I just had to go to the bathroom! However, on my way there I needed to yell out the window at a boy chasing a ball into the street.
“Calvin, I told you that you are not allowed in the street. You have to play inside now!”
Then I had to stop to referee a fight between two other children.
“If this is Courage’s toy, you have to ask him before you take it! And Courage, do not scream and cry. Just say, ‘This is my toy. Give it back to me please.’ You don’t get anything you want when you scream and cry.”
I feel like I have given this little lesson about five hundred and sixty-four times. Why don’t they remember! I still need to use the restroom (it is getting quite urgent!) yet I cannot stop myself from picking the kitchen towel off the floor which I had already done twice that morning.
“We dry our dishes with this towel, people!” I think to myself. I notice peanut butter on the otherwise white cabinet door. I encounter shoes and the grungiest socks known to man thrown about the living room floor.
“Cooper! Put these in the laundry room!” I call out in desperation, knowing that I will probably have to hunt him down and ask him again later.
I pass Ashlyn’s walking track. She is supposed to be doing her walking exercises right now; building her muscles, organizing her brain, and increasing her balance. She is laying on the sofa, nursing some sores on her feet. I wonder to myself if all the therapy that I have done with her was in vain. She can’t wear her braces if the skin on her feet break down. And she can’t walk if she doesn’t wear her braces.
I get into the bathroom and shut and lock the door. A moment of peace. A quiet space. Ahhhhhh…I can sit down for a moment. WHAT IS THIS!!!!! PEE ON THE TOILET AGAIN!! I just wiped this toilet one hour ago, and the hour before that!
In the relative quiet of my stinky, dirty bathroom I am close to tears.
“Is this my life? Working hard to clean a house that never stays that way? Toiling to teach my children lessons that they never seem to learn. Worried about not doing enough therapy with Ashlyn while simultaneously worrying about doing TOO MUCH therapy with Ashlyn. I want my life to mean something,” I pray to God. “How can I know if my life is making a difference when I see so little good fruit?”
I just love it when I have a really productive day; wrote a blog article, organized an entire room, cleaned out the attic, or created a delicious meal with an abundance of bright colors and fresh ingredients. But what happens when day after day goes by with no real progress of any kind. Moms deal with this phenomena all the time. We pour ourselves out, go to bed late, get up early, work hard; and when we stop to look around…it appears as though we have gotten absolutely nothing accomplished whatsoever!
I have been feeling the frustration and discontent that thousands of women have experienced. We feel unnoticed, unimportant, and meaningless. This has pushed many women to abandon their high calling as a wife and mother to pour themselves into other pursuits…just to feel worthy and fulfilled.
I KNOW that I have the most important career in the world. I KNOW that my life is making a difference in this life and in the next.
It just doesn’t FEEL that way most of the time.
“God, help me to see things the way you do. I need some encouragement here!” I have prayed.
God is answering as He always does. It may take a lifetime to understand all that He is saying and to unravel my own thoughts and ideas. But I think I am making some progress.
I have been listening to the Bible on CD. Listening to a cast of characters reading the Bible as though it were actually happening has helped me to see the stories in a different light. It seems more real and more relevant. Plus it is a different version than what I have read before, and it brings a new dimension to many verses.
As I look at the Bible as a whole; the story of God’s relationship with mankind, there is a common thread that I hadn’t noticed before. God always had a plan. He was always confident that this plan would work. Very few humans actually understood His plan or knowingly helped God work out His plan. The major events in the Bible were orchestrated and accomplished by God, not man. Many times God worked through people and with people but most of the time He moved DESPITE people.
All the amazing events in Acts happened because of God. The disciples didn’t get together after the resurrection and have an intensive strategic planning meeting to figure out how they would acquire the Holy Spirit or how they would add 3,000 people to their number in one day. They didn’t go to college to learn the cutting edge strategies for converting the Jews and then the Gentiles to the Way. (They didn’t even know that the Gentiles COULD be saved until God showed them.)
All the disciples did was wait on God and obey whatever He told them to do. Many times they saw miracles, but more often they encountered opposition and persecution. Often it appeared as though they were accomplishing nothing at all as the churches they planted fell into deceptions and wrong teachings. Yet look at how their lives have affected the entire world!
When I look across all of human history, the person who had the most powerful participation in bringing God’s salvation to the earth was Mary. This is just my opinion but you have to admit, she played a pretty big role.
But what did she actually do?
She BELIEVED what the Angel told her was true.
She SUBMITTED to God’s wonderful plan.
She MOTHERED Jesus.
Could I be as powerful in the course of human history as Mary if I just believe, submit, and mother?
If I could just BELIEVE every word God tells me.
If I could just joyfully SUBMIT, YEILD, and SURRENDER to God’s best for me.
If I could just MOTHER – love, nourish, carry, teach, serve, and protect each child God gives to me.
Even Mary lost her most influential place of mothering for a while. Maybe she didn’t agree with what Jesus was doing because it seemed too controversial or too dangerous. Perhaps she was too weighed down with the concerns of her other children and life in general. When she and her other sons went to see Jesus while He was teaching a large group, He didn’t go out to them.
He said, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” He pointed to His disciples and said, “These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever hears the words of God and does them is my mother and brothers.”
If I had been Mary, I would have been devastated by His words. Then I would have gotten really mad! “Listen mister, I said yes to carrying you in my womb even though it sullied my reputation and messed up my life. I gave birth to you and nursed you and took care of you during all the hard times! None of these guys here know what the angel said to me. They don’t know what Anna or Simeon said about you. They didn’t see you take your first steps or nurse you through sickness. How could you say that they are your mother!”
Yet she must have realized that Jesus was never wrong. He was never disrespectful or vengeful or mean for meanness sake. All His words were true…every time. Mary must have repented before God for not hearing His words and obeying them during this crucial time in Jesus’ ministry, because she was there with disciples in the upper room.
What this story tells me is that anyone, anywhere at anytime can have Mary’s impact if they simply hear God’s voice and obey. To hear God’s voice we must love Him, wait on Him, spend time with Him, read His words over and over. To obey Him is always to love because He is love.
In essence – to BELIEVE
To live this kind of life takes faith to believe without seeing.
To live this kind of life is so much harder than just checking items off a to-do list.
To live this kind of life is something I am sure that I can’t do on my own.
To live this kind of life is the POWER and GLORY of my motherhood; to watch God take my little, seemingly insignificant acts of love and obedience and turn them into something
BEYOND MY IMAGINATION IMPORTANT