I was ridiculously stressed last week. Two days in a row. So stressed that I felt like I was being stepped on- crushed to the ground, and still going, going, going. I was cranky, angry, and apologized to my kids alot for snapping....but in reality the age old excuse is true- there really is only so much one can take. You know what I did? I called my mother. I cried. I sobbed. I love that even though she was out on a day-date shopping and enjoying coffee with a girlfriend she hardly sees that she was eager to step outside for 45 minutes and do the mom thing...she did it well. And she reminded me of something that she taught me- not just long ago, but every day of my life either with her words, but usually her actions...God comes first, your family next, then your ministries, and other stuff.
It seemed so obvious and simple...and of course my family is huge on my list, but when I hung up the phone and really spoke with God he confirmed it, and the realities hit me. I had just told someone a few weeks earlier that if she wanted to have a happy home and healthy love for her kids than she needed to do more than just answer to their needs...but actually invest in them relationally. I am a homeschooling mom and invest many hours into my kids. I cook them good meals, mend their clothes, bring them to playdates, and put them to bed with stories and kisses. But the truth was that while I was doing those things, many days I was just waiting for them to be over so I could do the things that I really wanted to do. I realized that even though my kids were a huge priority on my schedule that they weren't a big enough priority in my heart.
Part of me didn't believe that it was right. Like it was selfish to focus on my own family.
So I read the Bible and found: Titus 2:3-4 "3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." And then there's the Proverbs 31 women. In 21 verses about her work that is poetry all about her household and her family only one points out that she helps others. One...the rest are about how strong her family is because she invests in them.
I felt free. I felt like I was given these kids and was given permission to pour into them, even if that meant that other things, even other people who had needs (husband excluded) got less attention. I felt like a big part of my schedule, and what I was expected to do got cleared...and with it a burden of stress. It seemed so simple...and maybe for some it is...but for me I had to learn it.
It wasn't until later that it occurred to me that a mom that isn't there for her kids relationally gives Satan plenty of space to infiltrate. I sort of wondered if that was his plan all along...now thwarted by God's freedom and purpose for my life taking over.
There's more that I've learned, but for those who know my blog this is already long enough. I'll sneak it in later. But that's where I've been: with my kids. Til next time.