"Many are the plans of a man's [mother's] heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21
Ever see a hamster on a wheel? They run and run, the wheel squeaking and turning, and when they are finished, exhausted, they are still no further ahead, are they?
There are days when I feel like that. As the mother of a very busy, intelligent, strong-willed little boy some days I go to bed with dishes in the sink and toys scattered on my living room floor.
It can be difficult to order my days in such a way that I am able to accomplish the necessary tasks. Lately, it's been impressed on me that there are three things I can do that will help me to keep my purpose aligned with the Lord's.
1. Get enough sleep. It's hard to hear the voice of the Lord when I walk through my day half asleep.
2. Eat whole, energizing foods. I'm not talking about a diet. This is simple - is the food alive? Eat raw fruits and veggies as much as you can - you'll have more energy.
3. Carve out a few minutes for yourself, even just a few times a week, that you can read a devotional book and get out your bible. How will you know if your purposes fit with God's, if you don't know what his purposes are?...
When we can put first things first, we'll find that our life will fall into place. Last night, instead of folding laundry, my son and I sat on the couch and read a book about a porcupine named Fluffy. The laundry will be taken care of over the course of my day, my son will remember what I did - taking time for him - and hopefully connect it with the truth that God will always make time for him, always be interested in his life.
God's encouragement for you today? Align your purpose with His purpose and you'll be on the right track!
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3
Sitting on the park bench, I enjoy the feeling of the warm sun and the sound of Trey laughing as he runs around the playground. Basking in the 'see how well my son is playing with others' moment, a minute or two goes by before I see the arcing stream of liquid coming from the top of the high slide.
Inwardly, I allow myself an amused head shake at the boy whose mother obviously isn't paying enough attention.
Then it dawns on me.
That is MY boy.
And then, in front of the entire playground, I become 'that mom'. You've seen her. She's the one who calls and calls for her obviously neglected, undisciplined child as he runs away laughing.
Laughing turns to screams when I climb the play set and chase him to the top again. My face burning in embarrassment, I navigate around mortified children as I take the walk of shame to the car with the screaming, crying toddler under my arm.
Later, when I relate the incident to friends and family, the only response I receive is laughter. Then stories of their embarrassing kid/parent moments.
And I remember again, that sometimes, we just need to loosen up. Life isn't about being the perfect mom, having the perfect child, being the perfect example.
Sometimes, life is about seeing the humor and allowing ourselves to laugh.
God thinks so too.
There's a reason why, tucked into what is otherwise a rather depressing book of the bible, that God uses the writer to remind us that just as there is a season to cry and lament, there is also a season to laugh and cheer.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
...a time to laugh.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4b)
Parenting is about seasons. It's easy to get so caught up in the day to day that we forget to move with the liquidity of the moments. Each moment makes a season – don't forget to let yourself laugh.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)