OK, I am a bit trepidatious as I sit to write this...not because I am going to write some big deep thing that you don't already know, but because I am about to share with you one of the times that God spoke to me. These times get me at my core, they make me stop and ponder, they catch me with weight and slow me down. They are some of my most treasured times. Much of the time the things He says to me are things I already know on some level, but they are things that I do not practice well. So here goes...
I have written several times about resting in God and that He has been teaching me about this for the past several months. He has been at work on my heart in this area for quite some time. I love the scriptures about resting in Him, resting in my Father who I can trust and depend on, resting in the only one who can truly make me complete. I have been learning about this. I have been listening, but some times (really, most of the time) I need to be told over and over again before I get it.
So last week I was standing in the kitchen, making lunches and I was thinking about how much effort it feels like I expend at times and how worn out I am at times. I was thinking about how some days it just feels like I fight to get through them and I miss the joys of having 3 little kids around me. I was thinking about how I loose my patience and snap at my kids and I was thinking about the fact that Trace, Aidan, Rebecca, and Andrew are the 4 most important human beings in my life and that they are the ones who I hurt the most with my tongue and with the anger that gets stored up in my heart when I don't get my way. I was thinking about how this has seemed to be the case more since having baby number 3. So I am thinking these things and then all of the sudden I heard myself say ( yes, I realize this means I am admitting I was talking to myself and yes, I know that makes me crazy)"I am just stretched too thin." And you know what, when I said that I felt freedom. I told you this isn't some big deep mystery...having three little kids stretches you very thin. But when I said this I was truly admitting my weakness and when I am weak God is strong!!! I really cannot express how immediately God ministered to my soul in that moment. I felt a deep satisfaction in that moment! For that moment I drank and I was satisfied. My life circumstances did not change. I did not get time away alone to refresh, but in an instant I was weak, I was in need, and I knew exactly what I needed. It was not anything that "me time" would fix...I needed the Savior, I needed rest, I needed to be satisfied in Him.
So this is what I have learned...God desires for me to know how much I need Him. I told you these are things I know, but they just hit me in new ways from time to time and this time I realized how much I have been compartmentalizing my life. I have certain things that I believe are spiritual and I ask God for help with these things...things like praying with and for my kids, talking to my kids about who God is, studying scripture, and responding to scripture. I even ask for help in areas where I sin, because I know that these are things that separate me from Jesus. I pray about being a light for Him when I am around friends, family, and strangers alike, that I won't be a stumbling block for someone else, but I don't pray for the daily tasks because I seem to think I can do those on my own. I don't depend on God as strongly on the days when I plan to just be at home. I don't ask God to strengthen me to help me feed, bath, read to, and play with my kids. For some reason, these things just don't seem as unmanageable so I don't ask for help. But all the sudden I knew that when I am overwhelmed it isn't the big things that weigh me down, but it is the little things. Things like bath time, and laundry. Running the vacuum and dusting. And as much as I do enjoy some alone time, that does not fix the problem. I return home to life and to feeling stretched thin, believing that is just the way it is supposed to be. The reality is that I don't always feel like this so I know there is another way, I just HAVE to ask my Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer, to be my strength, to uphold me with His Righteous Right Hand. It isn't in the big things...it's in the little things.
So this is what I learned when God spoke to me, and in an instant I felt better. You would guess that in that moment I hit my knees and praised God for teaching me, for fulfilling me, and that I asked Him to carry me. That is exactly what you would expect, but it is not what I did. Rather I treasured that moment for a little bit and then I got distracted. I got busy and I went about my day in my own strength and power. So once again a few days later I felt the same way. And again, a few days later I felt worn out and beaten up. It finally hit me...I have to actually do the things Jesus shows me to do if I want to see any change. So now, I have prayed, I have confessed that I fall short, I have confessed that I am weak and I have confessed how bad I am at realizing I need Him in the little details. That yes, I am stretched too thin, but that is right where He wants me. Maybe I can finally begin to grasp that He is my every need. Every breath I breath I need Him...especially in the little things!