Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Space in Between

It's endearing, right? The way I'm confident I'll blog weekly and how I always say to check back regularly and then months go by. The summer has been wild, y'all. We've squeezed a whole lot of living into the hours of the day and on into the night. Catching you up would be a laundry list of trails we've hiked, afternoons we've struggled through, swimming pools we've frequented, and much more.
Tonight, though, I've settled into our newly constructed office with a glass of wine and a large piece of chocolate cake (because my husband is amazing and thought of me at his business dinner tonight) to write something else.
I had an epiphany tonight.
I have honestly been in a sour mood today. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I was annoyed. I decided that we should have a little fun this evening since Daddy would be working late and we had been home all afternoon with a sleeping, sick baby. I got everyone dressed which is a feat in itself and started loading up the car, buckling in the loves of my life. One of them, whose name shall not be mentioned, grabbed the handle and hung on it like a primate and in doing so broke the handle completely off it's hinges. There it was, dangling there. Standing between me and an evening of ice cream with my kids in hopes of pacifying them just a little bit longer. In hopes of snapping that picture perfect shot of my lot in front of my hometown ice cream shop. In hopes of pretending for just a little bit longer that I am supermom. Dream shattered, y'all. Obliterated.
It's silly how incredibly often I have to take a humility pill and a reality pill. I'm reminded over and over in raising my four young children that I'm called to truth. Nothing more, nothing less. At the church we attend, we heard a lot about humility on Sunday. Bear with one another in love, stop measuring, count others as more significant than you, have self sacrificing love. Still, I need these reminders every day. 

I wish I could say I calmly told my son that it was okay and accidents happen. Instead, I angrily said we couldn't go anywhere now. I nagged him by saying, "This is why I tell you not to do that!Why don't you listen to me?" I'm reminded of me, too. Doesn't my Heavenly Father not treat me as my sins deserve? He lets natural consequences arise (my own conviction for being wrong) instead of yelling at me about how I disappointed Him (again). So many times my perspective needs to be adjusted and today was one of those times. Here comes the epiphany...
Why am I assigning blame to Satan when I'm presented with difficult obstacles? For example, when I deliberately wake up early so that I can have a steaming cup of coffee in silence and study God's Word and my kids decide they'll get up early as well- Why do I say or think that Satan is trying to get me down? What if I instead looked at that situation as an opportunity for ministry? What if I looked at it as a test from God? How much would my day-to-day change?
The truth is that I am human. I try diligently to brush everyones teeth, have them memorize scripture, and not raise my voice but folks, that doesn't always happen. But what I can do in those moments-like the moment of the car handle incident- is show them grace. I can say that this isn't Satan trying to get me down, but God trying to build me up to be a better mom and person. I could let them join in on my bible study. I could lovingly correct their behavior. And, like I had to do earlier, I can get down on their level and admit I was wrong in my reaction and ask them to forgive me. And they do. God love them.
Difficult days come and they go. The older I get, the more I'm convinced that I'm to share that truth. Some days are the terrible, awful we learned about in The Help....and some days are perfect gifts from above...and some days are just that awkward space in between. Life happens in those days, though. The kids get a bit older, your hair grows a little longer, and you find yourself having to buy toilet paper again. In those mundane days, we still have a beautiful chance to minister. During breakfast, during diaper changes, during orange juice all over the floor--that's when we can show them Jesus.

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed and overflowing with gratitude." Colossians 2:6-7
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