Tag Archives: children

Tall, Grande, Venti

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One of the most important decisions when ordering coffee is what size you want. Each size has its own merit and each size has its own cost. We have to weigh the cost against the amount of coffee we feel we need and can finish. Oh how like life that is! Each decision we make has a cost. Each cost reflects the worth.

In working with others, our decisions matter. Each decision effects others and reflects our opinion of their worth. Jonah had this problem. He felt the people of Nineveh were not worth his time, effort, or his God. It seemed to hurt more than the fish bite!

Jonah chapters 3-4

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion

4 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

Sometimes we get mad at God. I was taught that getting mad at God was unnatural to a Christian. That isn’t true. A relationship with God is not one sided. If that is all God wanted from his creation, the animals would have sufficed for company. God wanted beings he could communicate with. Although God’s motives are pure and he never makes mistakes. Ours are not, and we mess up every day.

4:1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

One thing that struck me about Jonah was he got mad at God for who he is. He got mad at God for doing something good. Do you ever get mad at God for doing something good? I have. As a mom, this happens to me frequently, as a foster mom even more! Sometimes I even get mad when God gives me what I want and I realize it isn’t all it was cracked up to be. “These kids are hard. This house is not meeting my needs properly. This child shouldn’t be here. God why did you bring me to this place?”

I love how God responded to Jonah.

4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

The dialog recorded between them is sometimes even comical because it is so outrageously relatable. Especially if you have a four year old or a temper like mine. Jonah would say something and God would respond to what what going on in Jonah’s mind and heart, not what was coming out of his mouth. Boy is that a lesson in parenting!!! What wisdom is displayed there!! Then God would lovingly present another perspective to Jonah. Jonah didn’t take it, at least not in the recorded story. But in the end God had a “mic drop” moment.

10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

It doesn’t matter if we respond to God’s leading and even attempt to see the other perspective he offers, truth is truth!! And God will not yield to our brattiness. Sometimes being faced with truth requires us to act against our feelings which is contrary to our natural selves. (Jonas’ obedience to God required him to act against the way he was feeling about the people of Nineveh) But God will lovingly provide fresh perspective, shade and comfort, and will show us his power over it all. If Jonah had put his eyes on God instead of himself he would have experienced a share in the power and redemption of God. When we release everything to him, he will live through us.

The same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives within us!

Every time we complain to God,he will remind us of who He is!! Once we see him and not us, he will show us what to do in light of who he is! He will never give us solutions that don’t flow out of who he is for us and through us, for his glory!

Jonah’s decision to run from God had consequences, but one of the best things that came out of it was the men of the Ship’s salvation!! God used Jonah’s disobedience and his testimony of repentance to bring others to Christ!! How encouraging is that! If God used our disobedience, how much more will he do when we do our best to do what is right. Our decisions have consequences, but a decision we make that may not be the best one but is made to the best of our ability as we surrender to God will be used!

The king of Nineveh called for a kingdom wide turning to the Lord, regardless of whether or not the Lord changed his mind.

7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

That is true repentance, we don’t repent so nothing bad will happen we repent because we realize that we are wrong and our only hope is God. We are not preserving our life, we are preserving our relationship.

Jonah did not like the people of Nineveh and he did not like his calling, he did not like that The God who was gracious to him in the belly of the fish, was also extending his love grace and mercy to people he had pre judged as unworthy.

“Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.”

Jonah 2:8 ESV

This is the God we serve, he loves us when we are vile and unloving. When we stomp off to pout he grows a plant to shade us. He is patient with us when we are angry with him and others, he does not surrender his power or give in to our ridiculousness. But he doesn’t blast us out of the water for being human. We want to see justice done and we think we can decide what someone else deserves. God loves and forgives. Our concern for others should be to see them loved, not punished.

Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.”

Jonah 2:8 ESV

What decisions are you facing? Do you feel like you are paying “venti” price for a “tall” sized product? Are you mad at God for doing something good or not giving you what you want? Ask him to put your eyes on him, ask him to remind you that people are priceless, look for the shaded plants he has provided for you along the way, and trust him for the outcome and to provide the currency required for the cost!

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Bulletproof coffee

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Bulletproof coffee

Recently I took my low carb diet up a notch and gave into the fad of bulletproof coffee. The concept is simple but takes time. It promises results while furnishing you with a unique blend of caffeine, and fat, and natural sugar substitute. It is a meal replacement that propels you forward and contributes to your overall dietary needs and goals. Essentially, it “bulletproofs” your meal giving you energy and necessary calories, while protecting you from a sugar spike and eating too many carbs for breakfast.

