Thursday, October 27, 2011

Waiting Well

Eden has recently made the unilateral decision that nap time is no longer necessary in her schedule of daily activities, which has brought a certain level of sadness and loss of solitude to her tired mother. Part of my sadness comes as a result of the realization that she is growing up, despite my efforts to freeze time and preserve these years where life is simple to some extent. The remaining part of my sadness stems from the fact that my hour or so of "peace and quiet" has transformed into something entirely different. While I firmly believe that a midday siesta should be filtered into the everyday routine of preschooler and parent alike, Eden does not seem to agree.

I have observed that in the moments before nap time commences, Eden will ask on multiple occasions, "Is it time for Caroline to go to sleep yet?" There are days when she is so anxious for her little sister to drift off to dreamland that she truly wearies me with her inquiry.

And then, at long last, it happens.

I pick Caroline up and place her in her bed, and Eden is free to enjoy her time without the distraction of her younger sibling. She does a pretty decent job of entertaining herself for a while, but once that first hour passes, she changes her tune. Suddenly she becomes more interested in when Caroline will be waking up. At various intervals and with mounting intensity, she will ask if it is time to awaken her sister from her slumber. It is then that I remind her how eager she was for Caroline to take her nap. Her memory does not always serve her well.

My memory isn't always the best either.

As I have traveled this sod, I have learned that no matter who you are or what season of life you are living, you are always waiting on something. That "something" is different for each of us. When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to go off to college. When I was in college, I couldn't wait to get married. When I got married, I couldn't wait to begin having children. When I gave birth to that first child I couldn't wait for her to learn her days from her nights. The list goes on and on.

Waiting has never been my forte. I am actually one of the most impatient people I know. Sometimes I get so frustrated with waiting that I run ahead of God and end up begging Him to pick up the pieces later. Through various trials and tests, I have discovered that waiting is a process designed to hone me into who God wants me to be. The Lord does not ask me to wait because He is unkind or because He has forgotten me. He does not place me in a holding pattern to play fast and loose with my sanity. He every every season...asks me to wait for His greater purpose. He can see the big picture. I cannot. He knows what is best.

I desperately long to be able to say, like Paul, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:11-13). What is the secret? I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Everything that happens to me is filtered through the loving hand of my Savior. If he has placed me here, then He will give me the strength I need to endure His molding process. Lord, please help me to be content in every season and embrace Your strength to delight in each day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Help Wanted

I am a mega-multitasker. The spell checker is telling me that is not an actual word, but I think it should be. I spend most days running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I've never actually seen a chicken run around with its head cut off, but I imagine it's not a pretty sight.

Sometimes I take this multitasking mania to an extreme. I have been known to have dinner cooking, while I'm shoving clothes into the dryer, with the cell phone perched between my shoulder and my ear, while the girls parade by wearing my shoes and their fancy princess dresses. It doesn't look like much when I see it written in on this page, but in the moment it is happening, it can be overwhelming. Especially when you add in that I'm sometimes doing all those things fifteen minutes before I have to drive into town for a meeting and I need to change my outfit before I go. (Others might gawk at me if I walk in with food splattered on my shirt and sticky hand prints on my jeans.)

In the midst of all that chaos, there is one thing that can successfully stop me in my tracks. All I need to hear is, "Mama, will you help me?", and it's like kryptonite to my Wonderwoman veneer. My heart literally melts when Caroline asks me that in her little chipmunk voice. Who cares if dinner is beginning to smoke? My girls need me! It's not a's not a's Mama to the rescue!

Did you know that our Heavenly Father feels that way about us too? He sees all (even when we wish He couldn't) and He watches us scurry around trying to accomplish fifty million things in one day. He knows all our anxieties and He waits patiently for us to come to Him, place our worries at His feet, crawl up in His lap, and breathe a sigh of relief.

Here are some reminders of this fact from His Word...

"In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears."  Psalm 18:6

"O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me."  Psalm 30:2

"I had said in my alarm, 'I am cut off from your sight.' But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help."  Psalm 31:22

"When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."  Psalm 34:17

"As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!"  Psalm 40:17

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  Psalm 46:1

"For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me."  Psalm 63:7-8

"If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, 'My foot slips,' your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul."  Psalm 94:17-19

This is only a small representation of the many verses that make reference to the help of God. He is truly our Helper, our Rescuer, our Deliverer, our Protector...our Daddy. I am so thankful for His tender care. May I remember to run to Him FIRST.