Do you ever feel like you learn incredibly deep life-lessons from your children? They certainly don’t do it on purpose. But I find that as I have little talks with my girls throughout the day, Jesus is whispering the same words to my heart. This happened to me a couple of days ago as I sat with Gabi, combing her hair and chatting about nonsense. I casually said “I love your hair, Gabs.” She turned to me, with a surprised look on her face, and said “really Mom?” Of course I replied “Yes!” I went on to tell her that I love everything about her. I love her because she’s mine. Because there is no one else in the whole world quite like her. Nothing would ever change that, ever! No matter where she goes, what she does, who she grows up to be, what she looks like in 20 yrs… I will love her. She happily said “awww thanks, Mom. I love you too!” as she trotted away with her sisters. In that moment, alone on the couch, I felt my Savior’s gentle tug on my heart. It was like He whispered “you know I feel that way about YOU!” I melted. How tender and sweet He is to me!
We had another learning experience last week. On this particular day, the girls had been particularly destructive in the toy area. So as I made dinner, I had the girls start cleaning up. After a couple of minutes, Cloe plopped down in the middle of the mess and called to me; “Mom! I can’t do this!! It’s too hard!” I walked back, saw that not even a dent had been made in the disaster, and sat down to talk with Cloe. I asked if she knew which toys went in which baskets. She said yes. I asked if she had made this mess. She said yes. So then, what’s the problem? “Well,” she replied “I guess I *can* do it… I just don’t want to. It’s a hard job. I would rather do an easy job.” I smiled and said “that’s understandable. But it’s the hard jobs that make us stronger!” Cloe decided she wanted to be strong, so she would try. I went back to making dinner, but conviction stung my heart. Because for several weeks now, I’ve been whining about a hard job.
Summertime on the mission field is a little crazy. It’s the time of year that people are more available for mission trips, so it’s when we have the most teams to host. This summer is no exception to that rule, and I’ve known that for months now! The only difference between this summer and last summer is that we are (hopefully) going to be moving in to our upstairs addition next month! Yes, this is wonderful news. I am elated!!! We’ve been dreaming and praying about having those rooms finished for years. Can it actually be turning into a reality? It sure looks like it! I can hardly wait. But with the acquiring of new space, comes a big mess. Like, HUGE. The girl’s bedroom will have the door, wall, and ceiling removed. A staircase will be built. Everything repainted. THEN we’ll be done and can move in! In the meantime, we’re looking at 3 weeks of the girls not having a bedroom. We’ve talked about just moving into the apartment downstairs for that time, but we still have teams coming down. Back-to-back from now until October! But beyond that, trying to imagine keeping house, doing school with my girls, attending language school myself, and hosting teams in the midst of it… how?? The times that Nathan and I have sat down with our calendars to work on details and dates, I find myself near tears. It seems like so much. I confess that I’ve whined to God more than once “I can’t do all this. It’s too hard! Can I have an easier job?”
Last week I read this blog. As a rule, I just love anything this gal writes! But that particular post really hit me between the eyes. She wrote about cheerfully and peacefully accepting the circumstances that God has you in *right now*. Lovely! Just rather convicting. But the straw that broke the camel’s back came yesterday morning.
When I was in MI, my sweet “other mom” (Siri, Amanda’s mom) gave me this daily devotional called “Jesus Calling.” I love it! It’s just a little blurb taken from different Scriptures, written as if Jesus was saying these things right to you. Here is the page for April 10:
“Trust Me in every detail of your life. Nothing is random in My kingdom. Everything that happens fits into a pattern for good, to those who love Me. Instead of trying to analyze the intricacies of the pattern, focus your energy on trusting Me and thanking Me at all times. Nothing is wasted when you walk close to Me. Even your mistakes and sins can be recycled into something good, through My transforming grace. While you were still living in darkness, I began to shine the Light of My Presence into your sin-stained life. Finally, I lifted you up out of the mire into My marvelous Light. Having sacrificed My very Life for you, I can be trusted in every facet of your life.” (Jer 17:7, Rom 8:28, Ps 40:2, 1 Pet 2:9)
Okay Lord, I’m listening now. I get that You’re talking to me, attempting to address this weakness of mine. I have no expectations of You swooping in to take away all the upcoming hardships. I am only completely confident that You’ll be by my side through all of it, having designed each situation for my good.
I went to bed feeling peaceful, but a little nervous last night! In the back of my mind I had this slight feeling of dread, knowing that the next few weeks/months are going to be really hard. This-morning I opened up my little devotional and here is what it read:
“This is the day that I have made. Rejoice and be glad in it. Begin the day with open hands of faith, ready to receive all that I am pouring into this brief portion of your life. Be careful not to complain about anything, even the weather, since I am the Author of your circumstances. The best way to handle unwanted situations is to thank Me for them. This act of faith frees you from resentment and frees Me to work My ways into the situation, so that good emerges from it. To find Joy in this day, you must live life within it’s boundaries. I knew what I was doing when I divided time into twenty-four hour segments. I understand human frailty, and I know that you can bear the weight of only one day at a time. Do not worry about tomorrow or get stuck in the past. There is abundant Life in My Presence today.” (Ps 118:24, Phil 3:13-14)
Okay then. I’m just going to take care of today! That means today’s school, today’s dishes, today’s laundry, and start cleaning the downstairs to prepare for the team arriving on Wednesday. I can do that. It’s definitely more managable than figuring out the next month’s details right now! I know lots of people with harder “to-do” lists than mine. Whatever your list looks like today, I hope you know that God has equipped you for it and wants to be near you through it!