For the most part- I love being a Mom, homeschooling our kids and making our home a place of rest, creativity, health and comfort for our family and friends! It’s a great job, though a million times harder than any paid job I’ve ever had. A few weeks ago, I realized once again, that I was still hitting walls of discouragement in my home more often than I wished.
Sometimes it comes in the morning, when my feet have barely hit the ground, and I’m already running to stop my two-year from dumping more dishwasher soap onto the floor or spilling milk onto the table.
Or it may hit the end of the day- when the piles seem big, and the floor needs yet another sweep. Or a couch cushion has succumbed to a sharpie.
My old-me “habitual ” response to stress or discontent tends to be practical. You know, trouble-shooting. If I’m not careful to watch this one, it can quickly lead me into a dangerous snare…
a deceptive trap I call striving. Trying a little harder to get it right. Constantly reaching for the next best fix, the answer that must be just around the corner, the tweaking of the schedules. Better paper, forms, colour of pens, behaviour of kids, layout of furniture, technology… this one can go on & on!
This is one ditch that is nasty to fall into. At worst, it provides only fleeting moments of hope, but a stressed out family. On the other hand, there is value in a fresh new system. It can provide some practical solutions to solving everyday problems and keep life running smoothly.
So what’s the other “ditch” we can fall into as we respond to feelings of discouragment? Just hit cruise control, sit back, and let life happen. Accept that life is hard, kids are work, houses get messy and “it is what it is.” Keep the extra efforts to a minimum. Better to just go-with-the-flow and avoid the disappointment that comes with trying…and failing. Let kids be kids, eat what’s easy, clean when you have to and just not worry about it all.
Worst case scenario of hanging out on this path too long? The dust bunnies and laundry eventually overtake us. We may be succumbing to colds and illnesses more often than we ought. Screen time takes over for us & our kids, while we read a few more pages or answer a few more emails or text one more friend. And at very worst, we may find ourselves even more despairing at the mountain that needs to be climbed to get ourselves out of the mess.
Thankfully we have an answer, a way to keep ourselves on that narrow road. On the course that He has us on. And I felt like God brought this to light for me (yet again: I think I’m a slow learner.)
I don’t want to trade the peace I have found in Jesus alone for the striving stress I choose to “fix” my problems. Yet I also want to believe and fully receive the abundant blessings I know desires to give to me and my family. The fulfillment of dreams! Changed lives! Enjoyment and pleasure in the everyday gifts around us. What is my part in getting there and seeing the fruit?
The narrow road is seeking His face. Calling out to him. Saying, “Thank-you Holy Spirit that YOU are my own Personal Assistant! I can call on you for anything!” And letting Him direct the days. Where the plans to tweak a schedule are because of His inspiration. Knowing when it’s time to let the schedule go so you can follow a rabbit trail, because He is leading the way.
Oh, how I long to learn how to remain in this place. That true abiding place. Where there is rest & peace.
So in the midst of Spring cleaning and plans and organizing, let Him guide. Take what works, leave what doesn’t. When your kids are done, be done. When there’s grace for an extra hour, go for it. Just ask Him to show you. Moment by moment.
John 16:24 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Rest in His goodness and lean on your Helper!