Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thirsty

It was the beginning of the year, the middle of winter.  Christmas was over and for us, the birthdays were finally over for a couple of months.  It was also the time when we were feeling a sort of slump in our home school.  After the holidays, it was hard to get going again.  The never-ending demands of housework seemed to nag me. Nearly three weeks of sickness was discouraging as well.  On top of it all, I lost a dear friend unexpectedly who was like a brother to me.  I was thirsty.  I felt as though I had been walking through a desert with no oasis in sight.  Not even a change of scenery.  No bend in the road.  I did not like it.  I wanted my heart to stop hurting.  I wanted physical recovery for my family.  I wanted to get back on track with our daily routine.  I wanted balance.  I wanted rest and peace.

Where did I go when I was weary?  Where did I find contentment when I was thirsty?  Where did I turn when I was grieving?  I did pray.  Sometimes, it was a half-hearted effort.  At other times, I earnestly cried out to God, needing His strength and asking Him to make sense of everything. Many times, I just cried.  I played certain songs over and over again, knowing that I would cry more tears upon hearing them.  That was okay, however.  It was what I needed.  I confided in my husband and a few close friends.  They were praying for me and I was so thankful for their prayers and encouragement. 

There were other times that I did not pray.  I chose instead to look inward and not look to the Lord.  It was at those times that I felt sorry for myself, became angry or wished I was somewhere else.  I was not content to rest in the One who loves me deeply, who knows my every need.  When my eyes were not focused on Christ, I forgot that my trials and hurts were meant to draw me to Him.  But, oh, how gracious and compassionate He is!  He gently drew me to Himself.  I knew He was there, still loving me and holding me in the palm of His hand. 

As home school moms, it is so easy to grow weary, to have discontent, even to despair.  Even in the best of circumstances, we don't always "like" our husbands or our children.  Some days, we don't even feel like playing with the kids let alone do schoolwork.  We feel like we might scream if our husbands leave their socks on the floor again.  We forget to smile at our children.  We may even ignore them instead of paying attention to them. These are the times when we have to ask the Lord for His strength to keep going.  We need to step back and look at our children and thank God for what a blessing they are to us.  We may have to let go of the book work for a little while and play a game with them, take a walk around the yard, or even squeeze into that "fort" they made in the living room.  And, guess what?  We will just have to pick up Hubby's socks again and not even say a word about it. 

On a practical level, we do need to take breaks.  A short rest, a cup of tea, a bubble bath, or a walk alone can be very refreshing.  A real treat may be getting together with another mom as both of you can encourage one another.  I would like to offer a word of caution, however, when thinking of taking breaks.  The world and even other Christians can throw that "me time" necessity at you, but remember that you are not taking a break so that you can escape your responsibilities, or escape from those kids. If we simply have "me time", we aren't going to love our children any more than we did before. We can actually lift ourselves higher than we ought, thinking that we are entitled to "me time" and not remembering why we take those little breaks. Jesus went up to the mountainside to pray alone, not so that He could get away from His disciples, but so He could commune with His Father and be of better service for the Kingdom. When we talk about taking breaks, we are doing that to fill ourselves with the Lord, to rest in Him and to go back to those little ones and our husbands with open arms, ready to love them the way God desires. A verse that comes to my mind almost daily is:
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." Gal.6:9
  And a few more:


"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  James 1:2-4

So, Mom, if you are thirsty, if you are weary, run to the Lord.  He will give you all that you need.  From the big trials down to the little irritations, God uses all of it to shape you into the woman He wants you to be.  He will never leave you or forsake you.  Just like the potter doesn't leave his lump of clay to be shaped on its own, the Potter will not leave you.  He is actively and lovingly shaping and molding you to be more like Christ.