Things have been a little crazy around here lately. My boys are busy growing and with that comes a seemingly endless cycle of tantrums, outbursts of crying, yelling, fighting. There are many days I want to run away and hide from it all. There are many times I feel angry at this lot I’ve been given. Is handing out time-outs, scrubbing dirty pots, putting shoes on my kids, folding laundry and cleaning toilets really all I was made for? It’s easy to become bitter if I don’t check myself.
I’m in a season of mothering young children. “In the trenches” as some would say. All the while I have one eye on the future, wondering what is in store for me. Oh please let there be something in store for me. When an already stressful day ends with a toddler screaming at my feet while I try and prepare dinner, I have been known to think “Really, God, are you actually here in this mess?!” Because sometimes it feels like His all-powerful help has skipped my home and made it’s way to the neighbours instead. I can sense God chuckling at these remarks of mine, and nodding His head in the face of my doubts. Reminding me that Yes, child, I am actually here.
If He has promised to give me everything that I need then why does it feel like I am drowning sometimes? Surely if He knew my needs then I would wake up one morning knowing exactly the job for me at this stage in life. One that would help me feel more fulfilled and at my best (preferably 2 days a week, with school-time hours, with amazing co-workers, and on the best traffic route, please). Surely if God knew all of my needs He would deliver me that patience I just can’t seem to find inside of me when another one of my Mac lipsticks gets smushed between tiny, curious fingers. If God knew all of my needs then He would give me the answers I am looking for. Right?
If I choose to believe that God knows my needs before I ask Him (Matthew 6:8), I have to change my mindset. If He cares for me more than the birds and wildflowers, then my needs are being met. Somehow. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right places.
If a wise God is taking care of me, then He knows my true needs, not the things I think I need.
When I look back on my days with these promises on my heart, I begin to see that good gifts are coming to me in every direction.
When my preschooler comes upstairs and asks to go for a walk and though I’d rather lie on the couch I don’t, and instead I unload his scooter and the stroller for his brother and we go. We watch the butterflies dance among the purple asters and tall gras. I sit on the bench and gaze at the wispy clouds overhead while the boys chase each other across the gravel, erupting in laughter when one of them is finally caught. When this happens I realize, wow, this is just what I needed.
When friends invite us over for a barbecue and though we get stuck in traffic and the kids are whining, when we finally get to sit on their patio biting into hamburgers with one hand and with the other passing salad and chips around the table, I realize wow, this is just what I needed.
And when after a long week of mothering the grandparents look after the kids for the day so my husband and I can go sailing with good friends, and we eat chocolate and drink wine as we watch the sun set in a deliciously peachy sky, I realize wow, this is just what I needed.
When my husband unexpectedly comes home from work early on one of the crazy days and he takes the kids in the backyard so that I have a chance to make supper in a quiet house, stirring the curry while classical music plays through the speakers, I realize wow, this is just what I needed.
When I look back at my days with fresh eyes, a softer heart, I can see that a loving Father is watching over me like a mother over her children. My heart is learning to say with more and more confidence,
Surely the Lord was in this place and I was not aware of it.