I’ve decided to dedicate Fridays to the things that God is showing me. It’ll probably be lighter on the humor and heavier on the personal insight. Hopefully, it’s still your thang and you stick around.
And hopefully I stick to my word and really do this on Fridays! Haha!
Tuesday night was tough as far as sleep was concerned. Elijah woke up at his usual 1am and 4am wake up calls. But Caden and Jacob decided to add some fun to my night by waking up in between because they had decided to share a bed… but then Jacob was laying on Caden… and Caden kicked him out of his bed… but wouldn’t give him any of his stuffed animals… so yeah. I was breaking up fights in my sleep at 2am. Awesome. Needless to say, when everyone woke up for the day at 6:30am (nice) I was exhausted.
I had told my sister that we would meet her at the beach on Wednesday, and even though I tried to text my way out of it, she guilted me into coming. (I’m easily guilted, by the way.)
We arrived at the beach before my sister and parked a few blocks from the sand. After slamming my whole hand in the van door (Who does that? Fingers, understandable. Whole hand? Just me.) I unloaded the entire back of the van, got Elijah in the stroller and made my way down the three blocks, baring an uncanny resemblance to a pack mule.
Once we actually hit the sand, I set out the umbrella, broke up a fight over the blue bucket, laid out towels, broke up a fight over a yellow shovel, sunscreened three kids (and my shorts and shirt because the nozzle was broken), tried to make Elijah stop eating the sand, set up my beach chair, passed out PB&J to my “starving” children, and finally sat down. Ten minutes later I was nursing a baby.
My sister showed up with a couple of her friends. And here’s how their beach day went. They all dropped their half filled tiny beach bags on the sand, laid out their towels, took off their clothes to reveal their skinny stretch-mark-free bodies, and laid down. The end.
I told my sisiter about my lack of sleep and she said, “Well, at least you get a ‘lounge around’ day today.”
I was so envious. I get envious a lot on family beach days. I look around at all the younger girls and think back to when I spent whole summers at Laguna Beach with my best friend. We would get there around noon and literally lounge around until sunset. It was beautiful. Not a real care or responsibility in the world. Those were the days.
As I was thinking of all this on the drive home a verse came to mind, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. It says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I specifically remember memorizing that Bible verse in the back of my Dad’s car during a long drive up to Northern California. And thank God I did.
The grass is always greener on the other side and I can stand at the fence in the middle and gaze over at that luscious green grass of my sister’s, or I can turn around and be thankful for mine. Not just be thankful, but rejoice. Because let’s be honest, I have more than just grass. I have a whole garden over here! God has blessed me, indeed.
And not only should I rejoice, but I should be thankful, because this is God’s will for me. So often we wonder, what is my purpose in life? Or, am I truly making a difference in the world? But I can say with confidence that if you’re in God’s will, then you are exactly where you should be.
See, God has this whole plan mapped out and all of us play a part that He has designed, and it may not feel big now, but who knows what the future holds? Being a mother (or a father for that matter) on a day to day basis feels tedious and sacrificing and unrewarding, but think about it in the long run. Who are you raising? Even Billy Graham, Mother Teresa and Bono had a mom, right? And I guarantee that somehow, their mom shaped their future. Even though passing out juice, and cleaning up messes, and folding laundry seems so menial, my job is HUGE, and for that I am thankful.
So, my real job? My real role? To pray continually. Because prayer is powerful. Not only do I pray for these little reminders about how blessed I am (even though beach days are far from relaxing) but I pray for my children. I pray for their futures and for their todays. I pray that they see Jesus everyday and grow to be men that desire to make a Kingdom difference. I pray that I am raising passionate followers of His and men that will stand on the front lines in His name.
So how about you? Any circumstances that you should be thankful for? Anything you should be rejoicing about?