Being a full time mother of 3 little boys can be a daunting task some days. There is little time to rest, think, and even eat... As tempting as it is to look forward to my boys growing up just a little, and being more independent, I am very cautious not to. I don't know what it is that makes me extremely aware that life is short and that these moments are so fleeting. Maybe it is because my dad passed away about 30 years before he should have, and my mom was taken from us by dementia also about 30 years too early...Maybe its because my two older sons will both be in school full time next week...I'm not sure what it is, but the following are the thoughts that keep me going when I seem to be drowning in the fatigue and responsibilities of the day:
- When the boys jump in bed with us much too early for our liking, I remind myself that one day we will be the ones dragging them out of bed, and we will be longing for the days of early morning cuddles with them.
- When they constantly ask us to play with them, whether it be riding bikes outside, playing Candyland for the 100th time, or building yet another castle or spaceship out of blocks, I remind myself that one day I will wish they'd want to play with us instead of their friends, and will be longing for the days when we were their world, their fun.
-When they ask for "one more bedtime story", I remind myself that soon they will be reading on their own, and I will long for the days where we all sat in bed together, having them on our laps while we read story after story.
-When they seem to be "in my way" in the kitchen while I am trying to cook, asking me if they can help, I will remind myself that there will be a day where all they'll want is to know when dinner will be ready. I will long for the days where we prepared together.
-When I want the house to be quiet just for once, I will remind myself that one day the house will seem a little bit too quiet. I will long for the days when we could hear the pitter patter of their feet as they ran all over the place, I will miss the laughing, and even the fighting over all the silly things.
-When I am constantly cleaning up instead of spending time with my kids, I will remind myself that there will be a day where I don't have 5 people's laundry to wash, little fingerprints to clean, and crumbs to sweep up. I will long for the days where my house was a mess, but full of life.
-When I feel as if my ears are going to fall off with all the "Mommy, guess what??" or "Mommy, look at this!!" that I hear all day long, I remind myself that one day it will be like pulling teeth to get my boys to keep talking to me and telling me about every detail of their day. I will even long for those days when they talked my head off.
Even as I wake up to feed and hold my newborn, I am reminded how quickly they grow and how this precious season of closeness with my baby will soon be over.
The Bible tells us, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Moms and dads, let us diligently serve our children during this brief season. As challenging as it may be some days, let us remind ourselves that it is just a season that will soon become a memory as we move on to our next God given assignment.
No one has ever fully embraced the concept of "God Alone" apart from grave disappointment. That is the painful truth. There have been moments in my life where I could have confidently said "all I need is God and nothing else", but had I been stripped away of my provisions and come face to face with the Provider, I would have to be honest with myself and admit that I would still feel like something is missing. When I speak of provisions, I'm not necessarily talking about material possessions. Relationships, comfort, and routine are also things that I hold on to in order to attain a sense of happiness or peace, but in the end, even these things don't satisfy. Even the most wonderful, Godly people and fruitful relationships will inevitably disappoint us at times, because it just doesn't make sense to expect of people or situations what only God can deliver. Even though we know this, so many of us find ourselves going back to these things over and over again thinking that maybe this time we will find what we are looking for.
So what should we do then? We have two choices: wrestle all of our lives with unmet expectations, or INTENTIONALLY rest our souls in God. Obviously, we would all choose to do the latter, but how? King David gives us some insight on how to use the disappointment we experience in people or situations as an opportunity to cling to God so that we can get to the point where we can truthfully say, "God ALONE". Goliath was nothing of the giant that Saul was to David. Saul was someone close to David, and someone that David looked up to at one point. Can you imagine how David felt when someone that close to him betrayed him and sought to kill him? Maybe we don't have friends turning against us or people wanting to kill us, but we've all experienced the feeling of disappointment in a person or situation that we thought was "the one" that would satisfy us.
One thing that David did that I have been practicing is really pouring my heart out to God- out loud. Instead of looking for a person to vent to or share my feelings with, I have been making a point to go to God first. Its natural for us to think that going to a person will make us feel better, but there are moments in our life when God closes doors to people so we are forced to come to Him. Psalm 62 is a wonderful example of when David did just that. After pouring out his heart to the Lord, David says in verse 5, "My soul, wait silently for God ALONE, for my expectation is from Him." So often we get impatient in our trials and impulsively run to people or things to give us the satisfaction that God is eager to give us...if only we would wait. Praying out loud has helped me to stay focused and also to feel that I am actually talking to the person of God, rather than wrestling with jumbled thoughts in my head. Doing this consistently allows me to actually get things off my chest and pour myself out so that God can fill me up with His peace, His joy, His direction, His guidance...all the while building a more intimate relationship with Him. If we are filled with feelings of discontentment, anger, confusion, etc, it will be hard to God to "fill us up" with these things and that's why its important to pour it all out and not bottle it up inside. I can't wait to get to the point where I am so satisfied in this place of rest that God gives that the next time a trial hits me, I will run to Him first instead of to others and be able to honestly say with David, "My soul, wait silently for God ALONE, for my expectation is from Him."