I’ll be honest. When I was a mom facing all the rigors of working full-time outside the home, I was a bit naïve about what it would take to keep me thriving when I finally had the chance to stay at home. You could say I’ve been schooled over the last 6 years of stay at home – and now homeschool – life. I’d love to share with you some of the sanity savers I’ve learned mostly the hard way. Hopefully they can be of value to you in your own journey. (No time to read? Watch a video version here.)
Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. Luke 9:58
Jet-lagged from my trip back to Houston, I lumbered my squeaky suitcase up to the large wooden door. The adrenaline that had pulsed through my veins over the last several weeks of life-changing mission trips was now muted by the apprehension of finding a new job and a new home now that my parents were relocated back to Oklahoma. The relief of a friend’s invitation to stay with her for a couple of nights bought me time to consider my options and sort out logistics. I hoped I wasn’t imposing as I gently knocked on the door.
The air was thick with tension. My kids’ wet faces flushed with the evidence of the sibling squabble gone wrong. Hurt hearts burst out stinging words. I know they weren’t meant, yet they couldn’t be taken back. Their outbursts shocked me as I internally scrambled through my child-raising handbook for the winning recipe for this situation and remembered that my luck-of-the-draw canned response did not exist. I would need Holy Spirit for this.
I have a confession. I used to be afraid of the dark. I’m not talking about as a 6-year-old. As a young teenager, I was petrified, but I was usually too ashamed to admit it.
Around the age of 18, I’d outgrown a lot of that, but when alone at home, I’d unexpectedly be filled with terror that someone with ill intent was in our house. I could quote all the scriptures. “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” “Perfect love casts out fear.”
My fears didn’t want to budge.
What does it mean to live with purpose? At times, I swear its thumping in my chest, that sense that some how my little life matters. That anything is possible. Other times, from where I sit staring at a pillow fort, a pile of dishes and a to do list that Santa would balk at (okay, slight exaggeration there), purpose seems just a tad beyond my grasp. But what if eternity is laced through my messy bun, baggy sweater day to day?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 speaks to the idea that God has set eternity in the heart of every man. This is huge. We were created in the image of God for fellowship with God and partnership with His purposes. It starts as a God-given thirst on the inside of every human being that truly only God can fill. But then something amazing happens when we taste of His goodness.
Humid Houston air and car exhaust hugged the surrounding traffic, which was largely oblivious to the storm raging inside my red 2-door Geo. The beach ball of emotion that I had submerged in the waters of my keep-it-together and smile life could no longer be held down and erupted in an untimely, driver-side display.
“I’m done! I quit! I mean it! I give up! It’s OVER!”
My angry yell and violent screams wrung out from a deep place in my gut that I never knew existed. This uncharacteristic behavior exploded out of one most would describe as a steady and even-tempered person. But I was only getting started. I kept going. My voice struggled to get the notes out. Hot tears trailed my wincing face. I did not care that anyone at those stop lights might have a front row seat to my vulnerable moment through the untinted windows of my car. I vomited rage and hurt with every bit of gut wrenching strength I had in me. I don’t even know what I meant by it. I just knew I meant it.
After the last hoarse shouts pushed passed my trembling lips, I stopped. My eyes and face burned as my heart thumped loudly in my chest. I felt shocked by my heated display toward God, although I was not prepared to take back a single word.
In the tension of that car, two words from a still, small voice broke the silence of my empty heart.
I was shocked. In my confusion, I yelled back, “Thank you?! What do you mean?! Thank you?!” A few more words from my broken heart and a few more tears from my blood-shot eyes was all I had left.
In a gentle voice, he said, “Now I can take over.”
His graceful words undid me. I wept with all I had. Completely undaunted by my raw emotion, His kindness rushed in. That’s the day I realized that my stormy emotions could not shake God from his steadiness. James 1:17 says that God does not change like shifting shadows.
Romans 2:4 explains that God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance. Repentance is not merely a turning from apparent sin. At its root, repentance means to change our mind or think differently. God’s pursuit of me in that moment shifted my idea of what His sacrifice had provided. I knew now more than ever that what we shared was not this fragile little thing that could be crushed by my frailty. God knows we are prone to waver, so He made this covenant with Himself and then invited us into that unshakable covenant (Hebrews 6:13-20). It’s based upon His unchanging nature.
Jesus did not only taste death for us. He tasted of every emotion we will ever feel. He never sinned, but he was fully clothed in humble existence of humanity. He became a sympathetic High Priest so that we could come boldly through his blood and find mercy and grace in our time of need. Our God is not only undaunted by our shortcoming and emotions. Sisters, He beckons us to come.
You don’t have to know what it will look like. You don’t need your ducks in a row. It’s okay if its messy. Come and experience the Father. His blood has made a way for the exchange you need.
Can you relate? I’d love to hear from you.
Scriptures referenced in this article:
Thank you! You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter.