I want to thank all of you who sent notes of encouragment via email or left comments. It really means a lot to me. I discovered I had followers out there that I wasn't even aware of! I wished I had been able to write sooner...I have been wanting to but our schedule has not allowed. In the past week and a half, our house has been plagued by the stomach flu, colds and sinus infections, loss of sleep, fussiness, nap issues, nearly 2 dozen loads of laundry (due to the illnesses), and excessive cleaning...not to mention keeping up on all my coupon craziness. I actually started writing this several days ago but was feeling lost at what to write. Must have been all the cleaning fumes and exhaustion. I don't want to write if it's a bunch of rambling, emotional nonsense. So most of this was written several days ago, but when I got to the end, I re-read it and thought "what was the point I was trying to make?". So I saved it as a draft and thought I would come back when I really knew what the point was. I think I may actually have one now!
The past couple of weeks, my early morning quiet time and work out routine has been interrupted almost daily. I am very frustrated by this as my heart and mind are needing the quiet and time with the Lord. I've never been a morning person, but only recently (in the past 6 months) discovered this is the most quiet, peaceful time of the day. It's usually the only time you won't hear pattering of feet, crying, noise of the TV, loud trucks...even nap time is not as quiet as early morning. My idea of quiet time certainly does not include hearing the theme song to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the background ("Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog"). I often get caught up in the obstables that life hands me as I try to be a good servant, mother and wife. One day this past week, I was really down about it. Why so many obstacles, God? Why, when I am doing what you want, do my kids wake up early? Why is this so impossible? Tears came as I could hear a child already stirring and crying in their room. So I then prayed out loud about it and his lips were quieted...and then opened my devotion and the first sentence read "Nothing is impossible for God...he has promised to see you through every circumstance in your life". Afterall, He did raise the dead, right? He has always been so faithful in reassuring me that He is here with me. I may not always understand what He is doing, but I TRUST what he is doing. This verse also came up this week, "By faith Abraham, when called to go to the place he would later recieve as his inheritence, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8). I really don't know where I am going but I do trust God to lead me on the right path.
I remembered a bible study that I did in the fall that focused on fulfilling purposes. It talks about how the Father loves people, not programs. "Any program He initiates and/or assignment He commissions you to do always has this as its main goal: turning people to a relationship with Himself." Which leads to where I am in my calling and life at the current time...being a mom. It says "Mothering is not the ultimate goal of being a mom, revealing Christ to the children is." Very powerful stuff. I know for me, I tend to be more task oriented (program) as opposed to relational. So when my children wake up early and disrupt my "tasks", I become easily irritated. But instead of seeing it as an obstacle, I seized the opportunity to have some "relational" alone time with whatever child got up early. It was surprisingly kind of hard for me to do. Not that I didn't want to love on my babes, but the fact that I was missing out on my love on the Lord made me feel kind of guilty and long for the time even more. Hopefully I am not sounding heartless towards my children here...but what I am trying to say is that the morning time is the really the only time I can have a real quiet, personal, intimate time with the Lord. Not to say that He doesn't appear throughout the day, but mornings are the time where I feel really connected and drawn to the Lord. I feel He prepares me for day by starting with Him first. I will have the children the whole rest of the day (some really long ones too) and that is why I need Him first. I did also use "the obstacle" as an opportunity to show Reece what I do in the mornings. Having done this, I have seen the sweet reward of her mimicing me with her books. She got in one of the kitchen drawers and pulled out a flat metal spatula. She opened a book, pretend to read, and then stuck the spatula in the page and closed the book as I do with a bookmark. She said "this is my bible study, mom". I guess that is how she sees me...a cook and a bible reader at the same time. Or maybe she is confusing the cookbook with the bible. I know I could sure use a helping of what is in that book!
A little fun update on my patience building...yesterday morning before church, Reece was not obeying me. So I said "Reece, I am getting ready to lose my patience with you." Without missing a beat she says "Where, mommy? Is it in the bathroom? Let's see it...I'll help you find it". As a result, my building impatience turned into laughter. Oh, how I wish it was that easy to find patience!
So my new motto based on experiences from last week: Life hands me obstacles; the Lord hands me opportunies. Ann Platz says "I am convinced that obstacles can become incredible doors of opportunities to those who choose to pray their way through them". I did this a lot last week and I think we are on our way back the health and regular schedules!