Thursday, May 17, 2012

Life and Truth

 It's been hard to find time to update, and when I do have the time, sleep sounds much more appealing. Other priorities, y'know. I'm sure you all can understand that.  I know I say this just about every time I write a real entry, but gosh-darn, life has been so busy.  I can't remember the last time I had a day to just relax.  I don't think I've had any of those for the past, oh, seven weeks.  In retrospect, I'm so thankful that we sent the kiddos to my mother-in-law's after Jub'ee was born because once the kids came back, life went from zero to sixty in point five seconds.

I've had a couple of those, "Man, I wish my mama was here," moments.  I really cannot allow myself to think about how I wish things were.  Fact is, she's disabled and unable to help in that capacity, but I know she really wishes she was able, and, if she was able, she would be here every time I whimpered. I know I've expressed before how my mom was before the car accident that changed her life (and therefore our lives) eleven years ago.  She was able to whip a house into shape (and I'm talking model-home-shape, white-glove-test shape, near-perfection sparkleatude) in what seemed like mere seconds, all while dinner stewed on the stove.  Seriously, Mom was Wonder Woman, except with a bun (and more modest clothing).  I know my mom has spent many hours (days) sobbing because she can't be what she desires to be for her daughter and grandchildren.  There are few things my mom wants more than to serve us in that capacity.  She would have been the picture perfect epitome of a grandmother.  Not that she's not a fabulous Nana just as she is now, but her disabilities keep her from serving as I know she desires to serve.  She just isn't able to do that, and I totally understand that.  I am very grateful that she was able to do that with my first child.

{Mom and Jubilee}

 I remember coming home from the hospital with Merikalyn wrapped in my teenage arms.  Mom and Dad had overhauled our humble abode (a tiny trailer, just perfect for a family of three), caught up the laundry, and prepared meals for us to feast on.  My place had never seemed more inviting.  And boy, did I need my mama that first week (not just because I was a new mother, but because I came home with double mastitis and a high fever, plus a severe case of anemia to boot).  I know that was extremely exhausting for my Mom, but I am so glad the Lord gave her strength to do that for me.  What a blessing! The Lord has been gracious to give her strength when I've really needed her to have strength!

Anyway, like I said, life has been a little crazy.  My husband worked nights for the first two months of Jubilee's life, which was nice in many ways (having him home during the day has been such a blessing!), but exhausting as well.  We are both so tired.  In fact, a couple days ago, after dinner with my favorite midwife (my friend Nanci), I came home, did that "bad mommy thing" (put the babies to bed, then put on a movie for the kids to watch and told them to go to bed when it was done), and crashed.... at 7:30pm.  I slept for 12 hours (not solid sleep, since I did have to wake up to make sure the kids went to bed, and to nurse the baby several times as well, but solid enough), and still felt weary when I woke up.  I am definitely having to take naps.  I told my brother today that I am turning into our mom! (I used to think it was crazy that she had to take daily naps!  I didn't understand that we adults don't have all the energy our kiddos do!)

I am really not sure how we manage to do all that we do.  I could use more hours in the day, but I am thankful that there aren't more hours in the day because I am worn out with the twenty-four I'm given!  I am really, really glad we put in the effort to teach our children how to care for the home because I know that I would be even more weary if I had to do everything myself.  They don't know how much of a blessing they are by helping with the dishes and laundry!  (But I try to encourage and remind them of how awesome they are!) I am so amazingly, wonderfully blessed. I feel like God has just loaded my arms with gifts beyond measure.  Sometimes I get "a little" overwhelmed, but that overwhelming feeling is just a reminder that I am trying too hard to juggle on my own terms, and I need to rely on Him and His strength, not my own ideals, my own agenda, my own strength.

The Lord has been doing some major "house cleaning" in my heart, and as a result I have experienced a lot of spiritual warfare.  Satan knows just how to push my buttons, how to flare up my pride and selfishness, how toget me berating myself... and the Lord keeps reminding me that I don't have to listen to that garbage.  One of the things I have felt prompted to do is regularly write down truths the Lord wants me to focus on. I don't know about you, but I've spent much of my time rehearsing the lies the devil whispers in my ear, but not near as much time reminding myself of God's truths.  

Last week, the Lord had me focusing on these truths:
  • My identity is found in Christ.
  • I am loved, deeply loved, by God.
  • There is infinite power in the palm of my Father's hand.
  • The Lord desires to bless me, not to hurt me.
  • My Father hates to see me suffer, but loves me enough to allow it because it refines me, grows me, molds my character.
  • Jesus will NEVER let me down.
  • I can ALWAYS depend on Him.
  • He cares about even the smallest details of my life. It matters to Him.
  • He hears me. He is listening.
  • Nothing is impossible for Him.
Whenever Satan starts poking and pestering me, the Lord reminds me to live and move in the Truth of His Word.  I am not what or who Satan says I am. I am who God says I am.  God is not who Satan says He is.  God is who He says He is, who His Word says He is.  I cannot tell you how ..... strong..... the Lord has been impressing that upon me. Satan wants me to believe lies about myself and my God so I live a defeated life.  God wants me to believe that, through Christ Jesus, I am worthy. I am passionately loved and pursued by Him.  When I live and move and breathe in those truths, I live in the light, and the Spirit can live mightily through me.

My sweet little Evie-toddler just came to me with her pajamas gripped in her chubby little fist wanting me to put them on her, and I was reminded that, you know, she makes a lot of mistakes.  She's learning. She's growing.  When she makes a mistake, I don't furrow my brow and shake my finger at her yelling, "Why are you so dumb? Why did you do that!?  Why can't you get that right?"  That would be ridiculous! Her little toddler feet are going to trip and fall.  She's going to get into stuff she's not supposed to get into.  She's going to spill stuff, break stuff, ruin stuff.... and I will still love her just as much as I do when she's perfectly behaved.  I know she's going to make mistakes. I know she's going to have booboos and break things and hurt my mamaheart sometimes. God knows I'm going to have booboos and break things and grieve His Spirit.  When I slip and fall and make massive mistakes, He's not hovering over me berating me, telling me I'm worthless. That is what Satan does, not my loving Father.  When I screw things up, nail pierced hands pick me back up.  I am deeply loved. When I make a mess, the Lord helps clean it up. He loves me. He adores me.  A good picture of His love is the parable of the Prodigal Son who takes his inheritance, wastes it, and returns home a complete mess.  His father doesn't go off on a tirade of how dumb his son acted. The father doesn't punish his son.  He doesn't call him names and tell him he's worthless.  NO! He welcomes him home, hugs him tight, and throws a big party!  He kills the fattened calf and invites everyone to celebrate.  Why? Not because his son was disobedient, but because his son turned his heart to his father.  What a picture of the Father's love for me.... and for you!

Anyway, I had not intended to go into all of this.  I really was just coming here to say, "Hi, I'm still here. Still putting one foot in front of the other."

It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

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