Most of the time I am not a reflective, deep thinking, analytical person…I’m just WAY too sanguine for that, but I do ponder things at odd moments and when given time. (I always liked the version of the Bible that said "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" [Luke 2 NIV]…just a side note.)
Since this move, I have often wondered if the person that I thought I was, is who I really am. I mean, I’ve come to realize that maybe I think/thought more highly of myself than I ought to have…doesn’t scripture speak against that? :) Or at the very least, I feel that I’ve allowed myself to get caught up in these changes that life has brought and be sidetracked from things that truly matter. Begging the question…what TRULY matters? A small case in point:
At the end of most days I find that I am exhausted. I was/am busy. But when I ponder those things that filled my day…was I busy with the important things or the urgent things? There is a difference to me. Sometimes the things that are urgent (clean that mess, get laundry going, start dinner, etc) are not necessarily most important (listen to my children, love and encourage them, speak words of life to them and anyone in my path). And many times the definitions change. You see, not long ago, I rarely hesitated to sit down in the middle of the kitchen floor with the child that was begging me to read that book to them RIGHT then because I knew the moments were fleeting. Now, I find myself saying, “Let me finish this and then I’ll be right there”…oftentimes never making it because something else urgent came up…stealing the moment from me and making me into a liar to my children. All the while KNOWING the moments are fleeting, but too tired to do much about it at that moment. The person that I thought I was …was a person to savor the moments…a person who would let the dishes sit in the sink because my daughter won’t want to cuddle in my lap much longer…to let something go undone because my 14 year old wants to tell me his favorite joke for the kajillionth(!) time and it makes him giggle every time…and in the not so distant future I’ll be longing to hear that giggle face to face. I never wanted to get to the end of my life and have my children wishing they’d had more time with me. I never wanted my family to feel like cooking the next meal or getting the laundry done was more important than them…even though it was a way to love and nurture them. I don’t know that kids see things that way. Those things must get done, as well as the reading and listening to them talk. The struggle for me has always been in the balance. That pendulum just keeps swinging back and forth…it never stops in the middle.
So, I find myself wondering at different times…have I done my best by my family? Have they seen me love the Lord with an unwavering faithfulness that comes from a heart overflowing with gratitude for what He has done in my life? Or have they seen me following rules and don’t understand why. Have I taught them to live daily for Him, to love Him with everything they have, to have a radical kind of faith? Are they getting the preparation they need to live a life for Him on their own…to live on their own at all? Can they take care of their own needs? Are they willing to SERVE others as an act of worship or are they caught up in themselves? These are the things I ask myself…But truthfully, when I think about it, I wasn’t prepared for the life I would live. I could have been more prepared, but then the journey might not have been as sweet. I might not know the Lord the way I do if I hadn’t had to cling to Him as my sustainer.
Maybe you, like me, want so much for your kids. You want them prepared to handle what life throws at them. You want them to be able to learn from other people’s mistakes in order to sail more smoothly through life. You want a blessed life for them. Right? But who says trials are NOT blessings in disguise? I want them to NEED the Lord…which might mean some intense trials. I want them to WANT the Lord…which might mean they walk some roads that get them to a point of seeing their need like never before. I want them to DESIRE Him above all else…which might mean letting go of everything and everyone that stands in the way. I don’t want earthly blessings for them. I want them to know God and serve him with a passion that is such a blindingly bright light in this world. But the questions remain... Don’t they have to learn some of that from me? …Am I limiting God in this? …Can’t He make them into who He wants them to be IN SPITE of me?
The truth of the matter as I see it, is that my obligation is to serve God fully with all that I am, teaching my children to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and leave the rest to Him. He carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, so to speak, because HE CAN. I can’t. There is a reason he says, “Come unto me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt 11).”—the yoke is an oxen’s tool for working hard…but it’s a shared yoke, with the weight falling on shoulders bigger than mine. :)
I know it seems I’m rambling…but this is pondering to me. I always come back to scripture. I still don’t have all the answers to my questions, but I know the One who does. He may not choose to tell me those answers, but He will lead me, if I let Him.
I hesitate to put this on my blog, concerned that those closest to my heart will read into it that I’m struggling on this side of the world…which I do. I struggle. I’m human. But I know the Prince of Peace. But I put it out there to say…this is me. I am still the person I was. I will probably always have questions…that’s just me. But today, I am looking for different things to savor…the things that add flavor to life…the blessings only a Good God gives. So…I’ll listen to the Prince tell me AGAIN about his favorite video game and I’ll do whatever the Princess has on her heart to do…and we’ll wear dirty clothes and eat PB&J for dinner…kidding. (Well, maybe not about PB&J.) But I wanted to challenge myself as well as anyone who takes the time to read this :) to enjoy the blessings. Savor the moments. Watch for the way God blesses and listen when He speaks. What if the small child needing your smile and love today is God speaking into your life? What’s He saying to you? He’s telling me…He’s got it all under control. He doesn’t need my help, He just wants my heart turned toward Him. So be it. :)
Bask in the blessings...