Friday, August 29, 2014

Late on the Second Day

It was only the second day of school and I was late. I took the walk of shame, passing all the other moms who were on time and now chatting happily as I walk by with my first grader and two littles in tow. That sinking feeling of failure pulling me down. I signed her in and joked that somebody had to be late today.

It was hard to shake it off and still now I don’t know if I completely have.  

I have this perfect picture of how things should go in the morning.  You know this list maybe. Yours is plus or minus a few.

Kids neatly dressed
Healthy breakfast eaten
School lunch packed
Me dressed (at least not showing up in my pjs)
Teeth brushed
Hair done
Beds made
Breakfast cleaned up
Morning Bible story read
Prayers said
No nagging kids
Everything pleasant...peaceful
and of course
On time...

And when it does not go like this - or even if I come close but fall short by one or two - I am so quick to sink into the despair of my perceived failures.  

What’s crazy is I would never beat up another mom for having a morning of missed expectations. Yet, I can’t give myself that same grace.   


Because I forget. I forget the promise of these words.  

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Jesus gave these words to Paul when he was bemoaning his own weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), as I was this morning.

Grace. (Not the kind we say before dinner.) This grace is God’s favor. It’s His free gift of salvation to all who believe. We didn’t deserve it or earn it. Yet it’s given freely.  It’s “I’m perfectly loved and perfectly accepted.”    

And, yes, His grace is really all I need.

That list of expectations never will leave me with a heart full of peace. We can always find a way we fall short. 

Yes, I’m weak. Yeah, I don’t like saying it -- but it’s for real.

But that’s where God’s promise works best: in my weakness. That’s where His power works best because I stop living from a place of earning and start living from a place of “I already have.” I already have His love, His forgiveness, His favor, His grace.  And that is all I need.

His Grace + My Weakness = His Power Revealed

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

She Just Needed a Rest...

There comes a moment when you just know that all your child needs is a nap.  That happened recently with my littlest, she is almost two.  

The meltdown started about 9:00 in the morning.  Back and forth she went between tantrums or wanting to be held.  About an hour into this, I knew, what she was ready for a nap even through her normal nap time is not until after lunch.  

I headed to the nursery and got her settled into my lap with pacy and blankey.  It was quiet. It was dark. (Thankfully her two big sister were playing sweetly at this moment!)   As I sang and rocked, I could feel her little body begin to relax.  Yes rest would come. It was time.

And I prayed...

This past few months have been very difficult.  I’ve been overwhelmed with just even the normal routines of life.  My hubby took a new position at work recently and has been gone more.  The three kids are still little.  That baby, now almost two, is BUSY.  Those are the obvious challenges, but it’s bigger than just the obvious.  Honestly, “I just can’t handle any more.”  And in my pride, I hate admitting that.  

“Lord what do you have for me right now?”

Tears sting my eyes.  

“I am just so overwhelmed. The busy fall schedule is coming and there are things to say yes to.”
And in the quiet moment the Lord whispered to my heart.

“It’s time for a rest.”

Yes I need rest - not more - just rest.  My emotions and actions like my sweet toddler’s are saying, “It’s time to rest.”  I’ve been throwing a bit of my own tantrum.   I’ve been harsh with the girls and rude to my hubby.  And just like my sweet toddler it’s now time to rest.

So I made the call to say no to some things.  My heart is filled with peace knowing I’m going to get the rest that I need for this season.  

The world around us tell us don’t stop--don’t rest.  We idolize work.  We are addicted to busy.   

When I called to say no to an opportunity to lead and serve, my friend said, “Sometimes God gives us strength to serve and other times He calls us to rest.”  

For this season I’m choosing a rest.  And I’m hopeful, I know that rest refreshes and strengthens for the coming season ahead.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28