off, we want to start by acknowledging motherhood is a gift. Sometimes we don’t acknowledge that enough.
Laura: Yes, especially in a show like today. [Laughter]
Emily: As we share the good news with you, we spend a lot of time talking about the “bad news” or hard things because we’re in the trenches and dealing with the struggles. But motherhood is a joy and a blessing. It’s something many of us—Laura and I included—spend years of our lives hoping for and looking toward this season when we have children.
Laura: This show isn’t meant to minimize that motherhood isn’t good or wonderful. Motherhood is designed by God for us to be life-givers to adopted children or biological children. But still, you know, because of the fall and sin, there are hard days when this overwhelming feeling of annoyance seems to sneak up on us.
Emily: I think being annoyed as a mom is similar to anger. That was the topic we kept going back to as we talked about this show. It’s similar to anger, but a lot of times, it’s not there yet. It doesn’t seem that bad. But to say, “Oh, I’m feeling really angry right now,” seems powerful and intense. It seems easier for us to say, “You know, I’m kind of feeling annoyed.”
Laura: You can say it and not get in trouble with anybody, right? [Laughter] You can be annoyed and people say, “Mhmmm! That’s fine! You deserve to be annoyed.”
Emily: It’s the sense of feeling kind of impatient or irritated. The stress meter is rising, but we’re not at the point of saying we’re flat-out angry. We can just feel a little bothered.
Laura: ...which is kind of okay, you know? [Laughter]
So, we looked up what it means to annoy on Webster. There were some interesting definitions. The first one was “to disturb or irritate, especially repeated acts.” Oh my word.
Emily: That doesn’t sound like children at all. [Laughter]
Laura: I have one kiddo who loves to talk about what we’re eating and to know what we’re eating. And we eat—at minimum—three times a day! It drives me bonkers; all of the discussion around food, what we’re going to have, if we’re going to have the same thing every single day. If there’s one thing that annoys me, it’s having to repeat myself due to my child’s repeated acts.
Emily: Which is interesting, because children are hardwired to love repetition. And to love the routine, consistency. As a mom, it seems like we’ve said it one time, that’s enough.
Laura: Remember forever, child.
Emily: Yeah! They love it. “I want to hear it again!” [Laughter]
Laura: “What are we doing today?” “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” [Laughter]
Emily: Another part of the definition is “to harass especially by brief attacks.” [Laughter] Which sounds funny, but who among us gets attacked by our children? I know lately we have a “How to Train a Dragon” thing going on in our house. So our three oldest boys are regularly behaving like dragons. They’re acting like kids, which is fine—breathing fire at each other, sticking arms out funnily like dragon wings. But it really bothers me when somebody barrels into me while I’m trying to carry laundry to the other room and nearly knocks me over while they’re pretending to be a dragon. Those things do get annoying.
Laura: Exactly. So I think all of you can think of times when you’ve experienced these things. In general, I think it’s fair to say being annoyed as a mom is a normal thing. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a constant state of being annoyed, and sometimes it just pops up every once in awhile. But it happens to all moms; that’s the point. It might depend on a lot of things: what season you’re in, what ages your kids are, what stage they’re in, where your kids spend most of their time. Maybe they’re in daycare and you have less time with them. Maybe you’re home with them all day. Winter versus summer season, for me. Winter is just a little bit more annoying. [Laughter]
Emily: Definitely the noise level in the house depending on the time of year. I think some of what we’re consuming as a family matters. Whether it’s certain types of media, screen time, or books versus consuming scriptural things, talking about things that are truthful. It’s the “what goes in, what comes out.” So if you’re putting “How to Train a Dragon” in, “How to Train a Dragon” might come out. [Laughter]
Laura: We have solved your annoying problems! [Laughter]
Emily: There you go! [Laughter] That’s why they’re running around and acting like that.
Laura: But what’s some gospel hope for this situation? We’re going to kick it old school, and go through creation, fall, redemption, consummation for your guys. We haven’t done it in the past couple of episodes. We’ve done the gospel of course, but not in our traditional way. We want to do that today for you.
