Jesus Calling, February 25:
Rest In My Presence, allowing Me to take charge of this day. Do not bolt into the day like a racehorse suddenly released. Instead, walk purposefully with Me, letting Me direct your course one step at a time.
I have been thinking all day about how to express what I've been feeling lately, and the phrase above is it. I'm not reading the Jesus Calling book, yet, but I came across this entry on a different blog just now. So glad I didn't have time to write before I saw this, because I would have been floundering for the right words. Which, in itself, points back to the saying that touched me so deeply.
Ever since the snow day debacle, I've had a careful awareness of how I spend my time. I feel like I've been given the gift of a fresh perspective, to not be satisfied with co-existing with my family but actually wanting to do life with them. That might sound weird, but to me, it is the difference between being ok with appeasing them so I can keep doing what I want to do (read: not what I need to do, but what I want to do) and being involved in what they are doing. I have not turned into Mary Poppins or a one-woman entertaining committee by any means, but I have been spending more time reading with the kids, visiting with them, and letting them come into my activities as well. Yesterday morning, Connor and I shared my earbuds listening to Third Day together during my quiet time. Normally I would have chased him into the bedroom to go lay with Daddy for awhile.
There have been a few times over the past few weeks that I have really wanted to accomplish particular things,but had prior commitments. Instead of pouting or wishing I didn't already have things on the schedule, I prayed. I acknowledged to God that He is in charge of my day (that's only news to one of us...) and that if He wanted me to get the things done that I was hoping to do, I knew He would make a way. In the meantime, I would go about the previous engagements with a willing spirit and a good attitude. Each time, a door was opened in my schedule that was not previously there. An offer of a playdate, a mix-up in the room mom schedule, a change in the carpooling...just enough time to do what I was praying about.
In the short term, it is teaching me to understand Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God, more fully. To stop stressing about what I want to do, to be still, put it before the Lord, and let Him do what He wants with it. I know there will be times when windows of time don't open up, and I will have to be content that some things just weren't in the plans for that day. Adopting that attitude instead of trying to manipulate time and people to keep moving in the direction I wanted has freed me to enjoy the moments more. Tonight, the boys and I experienced the simple miracle of a pineapple upside down cake actually flipping upside down onto the tray like it is supposed to, because I allowed them to be part of the process instead of sticking them in front of the tv while I rushed through my to-do list. Last weekend it allowed us to build a magnificent playhouse out of cereal boxes that we had been saving for six months, despite the fact that I had my usual activities still to take care of. I knew, in that moment, that it was more important to build a monument to our over consumption of processed foods than to focus on the other stuff.
Long range, this whole process is teaching me to trust God with my hopes and dreams. Usually I am in the place of trying to make things happen, in essence, trying to force God's hand.You know how I like to be in charge. I have to trust that if God gave me a dream and a vision in the first place, He will work out the details. It is my job to improve and faithfully steward the gifts and talents He has given me, but I can't accomplish His plan for Him. He gets to be in charge; more than that, He is in control. Nothing will come up along the journey that will surprise Him because He already knows it all. I can rest in the knowledge that He's got it all under control, and just continue taking one step at a time in the right direction. There is freedom in that.
There is freedom knowing that I don't have to micro-manage every detail, every second. I just need to be tuned in to the Lord, seeking what His plan for each day. Easier said than done sometimes, but I am beginning to see the rewards of doing just that. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but for today, I am at peace.