“I Just Can’t Do This”

I had been awake for less than two hours and had already made five trips to the bathroom, spent most of the morning wrapped like a burrito, and had just disciplined my eldest for the second time when I threw my head into my hands and said, “Lord, I just can’t do this.” 

My entire body felt like it had been run over by a large utility vehicle; it was taking a whole lot of energy just to blink my eyes lift my arms; the young troops had already sniffed out a few rank odors Mama’s weakness and were rallying to raise the Jolly Roger; and my only ally appeared to be an inanimate, porcelain potty.

How was I ever going to muster enough strength to keep two kids entertained, in-line, and alive until five?

There was NO way.


With tears welling, I repeated my defeat.

“I just can’t do this…I just can’t do this.”

And as I sat at my kitchen table with lunch drawing nigh and my hope flying by, my heart received some gentle whispers.

So what’s so different about this day, Jessica? 



I’m not clinging helplessly to a potty???

Oh, I see. 

I stopped dead in my destitute tracks.

My pride had been pierced, and my mind had been chastened.

The gentle whisper was right.

Most of my days are lived believing, “I can do it.” 

As in I.

As in me.

As in Jessica.

Like on my own.

And if I’m truly being honest, on most mornings when my eyes open and my feet hit the floor…

I’m not beginning my days recognizing that He is my stronghold. Psalm 9:9

I’m not beginning my days realizing my need to wait for Him. Psalm 27:14

I’m not beginning my days remembering to trust that He will do it.  Psalm 37:5

I’m not beginning my days recalling that my help comes from Him. Psalm 121:2

I’m not beginning my days resting in the truth that He is the rock of my strength. Psalm 62:7

Bottom line: I’m not beginning my days by clinging. 

And if I’m not beginning my day by recognizing my desperate need for the ONE who CAN, then I’m doing a whole lot of trusting, depending, relying, believing, and leaning on ME, the one who CANNOT.

Because even on my greatest, strongest, most energized days…I cannot raise my children in my own strength. 

So how can I make sure that I’m beginning my days by clinging?

Well, in Daniel 6:10, it says, “Three times a day he [Daniel] got down on his knees and prayed…”

“The word prayed in verse 10 translates to a Hebrew word rarely used in Scripture, which means ‘to limp as if one-sided.’ In his own strength Daniel knew he was too handicapped to walk the path before him. Through prayer, he cast his weight on God and took one step at a time.” (Beth Moore, Whispers of Hope).


It’s admitting my inadequacies and acceding to His strengths.

It’s acknowledging my needs and accepting His help.

It’s abandoning my control and abiding in His power.

It’s avoiding my will and ascribing to His plans.

It’s announcing, “I just can’t do this, but I know you can.” 


2 thoughts on ““I Just Can’t Do This”

  1. I was just thinking last night about the overwhelming prevalence among all parents, who want to be good parents, who feel at some point, in some circumstance, that they are inadequate, not enough, messing up, etc. While I don’t believe for a second that any parent/child combination is ever a mistake, I also don’t think our sense of inadequacy is by mistake either. Because, as you so poignantly talked about, our inadequacy and sense of powerlessness is the very thing that points us to God, as His power is made perfect in our weakness.

  2. So good. When we stop challenging and start believing the lie that we can do it on our own, we basically say we don’t *really* need Jesus. Heaven help us… to *always* be needy.

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