Emily: When we look back at God’s design for the world and mankind, we see everything functioned as it should. Things made sense. Cause and effect. Sowing seeds yielded good fruit. This work and labor Adam and Eve put their hands and minds to would’ve been profitable. Even though they were going to subdue the world, the world wasn’t pushing against them as it is now.
Laura: I think many of the daily annoyances we experience weren’t in Eden. Like Emily said, you’d plant a seed and there’s fruit. Rather than something dying or getting gnats—like my fiddle leaf tree recently. Their bodies never struggled with back aches, bruises, or blisters. They never stubbed their toe on the Ikea high chair with those really wide legs. [Laughter]
Emily: Essentially, their hearts would’ve been in this state of worship, focusing on the purpose God had for them, knowing God is God and they were there to carry out the creation mandate God gave them. But we know that not everything stayed that way.
Laura: They rebelled. So now because of the fall, life is full of true annoyances. Things are broken, so there are some things we’re annoyed by that are truly outside of our control. It’s annoying when our produce rots too quickly, and we have to go to the store. Our backs hurt when we’re pregnant. When we get mosquito bites when we were planning for a lovely hike on a Sunday afternoon with the family. It’s annoying when you spend hours on the phone fighting insurance to pay for our child’s medical needs. It’s annoying to be in traffic. We could go on and on! [Laughter]
Emily: It feels like no matter where you go or what you do, frustrating things happen you have to deal with.
Laura: But how we respond to those annoying things is within our control. Because of the fall, our natural inclinations are to respond in a way that may be self-justified. I know I can often think that being asked a question one million times a day is actually annoying. So anyone in their right mind would be annoyed by this.
Emily: Another thing we do is self-protect. It’s the feeling that if our children didn’t do this, we wouldn’t be so impatient or unkind. Maybe we even withdraw from a situation because something is annoying and we don’t want to be around that feeling.
Laura: Yeah, we can self-soothe in those moments, thinking we deserve to be treated better because we do so much to serve our families, so why can they see that and appreciate it? It’s functionally a nice pity party we throw for ourselves.
Emily: Proverbs 12:16 says, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.” When we think about this concept of annoyance and overlooking an insult, the reality is we’re all going to be annoyed at some point. Our kids will act like kids. And sometimes it’s just part of the fallen world we live in. We’re going to sigh and wish things weren’t as they are. But the prudent is able to experience that annoyed feeling and turn to the Lord. The fool is going to immediately—or soon after—express their annoyance. It’s going to give birth to sin in the way we treat other people, make demands, or try to self-preserve. We thought that verse showed the difference between handling an annoyance and turning to Christ versus handling it in a way that probably hurts others.
Laura: Exactly. It can often lead towards sin, but that’s why Christ came to die. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all struggle with this. One area I take a lot of hope in is when I think of annoyance, I think the opposite is patience or long-suffering. We can look to the Lord and see places in the Bible where God has revealed absolute perfect patience. The first example is the Old Testament with the Israelites. Who hasn’t read those stories and thought of how annoying the Israelites must’ve been? But how patient God was with them! How often he repeated himself over and over again, telling them about his love and his good deeds, his mercy and his kindness! They constantly forgot and complained, but God was willing to come back and repeat himself. He showed up for them over and over again, caring for a very annoying people. Exodus 4:6 says, “He is a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Emily: Mhmm. Very different from the way we often respond. Even in the New Testament, we think of Christ coming to save his people and fulfill the things the prophets had said about him and things that pointed to him. People don’t even notice as they chase him around, asking him for miracles or trying to find a question he can’t answer. Or they misunderstood his intentions and tried to corner him—
Laura: Just generally being really annoying. [Laughter]
Emily: I read this morning in Hebrews how Jesus was tempted in all the ways we were tempted, and yet, he resisted temptation even to the point of death on the cross. That is an example for us. He did it on our behalf so we can be in those situations and see his perfect record for us.
Laura: And all of this flows into today; this isn’t just for Bible times. Think of all the opportunities Christ has to be annoyed with us as we’re in, we’re out, saying yes, saying no, we’re hot, we’re cold, we do our quiet time, we don’t, we had the right motives, we didn’t have the right motives—all of these things! But Christ is continually so patient with us as our hearts are way worse than some of our toddlers’ outward behavior we’re struggling with.
