The Rules || Katie Westenberg | ichoosebrave.com, mops.org
Each time my family purchases a new game, the evening goes down in a pretty predictable fashion. See, we
have these kids who are (finally!) outgrowing Candyland and stretching into the land of strategy and thinking
games. (Yes, it really does happen eventually.) So when we find a new game, we gather our tribe around the
table and read through the rules carefully.
Our four kids frequently interject with a dozen questions because none of these rules and instructions quite
make sense in the learning process, and my husband and I have almost no answers because we’re still trying to
figure it out as well. Welcome to the beauty and tension of family game night, where we typically end up pleading
for everyone to be patient and it often turns out to be a learning opportunity in more ways than we bargained for.
Maybe you have been there?
I can’t count the times I have heard a mama friend sigh the words, “I wish there was a rule book for this,” as
she moves into a new and challenging season of motherhood. One kid struggles with friends or seems to have
hopped on an emotional roller coaster without warning, and there is always that second or third child who is
doing things nothing like her older siblings did.
Motherhood is humbling and often we’re thirsty for someone to just tell us how to do this well. We’re all in, just
please, someone tell us how to handle all the nuances of relationship and personality, creativity and gifting, for
the unique combo of kids God has given us. Tell us what to do and we’ll get right on it.
But that is not quite what God has for us. We’re begging for rules and he is after relationship. He looked his
disciples in the eye and said “Follow me” because he wasn’t just going to tell them; he was going to show them
what it meant to seek first his kingdom.
Before his ascension, Jesus told us that it was to our advantage that he was going away because he was sending
us a helper to guide us in all truth (John 16:7,13). Do we even begin to understand how awesome that is for us? We
have a helper - the ultimate helper - to call on in our frustration and confusion, our weakness and desperation.
The next time you find yourself looking for a rule book, a better instruction guide, stand firm on this promise:
We don’t need more rules, we need more Jesus. And when we ask, we can be certain he will be near.
Katie Westenberg is a wife and mother to four, who is passionate about fighting fear and living brave. She writes
to inspire women to live their bravest lives at “I Choose Brave” and many other places online. Married for 17
years, she lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys small town life outside the city limits.