I sat for a good 45 minutes this morning, just God and I. I read passages out of Exodus, out of an Amy Carmichael book, and then opened my prayer journal. Kids came down the stairs around 6:30-6:45, and we really started off the day well. I was excited for this Monday! We were doing limited school today, as my 2 public schoolers have a couple of days off, and we had a play date with some friends set up. So, after some Math and another load put in the washer, we all piled in the van to go the mile (we’d walk, but it’s 37 degrees outside!) to our friend’s house. And it was for that 2 hour span that I realized once again how inadequate I am!
Despite the fact that I am not a picky eater, and Nathan’s taste buds have grown immensely since we’ve married, and that our kids have to at least try what is put on their plates, our children still manage to pick and choose what they think they like and don’t like. What child doesn’t like mac and cheese…oh, I don’t know, 2 out of 4 of my children! And it’s not that they won’t eat cheese and noodles at other times. We just had spaghetti last night, where one of the non-mac and cheesers ate 2 platefuls of noodles and the other one ate a plate of shredded cheese! Apparently though, you put them in different shapes and melt the cheese and “oh no, mom, I can’t eat that!” Then, after another attempt to let one of them eat lunch, the bread was too different on the peanut butter and honey sandwich…so the sandwich sits on my counter, in a plastic baggy, waiting for the child who will not eat anything else today until he eats it!
Then, the daughter. The wonderful daughter, who loves friends and baby dolls and strollers…all to herself…with no one to take them away from her. Thankfully my friend is just as intentional about being patient and using these moments to teach and train as I am, but really, did we have to scream our way out the door as we were leaving? Did the boys have to whine and fuss and choose not to obey mom right away? And in all of this, where is the wisdom a mother of 4 should have by now? Where are the disciplining techniques in Child Wise or Love and Logic or Veggie Tales or Bible Man or The Andy Griffith Show, for goodness sakes?! Did I just draw a blank?
So, after returning home for the 2nd time, as I had to turn around to get the phone that I forgot, and getting the kids all laid down after 30 minutes of singing a little girl to sleep (Lord, give her sweet dreams anyway!), I plopped down in the chair and the first thought to come to mind was “I am not enough!” I didn’t know how to pray in that moment, so I picked up my Thanksgiving Journal and numbered a few “gifts” – one of which was the play date! (A hard one, for sure, as I was not “feeling” good feelings!) No sooner had I numbered this gift than a thirsty escapee crept down the stairs with tears in his eyes because he longed for a drink. I could have been stern and sent him straight back upstairs, but as looked at his quivering face, all I could do was rub his back and encourage him to drink his tea before he walked back upstairs to rest. I know what it feels like to just need a cup of water – to be thirsty and need His hand to comfort me while I drink. Even if I have to walk back up the stairs to finish my responsibility or obey His will, I have been given refreshment and comfort straight from my Father.
I am not enough. I don’t always respond as quick as I should or the way I should. I am sometimes left speechless by certain behaviors and the fact that my children are the ones doing it (this is not a bash against my children…they are going to misbehave at their age…it’s part of their learning and my responsibility!). I am often reminded of how little I am able to do, and am constantly humbled by my inadequacies. It’s in those moments, though, that I am assured He is more than enough!
9 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12
In counting His presence as presents, I am brought face to face with how little I am and how little I have to offer, but I am also counting the ways He is Great and Sufficient! If there is less of me in order for there to be more of Him, I will rejoice all the more in my lack!
reminders of how to love Nathan
a small refund check
crossing our name off the “tab sheet”
seeing this life a bit differently
Nathan spending time with Christopher
praying over the kids at night
Jenifer Lukas – her birthday!
an great evening
trading my own – by myself time in Exodus – to sit close to Aaron and help him read Genesis (He did it!)
trading an evening with just the 6 of us to have family over
deciding not to have fried chicken and making spaghetti instead (much easier!)
wiping bloody and snotty noses
making cups of homemade hot chocolate at their request
providing just what everyone likes at breakfast