Before I had children, I must say, I thought I was totally a "go with the flow" kind of person, but the truth is (shhhhhh, don't tell anyone)...I'm really up tight. Phew, now that I got that off of my chest, I can breathe a little. Kids are most definitely able to reveal the darkest areas of our sin nature, aren't they? I have learned more about how desperately in need of Jesus I really am since having children (who keep coming and coming), which actually makes me so pleased because, truly, I would rather live in the land of Truth and Reality than some false sense of "I'm okay", or even worse "I'm perfect!"
As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is a particularly interesting season in our life, because I am definitely being tried in my roles as wife, mother, and homemaker. Finding the balance between these special purposes is very important to me, and has been for quite some time. God, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to use this trial with Zachary to go through an exercise in the lesson He has been teaching me for months now. "What is this lesson?" you might be asking. Well, I'll tell you...the truth is, "It's not that serious." Wait, what?! How can you say that? How can things not be serious? Well, you may not really be thinking that, but I definitely would have. Serious has become my middle name lately! Serious has become a way of life for me for too long, and God is using this whole event to shake me out of that seriousness to force me to focus on enjoying life, my family, and the many blessings He has given to us!
It is very easy for me to get tunnel vision. I don't know if I'm alone in this, but when I am zeroed in on a task, come hell or high water, I AM GOING TO FINISH THAT TASK! But, when my littles and bigs are hanging around and I get tunnel vision, what ends up happening is that I miss out on opportunities to enjoy them and experience what is going on in their lives and moments. I ignore or get annoyed by the interruptions, instead of welcoming them with the territory of the task at hand. Ultimately, when I get this way, my temper is on edge and even I would not want to be around me. Man, I am so thankful for the forgiveness my children offer me daily =0) My friend and I were talking about this idea regarding if/when our children drop something and make a big mess. Personally, my instinctual reaction is to freak out. Not because I am mad at them for making the mess, as in, "I can't believe you just did that! What a horrible child!" No, my reaction is based out of the internal frustration of "man, now I gotta clean that up to...AHH!!!!!" This is also called selfishness, for those of us who are keeping tabs of the sin nature...but who's counting? So, because of my selfishness, I react or am likely to react poorly, because simply, I don't want to have to do one more thing. My flesh just wants to finish the other 8 things on my list, and adding one more unexpected task is really not on my list.
But, this, of course, is not what God wants for me. Even the task list can become an idol! Even my best intentions to be a great homemaker or house keeper are meaningless sacrifices to God if they are overshadowing my first calls to love with a Christ-like love. This does not mean that I should not do these things, but it does mean that in doing them I should also remain focused on loving my children and husband in my actions and words. It means, too, that I should always be ready to drop what I am doing for them if needed. Interruptions provide the opportunity to really assess where our priorities lie.
For me, this lesson was brought into reality today since I had to make some bread and food items for the family, but also knew that I would likely also be needed regularly for Zachary or Taliya, or any of the other kids here and there. I made the decision, though, to only focus on doing what I could do and no more (which for me meant not making some audacious list of things to do, but only going on an hour by hour plan and adjusting as needed), and be ready to help my kids and goof off with them as much as I could throughout the day. Honestly, things went very well. We got so much done! I think this was the surprising part, because for some reason the lie in my head is that if I goof off with them and we do not keep a schedule, everything will just ultimately end up in disaster and disorder. Neither of these things actually did occur, mind you, but it is the feeling that I get inside of me. And, this is why I am thankful for God's call to be lead by the mind and not the heart, because the heart is so easily led astray.
It is an present-day epidemic to constantly be on the lookout for the next task to accomplish, but there is wisdom in setting boundaries and knowing limits. Take the time to remember what is most important and properly establish where efforts really need to be focused. This will ultimately bring about great peace both in your soul and in your household! Remember, "The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses his people with peace" (Psalm 29:11).
Have you ever cried over spilled milk? What accidents have you or your children accomplished that nearly or literally brought you to tears? Is it funny now, or would you still cry? =0)