Ever wish you could be “bulletproof?”

Have you ever felt the need to be protected? Have you ever been attacked by someone or lied about? What about your loved ones?

I don’t know know about you but if I am attacked or betrayed personally it’s painful, but I feel like I can manage. When someone I love, especially my husband is hurt it makes me feel like a soldier in a prison of war. I want to be a warrior but it feels like my hands are tied. When my kids are hurt it makes me want to fight even if I am tied up.

Hurt is a multifaceted thing. Often, especially in ministry, the pain that we go through has to be kept private. This adds another layer of pain. We don’t want to lie, but we also can’t tell the truth so we suffer in silence. We don’t want our pain to cause someone else to hurt.

Recently God has been taking my family through a valley of darkness. In this darkness I have experienced pain for myself, husband, and children. Psalm 23 is something I am thankful God took me through recently because it has had so many applications in this present hardship. That post can be found here:Brewing

But, I have been studying David’s journey running from Saul the past few days. God has used it to show me some truth that I would like to share in hopes of encouraging you but also to record it for my own altar of remembrance.

David was innocent of the charges Saul brought against him. He had dealt with Saul’s being kind then turning on him over and over. Finally he had to leave his home and run. While Saul searched for him and caused destruction all along the way, David looked back and felt it was because of him others were hurt and even lost their lives. And yet, God protected him and allowed the destruction to continue for a time.

Two separate instances have been very significant and precious to me from his journey I would like to share:

1 Samuel 21 New Life Version (NLV)
David Runs from Saul
21 David came to Ahimelech the religious leader at Nob. Ahimelech came shaking in fear to meet David, and said to him, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” 2 David said to Ahimelech the religious leader, “The king has given me something to do. And he has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about what I have sent you to do.’ I have told the young men to meet at a certain place. 3 Now, what do you have ready? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you may have.” 4 The religious leader answered David, “I only have bread which has been set apart as holy, if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David told the religious leader, “For sure women have been kept from us while we have traveled. The bodies of the young men are holy even on everyday trips. How much more they are today!” 6 So the religious leader gave him holy bread. For there was no bread there but the bread before the Lord. It was taken from before the Lord, so hot bread could be put in its place. 7 Now one of Saul’s servants happened to be there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the head of Saul’s shepherds.
8 David said to Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword? I did not bring my sword or any spears with me, because I had to hurry to do the king’s work.” 9 The religious leader said, “The sword is here that belonged to Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah. See, it is behind the linen vest, with a cloth around it. Take it, if you will. For it is the only one here.” And David said, “There is none like it. Give it to me.”
10 Then David got up and ran that day from Saul. He went to Achish king of Gath.

David needed help. He went to the religious leader for help. The priest thought at first that his resources were extremely limited. The bread he gave him was not even supposed to be given but he did and God used it to refresh and feed and care for David. This was something God did that was special for him. What I learned from this was to look for the bread God is providing in my life that feeds my emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. Within our situation we have seen so many things God has nurtured us with and had so many people come to us letting us know they love us and they are praying. These encouragements have been bread. Even almost “forbidden” bread at times.

David needed weapons. This was so incredible to me!!! The only sword that the priest had to give him was the sword David had used to cut off the head of Goliath!!!????!!! Wow!!! How cool is that? So the weapon David left with, was actually a tangible reminder of what God had done for him in the past. To carry with him, to help him, and to be used for the other part of the story God used to help me so much…

1 Samuel 24 New Life Version (NLV)
David Did Not Kill Saul
24 When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “See, David is in the desert of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all Israel, and went to find David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 He came to the places where the sheep were kept on the way. There was a cave there, and Saul went in to get rid of his body waste. Now David and his men were sitting farther back in the cave. 4 David’s men said to David, “See, this is the day the Lord told you, ‘See, I am about to give the one who hates you into your hand. You will do to him what you think is best.’” Then David got up and cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing in secret. 5 After this, David felt guilty in his heart because he had cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing. 6 So he said to his men, “May the Lord not let me put out my hand against my leader, for he is the Lord’s chosen one.” 7 David stopped his men with these words. He did not let them go against Saul. So Saul stood up and left the cave, and went on his way.
8 After this David got up and went out of the cave and called to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David put his face to the ground, showing much respect. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘David wants to hurt you’? 10 See, your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you to me today in the cave. Some told me to kill you, but I had pity on you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my leader, for he is the Lord’s chosen one.’ 11 Now, my father, see the piece of your clothing in my hand. I cut off the piece of your clothing but did not kill you. So know and understand that I have no desire to do wrong to you. I have not sinned against you, yet you come wanting to kill me. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me. May He punish you for your action against me. But my hand will not be against you. 13 As the men of long ago said in their wisdom, ‘Out of the sinful comes sin,’ but my hand will not be against you. 14 After whom has the king come out? After whom are you running? After a dead dog? After a little bug? 15 May the Lord be the One to judge between you and me. May He see and help me, and save me from you.” 16 When David had finished speaking to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul gave a loud cry. 17 He said to David, “You are more right and good than I. For you have brought good to me, while I have done wrong to you. 18 You have said today that you have done good to me. The Lord gave me to you and you did not kill me. 19 If a man finds the one who hates him, will he let him go away safe? May the Lord bring good to you for what you have done for me this day. 20 Now I know that you will be king for sure. The nation of Israel will be made strong under your power. 21 So promise to me by the Lord that you will not destroy my children after me. Promise that you will not destroy my name from my father’s family.” 22 David gave Saul his promise, and Saul went home. But David and his men went up to the safe place.

