I am behind.
For the last week I’ve been feeling my patience run dry, my voice raise louder and my frustration levels rise higher more quickly than usual. These symptoms have been compounding each passing day, along with urges of negativity, apathy and escapism.
As I was trying to catch up with dishes after lunch today, while keeping Jackson and Lauren from fighting so as to avoid the inevitable onslaught of unnecessarily dramatic tears and screams, the house finally grew quiet. That is partly because Jackson had been sequestered into the reading room and Lauren was lingering in the living room. Either way, they weren’t pestering each other, and the house was at last below recommended decibel ratings.
I flipped on the dishwasher, glad to be done with the chore, and went to peak in on the kids. Jackson was engrossed in a book. I walked through the kitchen and turned the corner into the living room, and Lauren was splashing in an enormous puddle on the floor. She looked up at me, with a huge grin on her face (and no hint of “uh-oh, I did something wrong”), and picked up Jackson’s water bottle she had found, showing me her achievement. You could see her diaper expanding out of her soaked shorts.
We’ve all had these kinds of days (or weeks, or months or…) If fact, just now, while my son is supposed to be napping, he calls me from the bathroom where he is sitting on the toilet playing with a sticker book. Of course, what I see first is the toothpaste smeared all over the mirror for no apparent reason.
When I discovered Lauren splashing her pudgy little hands in her self-made puddle, I knew I needed to get things together. The level of chaos in the house was starting to get out of control. And just as I was formulating my battle plan, God let me know that the chaos in my own heart is what I needed to let Him get under control.
You see, God helped me to see today where there are chinks in my armor that have become footholds for Satan to use to tempt me into losing my patience, overreacting to situations and dwelling in frustration. Instead of reverting to my favorite (and comfortable) position of control, I need to put my own Sunday School lesson into action and yield control to my Commander and Savior. I need His armor and His strength to raise up His shield of faith to withstand the fiery arrows of the Devil. Too often as Christians we have this inaccurate notion that the shoes of the gospel of peace are purposed only to bring God’s Good News to others. Today, God showed me that I need His gospel of peace just as much now as I did when I first began my relationship with Him.
So, yes, I am behind on many, many things. There are toys strewn throughout the house, I could Swiffer every day and there would still be dog hair on the floor, laundry is never ending and in an hour I will begin making dinner yet again.
But, instead of those to-do’s, I am sitting here letting God work on me as I write. The Holy Spirit reminds me to “Be strong in the Lord” and that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Now, with His peace and in His presence, I’m going to tackle the laundry.