My eyebrow twitches uncontrollably. I'm sleep-deprived and living on a wing and a prayer. The baby cries out from his pack'n'play upstairs in our bedroom, and I sigh. I just laid him down ten minutes ago, but he's not feeling so well, and sleep hasn't come easy to him for weeks, so, therefore, not to me.
I find myself grumbling inwardly, but that night I hold him to my chest and rock back in forth in my bed as he whimpers, and I repent before the Lord.
I don't want to give an offering of my life with grumbling. I don't want to slip into survival mode. I don't want to wish the days away. That's now how I want to live. My children are not chores; I don't want to view them as burdens. Lord, I am dependent upon you. I am needy. I need you to keep me soft and humble, gentle and patient.
I let go of the tightness building in my chest, and I ask the Lord to give me patience, because I know my supply is inadequate. When I was a young mama of two children, I remember sharing my prayer request for patience with my small group, and several voices piped, "Oh no, never pray for patience! The Lord will send you through such horrible trials to learn it if you do!"
I wasn't a wise woman then (and I don't think I've reached some pinnacle of it now either), but I knew that was ridiculous. I was a fairly new believer, but I knew I had to ask for what I needed. I knew my own patience was not enough, and I knew that I required it from the Christ in order to live an overcoming, fruitful life pleasing unto the Lord.
|[with my four girls]|
That the Lord would send me through such horrible trials to gain such a quality was ridiculous. Marriage and motherhood presented many trails in which I was driven to practice it and failed miserably. I was already in the midst of lessons of patience! I knew I needed more than patience—I needed the Lord!
Even after walking with Jesus Christ for nearly eleven years, I know I need Him. I need Him as much now as I did then. If anything, I've grown even more aware of my neediness, even in the areas I thought I had it together.
I want to speak softly, have patience, and be present, but I am painfully aware that I am wholly unable to do that without Jesus. Oh, I may be able to do it for a while, forcing myself to be kind, gritting my teeth, but that's not patience. That's not gentleness. Not really. So moment by moment, when I find myself struggling or anxious, when I feel the first twinges of frustration begin to simmer within, I run. I run into His arms, because I don't just want to just change my outward behavior, I need Him to change my heart.
I know these days or seasons aren't just to be survived, but to be enjoyed, and, when I take on the Father's perspective, I can find joy in the sleepless nights, cuddling a child to my chest. In Christ, I can find strength for the day, moment by moment, when my eyebrow twitches and my brain is overwhelmed and I desperately desire a long nap.
He is faithful!