Thursday, May 5, 2011
Last Saturday night I was terribly sick with my asthma. (yeah, I have been fighting too much illness lately. No fun.) I lay in bed, coughing and struggling to breathe...and finally gave in to my inhaler. I puffed it and it helped tremendously. I didn't sleep well, tossing and turning and coughing a lot. My chest was all sore and my body was achy. Just a not so good night all around.
First thing the next morning, Little Miss Autumn (age 6) came bursting into my bedroom sobbing sadly. "Mommmmy! My sisters hate me! I tried to play with them and they don't like me and they were mean to meeee!" She was out of breath from crying so hard and you could hear the hurt in her tiny voice. Exhausted and still not feeling well, I pulled her into my bed and under my blankets as I cuddled her, stroked her hair, kissed her soft little cheeks and forehead, and told her how wonderful and sweet she was and not to worry. She soon grew quiet and still and just when I thought she was falling back to sleep, she popped her little head up and said "Can I go back to my room and play with my bear and my sissies?" I called her sissies into my room, let all of them know that mommy had been sick last night, and asked them to play quietly in their bedroom under their 16 year old sister's supervision so that mommy could get a bit more rest. They agreed, and went to their room to play.
I was just falling back to sleep when I heard a guitar playing so loudly I could feel it through the floor of my upstairs bedroom. Who in the world would be playing guitar at this time of morning? I figured it was my son. Tired and hoarse, I called out (not too patiently, I must admit) "STOP PLAYING GUITAR! PLEASE have some CONSIDERATION!" The music instantly stopped, and to my surprise and embarrassment, my son's friend, Jeremy called out "Sorry, Cari." He had spent the night with my son and apparently couldn't sleep any later, so he went downstairs and started playing guitar.
I lay back down once more, trying to squeeze just a tiny bit more rest out of the morning. my body was all shaky and weak, and my heart racing. Just as I started to relax, Jenna (8) came running into my bedroom. "Mom, Gwen took away my toy!" and right after that, I was startled by a loud pounding on the front door. I sorted out the toy problem and went downstairs to find our good family friend, Billy at the door. He had shown up for a ride to church. I was so tired that I had almost slept too late to go to church!
I let Billy in, had the littles start getting ready, and went upstairs to get dressed. My heart raced so badly just walking up the stairs, I had to sit on my bed for a few minutes to get it to slow down before I changed my clothing. My husband looked at me and said "I don't think you should be going to church today. You need to stay home and get some rest." I thought about our morning, and how my girls had been so mean to each other, and pictured my littlest with her heartbroken cry just a short time ago. I said "No, I think the children really need to be there, learning the word of God. It might help to settle some of the heart issues going on this morning."
I went downstairs continued to get ready. I tried to put my contacts in, and my eyes were so dry and irritated from lack of sleep that it hurt terribly.I had to take them back out and go without-since I have no glasses right now, that meant I got to drive around half blind all day, which i'm not too comfortable with. The girls weren't listening, and instead of brushing their hair they were chasing each other around the house playing tag. I was sooo tired. Billy was sitting on the couch, all ready for his ride to church. Poor Jeremy had gone home. (Thank goodness he is a great family friend and understood that I was not trying to yell at him specifically, I was just wanting some peace and quiet.) I felt weary, and frustrated.
My husband was in the bathroom talking to me and I just started to cry. My heart felt so tired. My body felt tired, too. I sobbed to my poor husband..."I'm sooooo tired...my heart is racing and my body is shaky...the girls were fighting and breaking each other's hearts this morning, I verbally abused Jeremy by accident, Billy is here for a ride to church...i'm soooooo tired! I know I am not supposed to grow weary, I should have been happy and eager to wake up and spend time with my children! I should have opened the door and received Billy with a joyful heart, happy to be able to take him to church with us, but instead, every time something new happened, my heart just sank that I wouldn't be able to get any more rest this morning. I'm so sorry, I feel awful..."
My husband is so good to me. He just held me while I cried for a few minutes-and then I realized I was totally dumping on him right before he had to leave for work. I pulled myself together (both physically and emotionally), finished getting ready, and gave him a proper goodbye when he left. By this time it was too late to go to our regular church, so we ended up at our old church, which is closer to our home, and starts a half hour later.
Pastor Rick had a great sermon prepared. It was all about how we should ask the Lord every day: What do you want to do with me today, Lord? and What do you want to do THROUGH me today, Lord? He said that he feels most people are not working up to their full potential in the Lord. Sometimes we are too afraid to actually live up to what the Lord wants for us. Some of us don't really even know what the Lord wants for us yet. We need to ask him. It really gave me food for thought. I know that God wanted me to be there that morning. (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28)The sermon gave me refreshment, and guidance. I left feeling much better than I had earlier that morning.
I don't know what God has in store for my long term future, but i'm pretty confident I know what he wants me to do right now. He has placed me in my home with 5 beautiful children to guide and nurture, and an amazing husband to love, support, and encourage as he leads our family. The Bible calls me to open my home to friends and strangers, to be hospitable and joyful and welcome people into our home, and give them the opportunity to hear His word. I'm right where I am supposed to be. I'm pretty sure he doesn't want me to get rid of all my things and move to a third world country to minister to others. (Although, for those people who get to do that stuff I think it is amazing!) The point is, I don't have to go far away or wait for some spectacular thing to happen to be a missionary. I have my own mission field right here, in my home. In my neighborhood. At my church. At the children's schools. Wherever I go it is my calling from Him to try to show His love. Sometimes I get tired-i'm human-but I know, scripture tells me, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) He will carry me, as long as I am willing to let him. When I grow tired, weary, frustrated, that's when I need him more than ever.
The Bible says:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:1
Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Such beautiful verses to reassure us when we grow weary or tired.