It was one of those days. It wasn’t even ten o’clock in the morning, and I’d already had to mop a flooded laundry room, clean up bright blue paint that spilled during my kindergartner’s art project, sweep up the contents of the box of cereal that my toddler had spilled all over the kitchen floor in her attempt to help herself to a snack, and gather items from my recycling bin that had been strewn all over the first floor of my house.
I contemplated whether I should lock myself in the bathroom (the only way to obtain any privacy) and have a good cry or put my children back to bed and try to start the day over. I ended up choosing a third option—I loaded my children into their red wagon and headed to a nearby playground. There’s only so much they can do to damage the great outdoors. And I could momentarily ignore the fact that my house looked like a disaster zone.
As I sat on the park bench watching my children happily burn off energy and cover themselves in sand, I thought about a lot of things. About why my house never looked as spotless and organized as the houses featured in the monthly magazines I subscribe to. About why I never seemed to have time to make those cute owl cookies I saw on Pinterest. About how my toddler still wasn’t potty trained although most of her peers were. About how much I needed a vacation—or even a nap.
It’s moments like these that help me realize how much I need help—not a cleaning service or a babysitter or a caterer but Divine help. I desperately need the strength and grace that only God can give. I need the mind-renewal that only comes from reading His words. I need His help to view my children not as vandals or interrupters but as image-bearers that need my nurturing more than they need cute owl cookies or a perfectly organized playroom. They need God. I need God—I cannot get through my day without Him.
Yet in the busyness of life with little people, it can be hard to focus on heavenly things. Children surprise you—sometimes getting up early and interrupting the time you set aside for Bible reading and prayer; sometimes keeping you awake at night so you struggle staying alert the next day. Even after a wonderful time with the Lord, circumstances continually fight for our attention. We can get so consumed with cleaning up messes and directing activities that we can easily go through an entire day without reflecting on God at all.
So when you are feeling overwhelmed, run to your Savior. Ask Him for wisdom, for strength, for help to make it through the next hour or even the next two minutes. Psalm 46:1 assures us that He “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He is all we need.
Amy Ivey says
Thank you for the encouragement and VERY important reminder. Sending blessings your way!
Regina Franklin says
As a missionary, wife and mom “emergency” interruptions during school happen all the time. I try to get better at routines and schedules but most of the time it’s out of my control. When God is at the center of our world things still spring out of control but our perspective is different. When I see God in control, I can smile and say “change of plans”. When I try to keep insisting things go my “perfect” way I end up unhappy and “taking it out” on those around me.
Mimi K says
I am a grandmothrr that has a daughter, her family with 2 darling girls & a step daughter all under 1 roof. Life does get crazy…sometimes it seems public school would be easier but then we look in their eyes & know they need the Father more than we need quiet or a clean living room! This is a wonderful reminder of what is truly important…what we really need & what the children need most. When God is at the center of our world things will NOT spring out of control.
Loved this reminder! It was as if I could have written this article. Except my circumstances seemed to be doubled. I have a 1st grader, a pre-k and toddler boys. And I am expecting my 4th little boy. So my crazy life just is amplified. I am so tired all the time! The times I try to have some time along with my God, I just end up falling asleep. It is frustrating to me. But I know that God will not give me more than I can handle!