One of the terrific byproducts of being at the pool so often this Summer has been the opportunity to talk with other Moms of similarly aged children as we stand guard in the shallow end. It is amazing how many important, heartfelt conversations I have had recently without eye contact, since we are all watching our little ones like hawks.
It has been interesting to me to note how alike we are despite the multitude of differences in our backgrounds, personalities, preferences, beliefs etc. We are all in the trenches. None of us have all the answers. We are tired. We are deeply concerned with doing the right things in our parenting. We seek information and encouragement to help us do a better job with our children. We feel remorse when we blow it. We are in the thick of an exhausting, challenging time in our lives. It is nice to be reminded that we are not alone.
The last couple of weeks have drained me. The children now maintain an energy level that I simply cannot match. They are curious, joyful, mischievous, full of wonder, active little people...and there are three of them and only one of me. They are wearing me out. (Even as I was typing this, I just had to get up and go investigate unusually noisy carrying on during nap time. I walked upstairs to find K curiously hanging over the baby gate across her bedroom door yelling, "Boy-eez! What's goin' on in dere?" As I walked into the boys room I found a lamp in one of the beds, a lamp on the floor and R on TOP of a set of low bookshelves.)
I am in a season that feels like everything has hit me at once. The children's home I am involved with is interviewing finalists for our executive director tonight and tomorrow, our pastor search committee is hitting a critical period that is requiring more time, our new Young Life area director has arrived and there is much work to be done, my husband is on call this weekend which leaves me on my own, one of my children is having a minor outpatient surgical procedure this week and my cardiologist has asked me to go off all caffeine for 30 days while I wear a continuous heart monitor. I mean, to take away my coffee & Diet Coke at a time like this is almost tortuous!
I am not intending to sound whiny--just to explain that there is a lot going on around here. And you know what? God has been faithful this weekend. In anticipation of the big week approaching, I have been really calling out to God to fill me up with Himself. Just as He promises in Scripture, He has answered my cry. As I have sought Him, I have found Him in the things I have read and even our lesson in Sunday School today. Rather than wanting to quit and run away, I am more convinced than ever I am right where He wants me.
Why don't I do this all the time? Why does it take "stress" to remind me of my need? Can you imagine how life would look if we were always looking for Him in our lives even when the "felt" need was not there? Who am I kidding, why isn't the felt need there all the time? How on Earth have we managed to convince ourselves He is not necessary in our everyday life?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
I finally finished Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan. I absolutely loved the fresh perspective he offered to Isaiah 40. Buchanan writes of how stylistically you would expect the passage to start with walking, move to running and culminate with the drama of soaring. Yet, perhaps there was purpose in the reverse order. Perhaps it is because soaring, while dramatic, is not nearly as difficult as the endurance necessary to run without weariness or trudging long distance without growing faint. This resonated with me. The truest stories of heroism and grace of God are found in the walking (sometimes trudging) through the day-to-day, unpredictable challenges of life.
We are called to live with an eternal perspective, with our eyes fixed on "things above," yet the reality is that Moms of little ones spend a lot of our day wiping poopy bottoms, cleaning toilets and dirty floors, trying to shape and mold character of people who still fall apart over spilled milk and the wrong kind of cookies.
What would it look like if we could pray for the ability to REALLY view this all as work for the glory of God? I am going to try. Care to join me?