Have you ever driven down a caliche road? These roads are dusty, bumpy, and some full of pot holes. The last couple of months have felt like I was just driving down some caliche road, wandering about like I don’t have the good sense God gave me. All the while, I am talking to God, and He is talking to me. The only difference is that He was listening to me, but I wasn’t listening to Him. I mean, I heard Him. I heard Him say the same thing over, and over again. My mother always used to say that hearing and listening were two different things. She was so right! I kept asking God to put me on the path that best glorifies Him. Put me on the path that will make me a better servant. Put me on a path to be the kind of person I’m trying to raise my kids to be. I kept asking for Him to just show me the way, point me in the right direction. So naturally, I kept praying, yet continuing to do the same things. I kept trying “do it all”. I don’t want to let anyone down. I always say yes, even when I know I don’t have the time. However, every step I tried to take just led me to pot hole after pot hole.
I became so overwhelmed. It was as everything was crashing down all around me. Work was getting even busier, my husband fell off of a ladder, and my dad fell off of a ladder at work a couple of weeks after that. There were so many other things on top of that, all happening at once. I’m trying to keep in contact with everyone I care about. Friends wondering where I am, and family wondering why I never call anymore. I just felt like I was letting people down left and right. I was, or thought I was being obedient in doing what he asked. I was just trying to do them my own way. I was letting the busyness of everything bleed over into my home life. I was coming home feeling exhausted, and honestly just not serving my family well. I was irritable with my children, whom I hadn’t seen all day. All they wanted was some time with me. They were excited to see me walk through the door each day, and then immediately let down by my, “okay, okay, stop hanging on me” and my “ just let me breathe for a minute” attitude. One night I had asked them both to go to bed, and I asked more than once. I reacted, and began raising my voice. I got louder, and after I said “my peace”, I slammed the door behind me. I went to bed, opened my bible app and continued with my ‘Intentional Parenting’ bible study. (Insert mom guilt, mom shame, normal guilt, normal shame, and grab a box of Kleenex.) I didn’t realize I had been on a path of destruction. I was pushing the people that I love the most away. I let busyness, bitterness, and chaos take control, and the worst part is that I was justifying my behavior. Not at all taking accountability for my actions, but allowing the enemy tell me that I was right. I deserved to have my time. I work hard, and long hours. All this going on as I tell them that they need to decide who they want to be. Asking them if they want to be of the world or in the world. Letting them know that they can’t do both. Telling them that they are to love their brother as themselves. (Mark 12:31 ) Was I teaching them, or shaming them?
I began a different prayer. I began praying for grace. I was asking for grace, and the ability to give grace. I asked for the opportunity to show grace to my boys. 2 Corinthians 12:9 reads But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. The very next morning after praying for grace, God presented an opportunity to show grace to my oldest son. As every morning before school, I am rushing around trying to make sure everything is done, and the boys are ready to go so we can quickly get out of the door to be there on time, or close to on time, I noticed my youngest standing awkwardly in the laundry room. I stopped, and politely asked him what he was doing there and he replied, “nothing”. I moved closer to him and he began to shuffle side to side, trying not to let me see behind him. I asked him to step aside as my suspicions were heightened. He stepped out of the way, and there was my oldest crouched over a pile of sugar trying to hold in his cry while tears streamed down his face. I gently asked him what happened and he told me he was trying to reach the top of the refrigerator. I asked what it was that he needed from up there and he said, “ I needed the duct tape”. Puzzled, I looked back down at the pile of sugar and saw that he had tried to patch the 30 gal plastic container in order to put the sugar back in. I asked how it happened, tears still streaming down his face, he told me he stood on the container in order to reach the tape. I asked again what it was for to which he replied, “ I was going to tape my pants shut because the button wont stay buttoned.” My knees buckled. My throat closed, and my eyes welled up with tears. I softly told him that it was okay, and that accidents happen. I told him I would clean it up when I got home from work, and that it was no big deal. I asked him to run upstairs and put on a pair of shorts, and told him that I would stop after work and get him different pants. He stood up from the floor, now not able to hold in his cry, and he said, “ I’m sorry Mama”. I hugged him, and told him again that it was okay. His cry got even louder and he said, “ I love you.” Right then and there, I got it! I got the message loud and clear. In all of the busyness, all of my selfishness, I had created a space where my children no longer felt “safe”. They didn’t feel safe enough to come let me know that an accident had happened for fear of my reaction. Wow! What a terrible feeling that must have been for them! It sure makes this mama heart hurt just thinking for one minute that my babies didn’t feel like they could talk to me. I also realized that the most important ministry I am apart of is the one right here inside these four walls of our household. I cannot serve anyone well without serving my family well first.
1Timothy 3:5 For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? I was also reminded that we have to power to speak life or death into each other. Our tongues are the most powerful tool, or weapon we have. Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
James 3:5 The tongue is also a small part of the body, but it can speak big things. I never want to speak negativity over my children, or anyone for that matter. I am so thankful for a Father who loves me, and freely gives His grace to us.
I just absolutely love how faithful our God is. I love how He always shows up!
Isaiah 30:18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! If you only take one thing away from this reading, let it be that there is nothing you can do to make God stop loving you. If you find yourself caught up in the busyness, just know that there is grace in the busyness.
Father God, thank you for loving me so much that you never get tired of pulling me up out of the pot holes. Thank you for loving each and every one of us so much that your word says that we are saved by grace through faith in your son Jesus Christ and not by our own efforts. I pray that each person reading this Father is blessed, and reminded of just that. I pray Father that we use the power of our tongues for good, and that each word we speak glorifies you Lord. Be with each and every one of us, and send a stirring deep within our souls should anyone need reminding that we are your children. Thank you Father for choosing us, adopting us, and calling us by name. In Jesus most precious name, Amen.