This afternoon as I watched my children riding their bikes, blowing bubbles and playing with bats and balls out front, I felt a bit of the heaviness lift that I have been feeling for quite some time now.
Perhaps its the cold, and the wet – a lack of sun and fresh air can really effect us can’t it – that has caused me to feel so down lately.
It isn’t easy to be a momma, its not easy to be a home educator – both require so much of us. All the time. Every moment. Every day.
When we are feeling down and out, when we don’t have family and friend nearby to lean on, it can be tough to weather the storms.
I saw this image, this prayer today, and it seemed to be so timely for me. Because this is the time that we need to accept that we are weak; we need to seek Him, sit at His feet, so that He will be strong when we are not.
My younger son has been a struggling reader for some time now. He loves to read; he just has a hard time when these letters make so many different sounds and he isn’t one who appreciates things that aren’t black or white. But he brought me my Bible this afternoon and asked me to read a passage to him, one I had written on the inside cover of my Geneva Bible. It reads:
“When our desires cooperate with evil influences a stronghold is set up in our mind; lies take the mind captive and then the body follows suit. A Gospel informed mind easily takes renegade thoughts captive, to the obedience of Christ.”
How I needed to read this today. What a reminder that we need to be careful what we allow to enter our mind, and then, what we allow to remain. As I struggle with being tired and lonely, wishing for another house, another state… I have allowed all these thoughts to take me captive.
Some days it really is a struggle to get out of bed, to go through those lessons: math, reading and writing, history, french. I find myself telling my kids they need to find something that they love and learn all they can about it. Yet those things that I love so dearly, I just have no desire or energy, to search them out myself. Getting out to go hiking, or visit the museum, trips to the library are things I admit, I kind of dread lately. Let me just curl up at home, with some tea and a book (even though I read a page maybe two before I quit).
We all go through seasons in our life where we are challenged, where we are tested. I remind myself of this on those days when I am cranky and weary and want to just run away and hide. Or quit. I admit, I have days where I just want to quit. And then I read this amazing poem, called Do the Next Thing, and it really helps me to remember that this won’t last forever.
And some days, when I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious with all that is before me, I have to just take a deep breathe and force myself to move my feet. Step, one foot at a time, forward. I cannot go back. I have to just move forward. Get outside on my swing with a cup of tea; read a couple pages in a book, turn on that worship music and praise God!
I have been reading this book called, Leading on Empty. Meant for pastors and leaders in the ministry, I find myself in need of the wisdom within these pages. Mother. Home Educator. This is my ministry and when I am tired…When I am running on empty (not even fumes to move me forward) I need something more. And I need it now. Anyway, as I was saying, I read the other day:
“We won’t be held accountable for how much we have done, but for how much we have done with what He has asked us to do.”
It’s time to rethink just what I am doing. The author goes on to say:
“About 5% of what I do, only I can do. This is the most important 5% for me. I cannot delegate these initiatives to anyone else; I cannot hire another to take my place in any of these activities because they require that I be there. This 5% will determine the validity of the other 95%. And this is what I need to discover and make the epicenter of my life.”
So now I am pondering what exactly is my 5% ?
- I am a daughter of Christ so maintaining my relationship with Him is above all else. Prayer, fasting, worship. The joy of the Lord is our strength right?
- I am a wife; I cannot neglect y marriage. My husband is God’s gift to me. I am his help meet. I need to be such.
- I am a mother to four wonderful, precious children. Two very active and busy boys, one who is really struggling with his identity and place in life right now. And two sweet girls who sing and dance and are so eager to be loved. These children need a momma who is present, intentional and sensitive to the presence and spirit of God. Because I cannot be the momma they need if I am not being led by Him.
- I am part of a family; we need to learn and pray together. We need to worship together. Each one needs to see the others serving and loving. Do others see Jesus in us? We need to not just enjoy our time together but also be authentic and true.
- I am the church. My body is the temple of the living God. Healthy mind and body – I need to eat well, get out and about. Exercise body, mind and spirit.
Thomas Kempis wrote, “A good, devout person first arranges inwardly the things to be done outwardly…Who has a fiercer struggle than the person who strives to master himself. And this must be our occupation; to strive to master ourselves and daily to grow stronger and advance for good.”
How I need to go back and reestablish those values. To revisit those priorities that are the anchors of my life. These things must be immoveable, unquestionable. It is said that balance begins at the very core of our being. I have read that a healthy doctrine makes a healthy church. The same can be said for a family, if I am healthy in body and mind and spirit, so shall the family be. When I lose focus, when I take my eyes off of the blessings before me, it is then that suffering begins. And it isn’t about me at all. It is about those God has placed in my family that I am to care for. I cannot be a defender of the home, I cannot keep our home a place of refuge and peace, when I can barely find a peace within myself.
Yet it is also in these times that we are brought low, that we see God enable us to do what we, on our own, cannot. God makes us to be sufficient in every situation, for Him. So long as we are willing to keep on … to press forward…. There is always promise in the pain.