More often than not, I feel like time is working against me. I will never have the time to accomplish all that I want to let alone all that I need to. I wake up and the timer starts. From then until bedtime I often feel like I’m running ninety to nothing to get things done and then even when I’m trying to cherish the moment, I look at the clock.
Oh how difficult to embrace this as a gift, but a gift it is indeed!
I want to turn my thoughts on their head. Instead of thinking “this too shall pass” in regards to my busy days, I want to put that saying away and pick up actual Christ-saturated, biblical truth.
Back in 2011, Rachel Jankovic wrote a post on the Desiring God blog titled “Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)” and there is one specific line that has stuck with me:
“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”
This is what God gave me time for. Wow, now to let that sink in. There is one overarching truth in my life – one in which I must cling to as my constant though so many variables dance throughout my days:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” – Ephesians 1:3-10
This is my reality. This is my constant. This is my joy. This is the reason my calling as a mother matters. It is in the mundane where life happens. It is in the mundane where time is a gift. Every second is a chance to see grace. Though it is a hard gift to embrace, it is surely a gift.
Let me first start with disciplining Norah. It is hard. I don’t enjoy time-outs for her. I don’t enjoy giving her the stern look when she deliberately acts in disobedience. It saddens me. I try to explain the cross of Christ to my nineteen month old. As soon as I mention “Jesus” she says “hee-haw, hee-haw” as she recalls the picture of him riding into Jerusalem on the donkey. Then I say “sin” and she repeats me because she has entered the parroting stage of language learning. Realization of sin and the affront it is to God has yet to enter into the mind of my child.
Then I remember God’s discipline and how good of a gift it is.
I need to be disciplined. Praise be to God who acts of grace and love to his children! He is kind to me in discipline, always abundant in patience when mine is lacking. With his word he guides me to repentance and shows me the measure of my rebellion.
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” –Hebrews 12:11
My husband has been away at staff retreat with the camp he works with since Monday. They have an annual three day getaway to really worship together and speak to the staff about the vision of the camp in working to glorify God. From what Josh has told me over the phone, I couldn’t be happier to hear all that they are about, though we didn’t really doubt before.
I’m so glad that he is getting the opportunity to do this. I think it is necessary and good. But oh how hard the distance is! Not having my husband with me is very difficult. Not so much because I need help with Norah (though I totally don’t see how single parents do this day in and day out), it is more so emotionally straining. We were talking with each other yesterday about how we really see the “flesh of my flesh” aspect all the more in our marriage. When you don’t have that person that you have been knit together with in your daily life it is hard.
But the distance has been a gift, a hard gift.
I’ve had to work through fear that I am not usually aware of when Josh is with me every night. The first night he was away, I did a workout I don’t normally do hoping that it would tire me. Then I paced around and read for about an hour. Then I went throughout the house straightening up every room. Bedding cleaned. Throw pillows washed. Changed out the shower curtains. Check, check, check. Then I look at the clock and it’s 10PM. Wow, I need to be asleep by now! Then I lay down. The next thing I know it is 3AM and I am horrified after one of those nightmares that seem so real. I go throughout the house to ease my mind. I make sure that Norah is sleeping safe and sound. Then I sit in the living room just staring at the front windows thinking of what to do next since sleep wasn’t going to happen. I contemplated clocking into work, maybe even reading my book. Then I am reminded to run to The Comforter. I begin to read my bible. This God-breathed book eased my anxieties. Finishing up the Book of Mark left me relishing in the resurrection. Death could not hold him. He did what he said he was going to do. My husband and I, and the rest of Christ’s bride, await resurrected bodies, fit for endless joy in Christ. My God is in the business of bringing about his glory and good will. What shall I fear? I await this Savior, though now I see him partially; soon I will see him face to face. Nothing shall come to pass in my life that has not been divinely appointed by the Blessed Sovereign.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” -1 Corinthians 13:12