The weapon David carried was used to produce the evidence of his innocence. David used the sword to cut off a piece of Saul’s robe and decided not to harm him. We have to remember that our weapons are not always to do harm and usually aren’t. Even the whole armor of God is to be used to stand.

His innocence was proclaimed and peace was brought to the situation.

But David didn’t just go home with Saul and say everything was fine. There was forgiveness and afterwards David went back to the safe place. Relationships can come to a peaceful place and still not be safe.

The biggest thing I see from this lesson in my life and how God has used it in my situation is first and foremost his love and provision for me and my family. I can protect myself and family simply by standing for the truth. I can know that God will provide bread and the weapons we need to come through this trial in peace.

What are the things in your situation that you can see are “bread”? These are the things God used to minister to you physically emotionally and spiritually.

What “weapons”do you have at your disposal? These are the things God gives us that are tangible reminders of things he has done for you in the past. (Like his Word!!) How are you choosing to use those weapons? Are you choosing to obey God or Man?

Being bulletproof means to be protected. Being bulletproof does not stop bullets from coming and it doesn’t stop the pain when they do. Being bulletproof does mean that through the danger and pain you are able to stand. I pray he will continue to reveal his love and power and provision to us. That he will show those who would bring us harm that he loves on both sides. I pray he will continue to bring clarity and peace. I pray as the bullets keep coming that he will teach us how to apply his armor and the weapons we carry will remind of us his past provision and that we will use them for his glory! I am thankful for the bread along the way, I pray he will use it to nourish us while we run, while we stand, while war is raging and when peace comes. And that afterwards he will give us wisdom about where to go next!

Mommy of four?! Part 2

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Over the next few weeks things changed-a lot.  We were attempting to get our bearings and learning the ropes of being a family of six.  

We had good days and bad days.  It soon became clear that little Jalicia needed way more than we could give and we were in way over our heads.  Thankfully though, God wasn’t. 

We began to arrange for services to be put in place to get her and us the help we all desperately needed.  Then we got the news that changed everything.  She was going to be moved from us to another home.  

We were both partially relieved and also devestated.  I knew I wasn’t meant to be her mom but I so wanted to be.  I knew that my little family had been through a war zone and that my children needed some recovery time.  I also worried about Jalicia as she had to start over fresh-again.  I knew we would continue to see her at sibling visits and that I would know how she was doing.  I didn’t know if I could handle knowing that either. What if things didn’t go well? Would I be watching her struggle? Could I handle the outcome? We began praying that God would give her a wonderful new home that it would be a smooth transition and that she would be happy.  

Two weeks later we found out that she had been moved again and again.  It broke my heart so much.  We just prayed and prayed that God would bring her a couple who either had grown children or never had children who would love her and care for her and give her all the attention she needed and deserved and could meet her needs and be her forever family. 

The night the aligator ate my baby

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I looked across the enclosure that housed the massive alligator we had marveled at just a few moments before.  Movement caught my eye.  I yelled as loud as I could across to my oldest son, who for whatever reason was walking AWAY from my two year old.  Owen was playing on the rocks beside the swampy area of the enclosure.  Johnny didn’t hear me yell to him.  In those moments I had no other recourse but to jump the fence and run as fast as I could over to get him.  On the way, I grazed the tail of the alligator and it startled and ran. When I reached the other side, I realized in horror that when I spooked the alligator its tail had come up and knocked Owen behind me. I turned just in time to see the gator attack him.  I screamed a blood curdling scream as I watched my precious baby boy caught in the jaws of a creature that I could not stop.  He looked at me and reached for me with terror in his eyes and all I could think was “He can see me, he is reaching for me. In the most horrible moment of his life he is looking to me for help and I cannot do anything to save him. But he thinks I can!”  I knew that I was helpless and that I was betraying him, because he knew me as the one to turn to for help.  The loss hit me like a train. Pain, agony, intense sorrow.  I wanted my baby back. I wanted to tell him I was sorry.  I wanted to start the day over.  I was powerless and utterly worthless.  

