Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Trip to Lowe's

Frequently these days, I load the girls up and drive to the prayer room only to find that the parking lot is full, all the side streets are full, and even the Herrnhut apartment complex across the way is full. Full of what - cars! No where to park, and I've learned that even if I am lucky enough to stalk someone to their parking place and nab it for myself, it doesn't mean I will be able to find a seat in the prayer room for me and my two babies.
Ugh, that was my reality this morning, and I already had Kinsey all excited about going to the prayer room, so I had to think fast.
Where can we go to burn some time and energy?
Why, Lowe's Home Improvement of course, and while we are there we can price some boards and sand for our new sandbox. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning. In fact, we cruised the curtain aisle, mirror aisle, lamps and lighting section, bird feeder wall, pots and grass seed section, and then on to the Christmas decor section.
Yes folks, they have the Christmas decorations out in mass already, and it was wonderful to walk through the aisles and see all the pretties! I came home ready to start digging in my own Christmas boxes and see what I have to put out, and then I realized, it isn't even November yet.
So in a glum mood, I went online and started looking at holiday decorating ideas on Better Homes & Gardens website, which was the wrong thing to do, but it did actually afford a solution.
Fall decor!
It is fall and that means warm rich yellows, oranges, and reds, which are some of my favorite colors. No money though. So I'm sure this idea popped in my head from heaven above to go outside to the street and pick up fall leaves to string across my mantle. It was a success! Kinsey helped me and had a blast, the cool weather made me feel better, and then we made a beautiful string of fall leaves that looks amazing!
Lord, you are so good as to provide such a beautiful maple tree in our neighbors yard, which has consequently blown leaves into our yard. Therefore, I had no feeling of stealing leaves, and yet we had an abundance. You are also such a creative Father, thanks for the ideas to sooth my decorating itch for the day. Amen. Oh, and thanks for giving me and my Kinsey a fun little task to do together.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dirty Laundry as Unto the Lord!

My life is full of doing the mundane. I have two girls under the age of three, and they keep me busy with constant demands for my time and attention. Even when all is well in their world, sometimes they just need me to hold them, or look at them, or even just be in the same room with them. It  is so hard to be constantly needed by someone else.
Recently, in fact, I have been working hard to wean my youngest, who turns a year old in a week. One of my most common reasons for weaning her that I tell people is because I am 'tired of always being on demand'.
As you can probably imagine, weaning is wreaking havoc on my hormones. As my body tries to go back to a 'before-baby' balance, my moods have become like a wild roller coaster. The result is a mommy who is irritable and very impatient; my graciousness has seemed to dry up almost completely, and my words come out with a snap far too often.
So today, as I sit in the prayer room asking the Lord to talk to me and tell me what is on His heart today, I read a part in my book about work. In one part I read, "Wouldn't it make an astounding difference, not only in the quality of the work we do, but also in our satisfaction, even our joy, if we recognized God's gracious gift in every single task, from making a bed or bathing a baby to drawing a blueprint or selling a computer? If our children saw us doing 'heartily as unto the Lord' all the work we do, they would learn true happiness."
If I'm honest I know that my attitude is not very good plenty of the time, because I see the tedious work of running a house as a waste of my time and energy. I never feel like I've accomplished anything at the end of the day, and my girls never tell me what a good job I'm doing. I hate feeling like a slave to my house, which never is clean, and a slave to my children, who always seem to be in need of something. It is a hard reality, and I find very little fulfillment in it, but the Lord says in His word, this:
"You call me Teacher and Lord and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messanger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these tings, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13-17
I like the way the King James Version says verse 17 - 'If ye knows these things, happy are ye if ye do them.'
Note the word 'happy'!
Jesus was a servant to us, and we are called to be servants to those God places in our lives. A servant is another way of saying 'slave', in fact, Paul calls himself 'a bondservant of Christ Jesus'. I've heard people comment on these ideas for as long as I've been in the church, but I'm having today a new revelation of what that means for me on a personal level. I've made Jesus Christ the Lord of my life, and that means every part, including this season of motherhood. He has called me to work as a mother in the trenches to raise these children to know Him, but how well am I doing it with my current attitudes toward the work set before me?
It is causing me to examine the way I serve my family and the reality is that most days I am not a happy worker, and those around me usually aren't either.
In fact, I am ashamed at what I see when I look back at how I acted even this morning trying to serve up the kids breakfast. Even though the mornings are hard for me (I almost never get to sit down to drink my coffee), I should at least be able to be pleasant, knowing that Christ sees me.  Would I have a bad attitude if Jesus was sitting at my kitchen table while I went thru the morning routine?
Probably not, I would put on a happy face, and be just so happy to have Jesus there so I could show Him what a good mother I am being with the children He has given me. Ha! It would not be what He saw this morning for sure, but that is just it, He did see it all this morning.
I am challenged today to watch the way my heart responds to the work that is set before me daily. He has given me the great gift of raising children; Lord help me to see that in the weekly, daily, and hourly struggles of motherhood. Grant me the eyes to see the opportunities to serve them in love with words of kindness and a smile on my face, as well as in my heart.
I want the true happiness that comes from knowing that You see me as I do the work, no matter how small the task, because my life is a living example to my children. Help it to look more and more like Your example, Jesus.
I do not need the eyes of others on me to keep my attitude in check, I need to remember that You see me always and know my heart also. Remind me daily that the work I do in my home is as unto You, and that even when I mess up, that is not how I am to judge my success. You say that because I am Yours and You are mine, therefore I am successful! Convince my heart please, so that I may enter into the fullness of joy in the tasks set before me. Amen.