Emily: Yeah, that’s always a really sobering thought, isn’t it? When you think of your child and some of their behaviors, but then you realize you treat the Lord that way all the time. I think one thing to look ahead to is 2 Peter 3:9, which says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient to you, not wishing any should perish but all should reach repentance.” As we’re dealing with these annoyances in our lives, God is patiently hoping these draw us to him, that we turn to him in this fallen world as we come up against things that are a struggle for us or frustrating for us—that we’d repent and turn to Christ.
Laura: It’s a great chance to see it as sanctification. As mothers, it’s really challenging to see the patience of God with a very, very annoying people. Like Emily said, we may be annoyed by childish behavior in motherhood, but because we have Christ in us, we can model him and have godly responses toward different things that aren’t as fun in our lives—particularly those annoying things. We want to talk through a few practical things if you’re in a season of feeling annoyed more often than not or not sure what to do with those feelings.
Emily: One thing we want to consider is are we caring for our souls? Not necessarily like a good bath after the kids go to bed or reading your favorite blogs or getting a girls night out. Now, we definitely think those things are nice and good and can be helpful at times. But we really ought to regularly be finding our soul’s rest in the Lord. That’s going to help us in these situations when our kids are acting childish or different things annoy us. This is sometimes proactive; it’s making our time with God a priority. We need to stay in the word. We need to keep our Bibles open on the counter so we can look at it throughout the day or listening to an audio version of the Bible. Maybe it’s listening to good music or having a Bible verse in the car. Whatever those things are that can constantly remind us that God is God and we’re not God. We live in his world, and we’re here to advance his Kingdom. I know I always need that reorienting perspective.
Laura: Another one is to take a hard look at your schedule. I know whenever I have too full of a schedule or am not dealing with stress the right way, I’m often 1,000 more times likely to act on annoying behaviors or act out in that moment. Is your schedule too full? Are you able to slow down and deal with those unexpected kiddo needs? Is it too jammed pack that any inconvenience or deviation really frustrates you? It can be a good thing to identify pinch points. Are there days when your attitude is worse than others? I know “witching hour” after school is often a hard time for a lot of families. You’re not alone if that’s true for you. So, what can you do now to be proactive to change that? Maybe talk to your husband and see what he thinks. Maybe talk to a friend and find some new strategies. Those are really practical things, but they can make a pretty big difference.
Emily: Which goes back to our hearts leading to our attitudes. Something I ask myself when I constantly feel annoyed is, “What rights do I functionally believe I have right now? Do I think I have a right to a quiet house? Finish my task list without interference?” How can I speak truth into those situations to remind myself of my role in the bigger Kingdom and the things I actually deserve, because Christ has given me what I don’t deserve: favor. That can quickly—but sometimes not so quickly [Laughter]—reorient our perspective rightly.
Laura: Make it a practice to stop and pray any time you struggle with annoyance. This can be as simple as a short prayer for help. I’ve pulled my kids aside and asked for prayer right in front of them. Sometimes they’re so shocked, the behavior stops immediately. [Laughter] If anything, it’s a great chance for a reset and to share vulnerably with the kids about my own sin and areas where I need God’s help.
Emily: Yeah, we hope wherever you’re at with this feeling of annoyance today—maybe you’ve been annoyed while listening to this show because of a kid in the background… [Laughter]
Laura: Hopefully not by us though! [Laughter]
Emily: So, whether you’re feeling annoyed right now, yesterday, or you’ll face it later in the week, we hope you’ll turn to Christ. Laura and I are preaching the same things to ourselves.
Also, a reminder that if you want to take a look at the Risen Motherhood book, you can at risenmotherhood.com/book. You can also find our show notes at our website. Find us on social media this week @risenmotherhood on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thanks, guys!
Laura: Thank you!
Emily: Thank you! [Laughter] I was being annoying right there.
Laura: Ha! I just gave Emily the weirdest look right there. [Laughter] Like, “What was that?!”
Emily and Laura: Bye, guys! [Laughter]