Then I woke up.  Thank you God!!! I woke up! It was just a nightmare! 

When I opened my eyes I was relieved. Part of me wanted to go back to sleep, though.  I wanted to see Owen miraculously be saved some how.  He was right there in the next room. I could hear him laughing and playing. It was almost as if going back to sleep and finishing the dream would prove it was one.  

I knew exactly why I had the dream.  The entire night had been filled with stress dreams.  I realized that I was more worried than I had thought about recent events in our life.  

There are times, maybe more times than not, when we have to sit back and watch our children walk through deep waters and we cannot do anything to rescue them.  Sometimes we can come along side them and help comfort or offer advice.  Ultimately, though, it is happening to them and we are sidelined. We need someone to fight these battles who is bigger than us and greater than the monsters we are facing.  
Unfortunately our fear causes us to forget that we are missing an end of the story. Just like I felt the need to go back to sleep in hopes I would see a superhero save my baby, we need to remember that no matter what we are facing, the story isn’t over. We have a God who is working to save us and our children.  He is bigger, faster, stronger, better, more powerful, omnipotent, loving, and willing.  We need to teach our children not to only look to us for help but Christ in us and Christ without us too.  We cannot be their savior, healer, or friend.  We can only be instruments of God to them.  We are not the superheroes. We don’t have to take on their world or fight their battles. We should be living in a way that when challenges come they look to us for directions to the God they have seen use us to comfort, guide, and love them.  Just like Ruth following Naomi.  They will want to be where we are and our God to be their God.  

This is true for us, our relationships with our spouse, our kids, our friends, and our foster children who fight battles we cannot even relate to or even identify at times.  We are to point them to the God who sees them. Who died for them, who experienced trama, abandoned by his father, punished and abused without deserving it, just like them. But He did it FOR them.  We know the end of the story let’s live like it!!

Baby “O”2: You are my sunshine

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My special bed time routine with baby “O” included singing “you are my sunshine” to him before putting him in his bed at night.  One night after he had been with us for about 4 months I was singing to him and as he layed  his head on my shoulder like he had done so many times before, it hit me like a Mac truck. I had just gotten to the last line of the song. We had just found out that another family was set to begin a homestudy to become a non-relative   placement for him.  He had begun to call me mama already.  Though I knew he wasn’t mine, I also knew he would always be mine.  He was our first placement and we were his.  I would never forget him and always love him.  I had sung that song to him so many times, but never really considered how much the words applied to the situation.  We had been there before when another family had gone through their homestudy,but that one fell through.  In my heart the Lord said “trust me”.  The tears came. For the thousandth time I surrendered.  I knew I could love him enough to let him go. I surrendered, then I begged God not to take my sunshine away.  

It’s like this

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You dream about the day you meet your little ones.  You gather as many clothes and diapers and baby things as you can, you buy crib sheets and diaper bags, and you prepare as much as you can. You have in your mind that these kids will come to you in neat little,slightly damaged,packages and you will be the answer to all their problems.  It isn’t like that.  You know that there will be bumps in the road and you do all the classes and the training.  The simulations of “what would you do in this situation, and study the stories of kids in care and you analyze what they need and what you would do for them.  It isn’t like that. That is like a scripted sitcom where the stories reveal plot lines that are easily solved via loving parenting and creative solutions.  It.isnt.like.that

It’s like this: you think you know what you want and God takes you on a roller coaster ride and brings you everything you ever wanted in a package that is in a million pieces and you know immediately that you can never EVER put it back together whole and like new. You also don’t know what to do for your family who has suddenly lost everything they have ever known and been given more than they dreamed…but it doesn’t look like it.  

You hit the ground running and you start feeling like things are falling through the cracks because you can’t seem to organize your thoughts long enough to remember what you probably forgot.

You sit by the bedside of the one who needs you most and feel guilty that you aren’t with your little girl and haven’t spent much time at her bedside in the past year and now the new kid is taking the small amount of time she had with you to begin with. Then you see the tears coming down silently while the new one watches a slide show of her mom and brothers and sisters on repeat till she falls asleep. Because no matter how much you care for her and how much fun you had that day and how great she is doing, you are not her mom, and all she really wants is her family back together.  But that family may never be put back together and you have signed on for the long hual no matter what.  You mourn the loss with her while encouraging her that her Mama loves her and wishes she could be with her too.  You stay strong until you can finally leave her then you fall apart while you clean up the things you could’nt clean during the extremely busy day you had.  

