I saw a post on Facebook that summed up my inadequacy…and here I am. Writing to you.
It was an admonition to ENJOY today.
But… Early on, the onslaught began: One of the kids opened my door without knocking first. They don’t understand privacy yet. Then, after I asked one of the kids to ask one of the other kids to 1) start breakfast and, 2) pick up whatever was strewn over the foyer area…F I V E times…he proceeded to TELL his DADDY to start breakfast. Then he went back to his morning television entertainment. They still don’t understand that honoring and obeying their parents means they don’t tell US what to do (Ephesians 6:2-3.) And we’re inconsistent about television, iPad, and video games in the morning.
Before I came down, I got some encouragement from Christian television about resting in God – allowing supernatural peace to exist in the midst of doing life through faith, which was repeated in a Christian podcast. That felt like confirmation. Then came the yelling from the den.
That felt like chaos. Tightening in my chest and, 23 weeks into my pregnancy, tightness in my belly…
I reminded myself to keep my voice level as I demanded the presence of the kiddos. Keep this mental picture in mind: Daddy was circling. My oldest was pursuing hair things and a little chair, so I could do her hair with 8 minutes until the arrival of her bus.
I also reminded myself as I confronted a deeply emotional and tearful pair (my two youngest until this fourth child comes along): If you allow yourself to get too distracted with lots of things, that is a breeding ground for worry. When you see all these things coming at you, it’s really just one thing – the devil. And there’s always only One Solution – resting in Jesus Christ.
So, after I put the young duo in time-out on opposite sides of the kitchen table and creamed some product into my oldest daughter’s hair (keeping my eye one the dwindling minutes), I prayed aloud: “Let me see you in this situation, Lord Jesus. Let me see you in my role as mom to these kids right now.” And I looked into my middle child’s overflowing eyes and felt myself beginning to sink, like Peter on the water. But when my son gave me the dirty look he was wearing toward whatever wrong he’d interpreted, I prayed again: “In the name of Jesus Christ…” It wasn’t even a complete sentence.
It was just me looking away from the strong wind of emotions swirling around our kitchen – back toward Jesus Christ. Me. Laboring. To enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:11.)
I’ve realized that my tendency to dredge up things from the past and stack them against “my opponent” when I’m upset isn’t “a girl thing.” It’s a type of person thing, and my son displays this same tendency. I told him that I understood that he was having some emotions and that I cared about his big feelings, because I care about him. I also told him that his feelings weren’t my fault – that I hadn’t been rude to him (this morning). It wasn’t mommy and daddy who’d been destroying what he was building in his game. So dirty looks and rash (unthinking, angry) words weren’t fair to us or, acceptable. At that, a fight broke out between our two current youngest – from the breakfast bar to the kitchen table stool. Ugh!
I had to walk my oldest to the door. She presented a cool and pretty dramatic foil (contrast) to the heated accusations flying in sweet, angry voices. The bus was about to pull past our house, but the driver waved her hand when she saw us, smiling. I had to take that cool breath back to the table for peace discussions.
So many things can show themselves as completely out of our hands before the morning can even BEGIN to draw to a close: This morning my prescription wouldn’t go through. I couldn’t get hold of Hubby. I needed to get someone to help us opt-out of some refill insurance issue. And if it wasn’t resolved, like NOW, it would put my pregnancy at risk.
As I’ve said before, the devil loves us to either throw a tantrum when we’re stuck, or throw up our hands and give up; the option we have in Christ is to enter into His rest, going forward and allowing Jesus Christ to bridge the gap between what we know to/can do in our own strength, and whatever our needs are.
Bottom Line: He’s a good, good Father, who gave this momma words for her kids, brokering peace. Aaand, He got my prescription refill issue fixed. We CAN rest, y’all. It’s hard work to put our emotions and control freakery to the side – to look away from the strong winds of life, but we can. While you may not technically enjoy it, you can get a lot out of ANY day.