Friday, November 30, 2012

Giving Thanks

    It was one of those days when a lot of what is wrong with the world was smacking us in the face. It was just a struggle. A bad day. A day that could make me sink. I started the day waking up 20 mins late. I rushed around to get everyone out the door. As we were driving in the car, I thought of how my Bible lay unopened that morning. My devotional book un-cracked. My daily Thanksgiving journal lay untouched. I hungered for that connection I get with God from those moments. But I cried out to him in the car in the midst of the chaos and kids arguing. I cried out to him and just said, "I need you Lord. Please meet me today."

    The day was hard. Hurtful words thrown my way. Kids not obeying. Deadlines looming over-head. News of friends hurting, real, raw. Kids fighting. Momma's nerves wearing thin. Plans having to be shifted and changed. Disappointment settling over the kids. But in the midst I saw His fingerprints. I saw God reaching out to me. Reminding me that He was there. He was writing my story and His plans are good. An unexpected lunch invitation. A friend helping me, right when I needed it. Daddy home to stay with kids while I make an afternoon grocery run. Watching the girls trim our Christmas tree in the kitchen. Snuggling close with girls while watching a long anticipated movie.

After the kids were snuggled into bed, books read, prayers said and kisses given. I sat alone in the living room. I watched the lights on the Christmas tree dance. I sipped a warm cup of apple cinnamon tea and cracked open my Bible and Thanksgiving journal. My heart was over whelmed with peace. Peace that is beyond understanding.

In the midst of hard God is still there. And there is good. Such goodness still.

Will you join me today and be on the look out for what your heart can be Thankful for?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Doing the next thing

I woke up this morning way too tired. I woke up this morning way too crabby. I woke up this morning with my heart full of way too much. I went over the list in my head of all the to dos for the day and the to dos for the week and it was all too much.

There is no way I can possibly be all that everyone around me needs me to be. I need to parent and disciple these two precious little girls well. I need to teach their minds and hearts knowledge and the studies of all things. I need to discipline them well and instill a heart of gratitude.

I need to be a good wife to my husband. I need to be respectful and submit to His leadership. I need to make him feel welcome and treasured when he is home and to think and talk well of him in his absence.

I need to be housekeeper and clean and organize the space we are blessed to call home.  I need to wash, dry and fold the mountain of clothes we are blessed to have. I need to create healthy and filling meals to nourish our bodies.

On top of all of these I need to make time to read God's word and pray (most important), to rest (so needed) , to exercise (Let's not even go there). I need to do these and one hundred other little tasks each day. And I want to do them with excellence.

But if I am truly honest sometimes I just want to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. It is all too much.

So I found myself crying this morning as I was putting another load of laundry in the washer. Fighting my way down the basement stairs with arms too full and stuff falling down around me as I walked. And crying. Crying real the kind where you start to breath all huffy. Crying over laundry. And not laundry. Crying because I can't do it all. Crying because I am overtired from staying up too late.

And I stopped in the midst of my huffy breathing and gave thanks. Raw, hard thanks. Thanks for a washer that works and for the little girls giggling up the stairs. Thanks for the arms and legs that are healthy enough for the task. And I cried out to God to please help me make it through this day and the million tasks that lie ahead.

And then I did the next thing. A while back I came across a poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot that talks about when your heart is feeling overwhelmed that the best thing to do is to cast your cares on God and do the next thing. Do it with reliance on God and thanksgiving.

So I did that. I began cleaning one area at a time. First the kitchen. Moving onto the living room. Now here I am. Its almost noon. I still have much to do. And much that may be left undone. But my heart is filled with new joy.

If you are feeling a bit like I was today., I encourage you to do the next thing and do it with thanksgiving.