Do you ever have those days where just ONE more thing will send you over the edge?? Yeah. That was me the other day. It was just those little things that added up all day. It started out by being woken up early (4am early) by a little one that is learning to live (and sleep) without a pacifier. With a nursing baby, my sleep is interrupted as it is. Still, I woke up looking forward to a little shopping trip without any children-excited to have some space and thoughts to myself (which is rare) for a couple of hours. You have to understand, I am NEVER w/o my children. Honestly, I don’t crave time away or frequent breaks. When money is tight, we have date night at home after the kiddos are in bed. My husband works long hours and we don’t have any family nearby. We are also extremely careful about who we allow our children to be watched by. SO, I do not get time alone (you know what I mean, Mommy’s-not even in the BATHROOM), mkay??
Anyway, myschedule was already too packed this week and I was stressed. Not to mention not feeling well. It was little things all day like my toddler unrolling an entire roll of bath tissue and proceeding to tear it up in little shreds and spread it all over the house. Yes, I was getting more and more anxious for my outing ALONE! I wish I could say something major happened to make me lose my cool and you could relate, but it was something so small and silly…
Ready to walk out the door, I’m running around like a mad lady sprucing up the house (no easy task after a long home schooling day and sports after) so we don’t scare away the babysitter and I get the call that I would NOT have childcare after all and that if I wanted to get a few things I had planned to get done, I had to bring all the children with me. Sigh. To be honest, I usually don’t mind taking all the kiddos with me and really and truly enjoy their company. But this had been a particularly rough week. I was tired. I needed a break. I had even fallen asleep the night before imagining myself with my coffee in hand, being able to casually rifle through a favorite store before getting my “have to have’s” at my not so favorite store. I literally at that moment felt as if my day had been ruined.
I wish I could say it was something major that put me over the edge. It really wasn’t that big of a deal. My toddler spilled a bowl of Cheerios (dry-thank goodness) on my sofa. IN my sofa. And crushed them in between my cushions. Yeah. And I lost it. Let me reassure you, ladies, it wasn’t pretty.
Still cleaning up crushed up Cheerios and beginning to feel ashamed for loosing it, I kept praying, and I realized that my day was probably going so awfully because of my attitude and because, in my head, I had planned for things to go my way that day.
Then, in His soft and gentle way, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me and gently ask how often do we this in our spiritual walk? I began to evaluate my heart. It’s not that I had a bad day. It went much deeper than that. How often do we say a prayer or expect God to do something, or even put limitations on Him as to how we allow him to work in our hearts; and then become frustrated or even bitterly disappointed when things are not as we think they should be? It’s not just our daily happenings we get easily upset and frustrated over, but major things like money, relationships, even death of a loved one. Often, we even let a part of our hearts shut down to Him because we cannot understand why things aren’t going our way.
The only way to make it through is to be utterly abandoned to myself and completely open to what His desire is for me…even in the small things. If I’m not, do I really trust Him? Do I really believe He is a loving God who wants good things for me? Do I know who my enemy is? (Hint: the Word says that satan is the one who comes to kill, steal, and destroy).
I cannot always control what happens to me, but I can choose my response to them, and ultimately, my response to HIM! After all, life big or small, is lived daily. Especially as mothers and wives. That’s why the Word says in Mathew to not even worry about tomorrow and to “Be careful, then, how you live-not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16.
“Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
And, when Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13 “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength!”
So, if I can learn to lean on the One who gives me strength and respond the way I know He would have me to respond first, if I can somehow squash this ME that gets in the way of what He is doing in my life (even if its responding well to spilled Cheerios!) then I can be refined and somehow reach toward the prize…