It’s like this: you worry every day that you are short changing the kids who are watching you deal with an unruly child in ways that you never dealt with them. They wonder which way is right–so do you.

You struggle to find time with the two that have been with you since before they were born.  Those who carry a part of you with them always, and wonder if that part is worth it to them in the end.  Will they be bitter? Will they be resentful?
You knew it wouldn’t be like one big happy family right away, but you were pretty sure it would be like having friends stay the night or go on vacation–it isn’t.  There is no instant, just add water or toys or books or fun, friendships.  It is like two foreign countries merging suddenly after one of them has spent years in war.  Trust must be built and friendships grow very slowly.  

You realize very quickly that you are in way over your head.  You sit by her bed and she tells you terrible heart wrenching things about her previous life and you see the effects it has had on her and it scares you to death. You don’t know if you can handle it.  You don’t know if you can really give her what she needs, let alone care for the others at the same time. But you already told her she could stay and you already want her to.  

So you sit by her bed every night listening and waiting for her to fall asleep while she tells you all she wants is to go home to the people who abused her and watched her be abused by others while they did nothing, instead of staying in your home full of real love.  You do bed time routines and pack lunch boxes and deal with violent tantrums all while juggling your house and the family of your own-including her and her brother.  You try to find room In your heart for the monsters who did this to a precious little girl that will likely be scarred for the rest of her life. Scars that they don’t have to see played out every day like you do.  Knowing that a judge at any time could say they have to go back to that life.  

Then they look at you and smile or say “I love you” back and somehow it is all worth it. These children who have no attachment to you (even the baby after a week of being his primary caretaker. ). The ice begins to melt and the light shines through the darkness and the first rays of hope warm your heart and home and you pray God’s protection and blessing over this new family he created and you know all you can do is trust that he will provide.  

This is what it is like.  Just in case you were wondering. 

Be still…yeah right

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As a mom, more specifically a homeschooling mom, I am with my children twenty-four hours a day. I love my children and love being with them. However, every once in a while my brain begins screaming the need to be alone. When I am with my kids, every moment is subject to interruption. Their needs, desires, and safety are on my mind constantly even on the “off” times when they are not asking me for something. So, when the opportunity arises to have some “me” time I immediately jump at the chance for the house to be quiet and to do whatever I want, when I want.

The first thing I plan on is sleeping in, having my coffee in peace, complete control of the remote, and cleaning with the music blaring with no threat of having to pause or censor it. Then maybe a date night with my amazing husband. Inevitably, the emptiness in the house gets to me and I begin to unwind and relax. The next thing that happens really throws me for a loop. I begin to think about all the things that I am not doing that I should be doing, then all my shortcomings, the fear of rejection from my husband and my children for being unable to be all that I want to be as a wife and mother. The vicious cycle continues as I try desperately to pull myself together and act against my feelings of insecurity. I struggle to remember what is true and build on it.
This morning, as I began to drown in my “me” time I felt the Holy Spirit say to me: “Be still”. My reply, “Yeah right. God I am supposed to be all these Proverbs 31y things. You called me to be a good wife and mother, you commanded me to walk in truth. I can’t do that so I have failed you too! I mean, really, I am pretty sure my panic is valid.” Again he said “Be still”
Frantically I went to my bible program and searched the words “Be still”. I found Psalm 46. The entire thing is a song, describing the victory God gives his people over various trials and enemies and near the end this small verse: Psalm 46:10 be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in the Nations. I will be exalted in the earth.

Wow. What just happened? I took my eyes off my God and put them on myself. “Me time” shouldn’t revolve around me. It should revolve around my relationship with God. No matter when I look at me I will see things that scare me. What could be happening that I don’t know about? What if my husband doesn’t love me anymore and is just pretending? (I know how many times I don’t have everything perfect, so to me anyone not wanting to be with me is reasonable). What if I am screwing up my kids life by homeschooling them, or just by not being the worlds best mother? But when I look at God, non of those things matter. I can be still because he is God. He can give me the motivation I need to do better. He can take care of me if any of my feared scenarios come to fruition. But most of all he will teach me to walk in truth because he is God. He will take me through whatever he has planned for me and will take care of it all! Looking at him doesn’t change who I am, but it sure changes the way I feel about who I am!
If you ever feel the need to escape for a bit of “me” time, remember this. Maybe it will help you avoid the deep waters that can overwhelm you when the quiet brings fear instead of fun.