So much happens in a moment. In one moment a person is born and in the blink of an eye another is gone. There are moments that build up, others that tear down. Moments of strength, moments of weakness. There are times of plenty and times of known scarcity. Seasons of joy, seasons of pain. Days of sun and days full of rain. There are frigid cold days and others brimming with the sun’s warmth. Moments that just happen and others that don’t, moments of adjustment and moments of appointment. Even seasons of adversity seem to be appointed by God himself. (Hebrews 12:6)
There are times to put the peddle to the metal and other times when we just really need to stop. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I just need a “moment”. There are days, too many of them, where my message box seems filled to overflowing with all the bad news one can take. There is demand on my emotions, demand on my time, a constant needing of more when I feel there is very little left to expend. Somedays it’s hard to be both wife and mother. Don’t get me wrong, I adore those chubby little hands and dimpled cheeks. Those cheeks smile when I need it most and those tiny hands often pat my back as only a little man could, a precious gesture and wee voice asking me “OK?”. Yes, I’m OK, but sometimes, if I’m honest, I feel I could be better. Don’t we all? Lately, due to shifts in our toddler bed routine I’ve been taking those moments in the early hours of the morning sitting on my bathroom floor. I’m convinced that bathrooms are a mom’s sanctuary. It’s the warmest room in the house because if you close it off just right the vent warms it up in no-time. It’s cozy and cocoon-like in those early hours of the morning. I can be alone with my thoughts, with the Lord, and I feel protected, safe. I sit huddled over my devotion materials as the warm air vent does it’s thing and I seek space. Space for the demands and problems of the day, space for renewal. In those quiet moments of my morning I plead with God to fill me up. I feel a sense of necessity sitting at God’s feet so to speak. It’s the only place to go to for answers and strength for the hard messes. If there is anything I’ve learned in life up to this point it is that. There have to be moments set apart for God. It might sound cliche, but in all honesty and in an attempt to be completely transparent, it’s been my life-line on more than one occasion. I am who I am because of, and only because of, the Grace and hand of God.
Life is kind of messy. I’ve come face-to-face with the reality and ugliness of less than ideal realities. I’m trying to be an understanding and supportive wife, a good mom, and a business woman to boot. Those are just a few of a myriad of hats worn through-out the day, any of our days really. Most days I feel I fail at them all. Marriage is hard, really really hard. It’s made more difficult when you add in tough work situations. Throw in a little toddler drama and there is a recipe for a sure mess. In that mess It’s easy to throw hands in the air, defeated, and grumble and complain about all I don’t like about said situation. Being the passionate person I am who feels so very much of anything I want to just run away with my emotions. But remember those early mornings? They help keep me in check. They give me space to breath and truth to check into.
Yesterday was the beginning of a new bible study I am participating in entitled, “Lord Change my Attitude”. I desperately wanted to be there. A migraine, sleepy toddler, then slow-eating toddler turned messy toddler that required a second change of clothing in less than thirty minutes almost defeated my drive to go. We were late but present. I am so very very glad. Everything about the study, the scriptures, the heart-questions could have been written just for me. When asked about my first impressions of the study I tried to answer but just broke down. Truth is I was tired and knew the pain of living life void of joy because of something that sounds so harmless, complaining. I admitted where our family was falling short and asked for prayer. It was a moment of honest and open vulnerability I didn’t plan on nor could I have kept hidden if I tried. I’m thankful God appointed yesterday. A sweet new friend came and laid hands on me as we closed our time together studying God’s word and just prayed specifically for the situation and for my heart. It meant more than words could ever express. It was almost as if God came walking over with skin on and like my son does so very often, put His hand on my back not to ask “ok” in a wee little voice but to remind me in a very strong one that His hand strengthens me.
My stopped “moments” have been convicting but ministering as well. To quote James McDonald, “By complaining about your difficult circumstances, you are forfeiting the grace that could help you through it. All the grace and strength you need to experience joy and victory are available to you; but by choosing to complain, by clinging to the idol of a perfect life, you are flushing away the grace of God.”
Who knew I was chasing after and idolizing the thought of a perfect life? It took a stopped “moment” to realize that brick-load of conviction. I certainly don’t want to be flushing away the grace of God. This may be an appointed season of adversity, but it is meant for the good of our family. It is meant to draw us closer to one another, as well as to the Lord. It’s meant to build within us a capacity for deeper understanding as well as opportunities to minister in return. Brokenness is not un-beautiful or wrong or even mis-placed place to be. It’s not designed to be kept hidden and tucked away. It is the fear, doubt, and faithlessness in the midst of our brokenness that tempt us to complain and steer away from the very hand that reaches out to strengthen and save us. I’ m certainly tired of being tempted to do that. How about you?