This morning started off like most others. The alarm went off, I hit snooze, and finally rolled out of bed. I made the coffee and settled into my chair for my morning Bible reading and prayer time.
About thirty seconds later Jennavieve stumbled down the steps, at 5:45, and greeted me with a grumpy face and a whiny voice.
Five minutes later, Mallory started coughing and she came down, wheezing and in need of a breathing treatment.
And this, only three hours after Bradley left for a two week work assignment out of the country.
Great. Just great.
Enter me struggling with patience and gentleness before 6AM.
The morning continued to unfold with small challenges: Mason crying for his Daddy, Isabella fighting me about which shoes to wear, Jennavieve continuing to whine and fuss, and Mallory taking FOREVER to eat her breakfast.
And then, I couldn’t find anything to wear. And when I mean anything, I mean anything that would cover my entire stomach. My undershirts rest just above my very noticeable belly button (or what’s left of it) and most long-sleeved shirts–which I now need all of a sudden–leave a good portion of flesh on display.
So, as I wrangled everyone to get out of the door in enough time to walk the girls to school and run to Target for a little shopping trip before Mason’s therapy at 10, I noticed Jennavieve struggling with a toy.
She desperately wanted to get this little plastic man to sit in the driver’s seat of a toy truck. She kept pushing and readjusting, only to find that it wasn’t working for her. All the while, she was border-line screaming, grunting and crying because she couldn’t figure it out.
I gently reminded her not to fuss, but to simply say, “Mommy, can you please help me?”
But she continued to insist on doing it her way, without success.
I’m not sure what changed her mind, but after several minutes, and two more reminders from me, she finally said, “Help, peez, Mommy.”
A lot of trouble could have been saved if she had simply asked for help in the first place.
She was stubborn, insistent on her own way and experienced a lot of heartache because she didn’t come to me for help.
I see myself in her.
Challenges come, frustrations arise, disappointments grow and life throws me unexpected circumstances. My tendency is to just keep striving, pushing against these struggles in my own strength, only to find that I get more frustrated and irritable and instead of things getting easier they become more difficult.
What if I simply stopped and said, “God, can you please help me?”
So that’s what I did.
I remembered the words I had read earlier that morning from Psalm 130 and 131.
“Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy...” Psalm 130:1-2
Yes, life could have been a whole lot worse, but sometimes it’s in these regular, everyday moments when I forget to cry out to God for His help.
And so out of the depths of my frustration about the interruptions at the beginning of my day, I began to beg God to help me. To give me eyes to see my children as He sees them. To pour His Spirit into me that I might display love, gentleness, and kindness in my responses. That He would enable me to love them even as they were driving me crazy.
“But I have calmed and quieted my soul...” Psalm 131:2
My soul began to quiet and as I leaned into the power of God at work in my life, I was able to laugh and to rejoice and to celebrate the small difficult moments that God had given to me because they were causing me to know Jesus better and experience His with-ness in a very tangible way.
This is what I want my girls to experience.
I want them to recognize that they need God. For everything. When life is easy and when life is hard.
I want them to ask Him for help. To depend upon Him when they are fearful, worried, frustrated, disappointed, happy, and just plain tired.
I want them to walk with Jesus, experiencing the joy that can be theirs as they dwell every moment in the with-ness of Christ.
This is Day 16 of a series “Lessons for my Daughters”. Click here for a complete list of posts.