So often when you have young children, there is this “I haven’t done enough” mentality that forces its way into all the little crevices of your brain. You know that you’ve done laundry, made a few beds and fed your masses, but did you spend “enough” time with the Lord? I don’t know if you ever feel that way, but that question nags me from time to time. Has God spoken to you lately and helped give direction for your days or do you just feel a little empty inside? Are you running on fumes of days gone by when your time with Him was spent over a lingering cup of coffee each morning? Or perhaps for you, it was an amazing conference that left you feeling like you’d never waste another minute doing anything but serving Him. It’s that “I haven’t done enough” lie creeping its way in. However, there’s truth to the fact that an hour with the Lord each morning would be absolute bliss or that a conference full of women singing and learning about Jesus together would do nothing but ignite you to be the most amazing woman there ever was. You’d never raise your voice and of course, only sweetness would drip from your lips if you could just.have.a.few.minutes to yourself, right?? Well, maybe, but may I throw out another thought?
Perhaps it’s those times, you know, the ones where you feel empty, tired and longing for a word, not even a “change your life kind of word”, but just something from the Lord to help you get through your day, that He is indeed doing something to change your life. It might just be that He is growing and strengthening you in the little and often hard moments of your day. Like when your child needs their nose wiped again or you pick the Cheerios off your outfit on your way to church and instead of mumbling under your breath, you choose instead to thank the Lord for that little person who is always covered in Cheerios.
Will you accept the place He has appointed for you? Will you be stretched in the “littleness” of life? See, I’ve learned that you can be a Mom and not really dig in and be stretched. Trust me, I’ve tried it. And it’s left me frustrated and terribly annoyed with the little people who needed my constant service. I remember stumbling out of bed many a morning when my first two children were very young, just a bit bothered by the crack of dawn wake up call. I started my day feeling behind before it ever even started! Unless you decide at that point to quickly to turn the day around, it only gets worse.
God began to show me things in my life that needed to get out-of-the-way so that I could serve the people He had put literally right in front of me. Albeit, they were little and most often covered in rice cereal or marker, but there they were, staring at me, awaiting my lead. And it hit me..”I can’t do this. I really can’t and if I don’t get some supernatural help, I am going to make a mess out of them.” The Lord used my children to drive me to Himself.
I began to get really intentional about my time with Him. It was and still is a daily decision. It couldn’t always be on the back burner, “oops, missed my alarm again”…”I’ll talk with you a bit later, Lord”…”maybe when they nap today….if they nap today”…”ugh, another day without any guidance”. It had to be more intentional than that. It means setting alarms and actually moving my cement legs out of the bed. It is choosing to serve (another PB&J or drink or snack, oh, the snacks!) when I don’t want to serve. It takes lots of stopping and praying and asking the Lord for strength for right this minute, because otherwise, some little girl is going to get a not-so-kind side of me. It’s asking humbly for help with situations that I’m not really sure what to do with. It’s not always having the answers, but choosing to go to the One who does. It’s finding Him in the little moments of the day, only occasionally running on fumes and mostly choosing to thrive in the place He has called me to.
But if you’re the type who wants to beat yourself up over not having your “Quiet time” with the Lord, don’t. I don’t believe He does that to you. I believe He desires for us to desire Him, so He says all throughout scripture. See, it’s you that’s missing out when you miss time with Him and you can’t afford to miss out. He is waiting patiently for you to pour your cup of coffee and pull up a chair to be a learner. He has so much wisdom to give, so much patience to produce, so much peace instead of anger, so much grace to be received! It’s all there, just waiting for you to sit at His feet in surrender. I finally had to wave my white flag. It was painful and involved one of those very “ugly cries”, but I surrendered and I became the recipient of a new step in my journey: a changed and very dependent heart.
Has your flag been raised yet? If not, I’ll pray you find grace in lifting your hand.