Deeper

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It is early. Still and quiet now. The baby just stopped crying and lies softly sleeping in mommy’s arms. The sun is peeking through the window, a sliver of light caressing the wall. No one slept last night; it feels both too early and too late. A deep yawn and rub of the eyes, an acknowledgement of the start of this day. A heavy sigh and furrowed brow, reminders of the challenges of yesterday and the long sleepless night that now rests behind. A new day.

My body and mind long to crawl back under the covers. To be cradled in the warmth of my bed, blissfully unaware of the world around me. So yeah…yesterday was a hard day. Kindness, gentleness and self-control were notably absent in my conduct. I snapped impatiently at dear sweet toddler and raised my voice on more than one occasion. I nagged at dear sweet hubby.  I grumbled and griped. I criticized and complained. My heart was stuck in a selfish place. That place that resounds, “It shouldn’t be this hard.” “This is not how it’s supposed to be.” “I can’t do this.” It was a soul-sick place. A weary, worried, distracted mommy dwelt there. But that was yesterday. This day, today, will be different.

Part of me hopes that today will just be easier. That circumstances will change. Babies and toddlers will sleep and houses will clean themselves. Smiles will parade through this home, adorning the faces of this dear sweet family, and tantrums and fits and dirty diapers will be a thing of the past. The other part of me knows that it is not my circumstances that need changing, but my perspective. This other part of me, this deep soul part of me, knows that these burdensome and trying circumstances are not a punishment but rather a gift. It is in these difficult moments that my weary soul learns to go deeper, deeper into the heart and arms of God. I am desperate. I recognize my acute, enormous need for Him.

I steal away to the dining room table and push back the mountain of laundry. Dear sweet toddler plays quietly with his bristle blocks. Dear sweet hubby sleeps sweetly in the bedroom. Soul renewal and supernal insight awaits as I open my Bible to Hebrews 4. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) Yes, Lord. I am needy. Change my heart, my focus, my thinking. Let me see with Your eyes. When I am tempted to grumble, let me then give thanks instead. Let me thank You for these littles, for their precious faces, for their tiny hands, for their longing to be cuddled and held. Thank You for the privilege of raising these cherished boys.Thank You for a home that is filled with love and loudness and laughter and messy messes. Thank You for dishes stacked high and tummies that are full. Thank You for a husband who knows and loves You and seeks Your will for our little family. This is my soul-flourishing place. That place that resounds, “It is well.” “This is just how it is meant to be.” “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” This is a deep-soul place that embraces each day, each difficulty and whispers, “Lead me Lord, deeper. Deeper into You.”

THIS

It is beautiful. The breeze is cool. The ground is damp from an early morning rain. It hints at fall. I breathe in the coolness and gaze up at the scattered clouds, puffy and white gently passing by. Hubby and son giggle and race up and down the sidewalk, delighting in one another. Baby breathes softly against my chest. This little one smells like life. I snuggle in and close my eyes. This. Remember this moment. It is peaceful. In it He comforts my soul and reminds me of the promise that He will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on Him (Is. 26:3).

The wounds of yesterday are cleansed, stitched, hemmed in. The aching ebbs away. Wrong thinking is replaced with heavenly perspective. My feelings and emotions are washed over with His peace, set right again by His presence and life seems good again. He is calling me to trust Him with this trial, this heaviness, this deep dolor that is trying to rule in my heart. He whispers to my soul, “That place is reserved for Me.”

I agree. I find myself nodding and saying aloud, “Yes Lord.” I give it back to Him. Relinquishing control. I speak from the broken places inside, telling Him of all the ways I fall short, acknowledging my anger and impatience that truly are a result of pride, my judgment of others where there should be love, my short sightedness and fear that are rooted in my desire to be always in control. But I am not. And that is a good thing.

I feel Him smiling down on me and in His faithfulness restoring me, giving me a fresh opportunity to live and love fully in this day. He doesn’t want me to miss it. This day is His gift. This moment. This.