Tuesday, January 07, 2014

He says it 'cause He means it

I can hear my husband reading Paul his bedtime story in the living room.  Paul chose the children's gospel from Ignatius press.  Really we're mostly a SpongeBob and potty jokes kind of family, but despite us God is doing His work anyway, I guess.

Mary isn't feeling well.  A cold turned into a little tummy trouble and now the world's best sleeper isn't sleeping.  So instead of being in bed, she is on her big sister's lap next to her big brother, listening to her daddy read.

So often I feel like I'm not doing enough.  Do more, do more, do more.  If there is anyone accomplishing fewer things than I am, I say "well of course!  Look at _______ that she has to deal with.  Obviously no one can fault her."  But I, well, I have no excuse. Of course.  But the people accomplishing more I say "look at ______________ that she has to deal with yet she is still capable of doing all these things.  What is wrong with me?  My gosh I need to crack the whip."

Then I am anxious and fret and scurry and sigh.  And maybe what could have been a nice evening of reading on the sofa turns into an evening of everyone worrying about the next moment mom is going to get all like that again and insist we be accomplishing something tangible every minute of every day.  

I don't want to be the parent the kids dread.  You might know the feeling.  You hear those footsteps and you think "Well, here it comes.  Whatever it is I'm doing, it's probably the wrong thing." Trust me.  I am thisclose to being that parent sometimes.  Maybe I already am.

The other day I was praying about having a word for the year.  A prompting from the Holy Spirit to stay focused as we navigate the who-knows-whats of the coming months.  Last year my word was "patience" and boy when that word popped into my head I KNEW it was the one.  But this time it was different.  This time a word came to me and I brushed it aside.  Obviously it was silly.  "How could someone even work on a thing like that?  Isn't that something God GIVES you?  I'm praying for something that *I* am in control of."  (oh, I can see those eyebrows raising.  My own head is shaking as I write this out because....you know...hindsight.)


What is Jesus always saying to his friends?  PEACE be with you.  To everyone He loves, and that is everyone, He says "Peace."  He doesn't say "stress" or "anxiety" or "control."  Surely it something that God offers us, yes, surely.  But we have to accept it.   As in all things, we must be willing participants.  In order to actually be at peace we must say "Okay, sure.  That does sound pretty good."

And then I have to stop careening about the house looking for things to complain about.  I have to stop overlooking our daily bread because I'm busy worrying about the bread five months from now.  I have to admit that it's okay for sick kids to stay up a little and listen to a story and for healthy kids to waste time on a foolish project or reading yet another book about an amazing horse that does amazing things and amazes everyone.

God tells me to be at peace because that is what He actually wants.  It's not some kind of weird passive-aggressive trap or something.  And I know that I, especially in a baby year, really need the extra reminder to accept His peace.  To hand Him my worries and my frustrations.  To put aside my fears.  To cling to my family in the everyday.  And just...be at peace.

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  1. When I was going through a particularly difficult time of my life, every time i would pray I'd hear the very clear answer from God, "Be still and know that I am God". I would debate Him, "God, I'm really suffering here and I can't ..." "Be still". Over and over. And you know what? There came a time that He so perfectly worked out a solution that everyone was awed. Peace is a great word.

  2. Did you see this Chesterton quote over at Sarah's link up?

    “There is a tendency to forget that the school is only a preparation for the home, and not the home a mere jumping off place for the school.”

    It totally hit me hard in relation to so many of the things you reference... why can't my kids be doing A, B, or C when it's really more "real" than what I'm worrying they have done...

  3. Yes. I just let out a breath, unaware that I was holding it. Peace. Sounds good to me!

  4. I struggle with this a lot... My word for the year is attitude. Clearly He is trying to tell me something with that, don't you think?! Hang in there!

  5. Oh, Peace. I'm just so bad at peace. I'm the girl who can't just sit and watch a movie... that's not productive enough. My hands have to be busy, too! Because I can do all the mending! And all the meal planning! And all the Pinterest-ing! I have to do all the things!

    But I don't, I really don't. Peace. That's a great word for the year!

  6. I struggle with this a lot... My word for the year is attitude. Clearly He is trying to tell me something with that, don't you think?! Hang in there!

  7. I don't comment often, but love your blog and pray for your family a lot. This post made me literally stop in my tracks! I have put out two scrabble wood thingys with tiles this Christmas. One is by our nativity and say Holy Night and the other is in the kitchen where I spend a whole lot of time and it says Peace. Coincidence? I think not. I'm thisclose to being that parent too. I remember how I felt when I was the kid with a parent like this and yet, I still struggle with making my kids feel that way too. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this...really, really needed to hear this. My kids want me, my love, my time and not my stress!

  8. A baby year. I like that concept. That idea brings *me* peace.

  9. Peace can be a tough one. It's easy for me to get anxious too. One thing that has been helping me be at peace more is saying, "I trust you God" when I feel myself beginning to spiral.

  10. This just made me cry. Seriously, your blog makes me a better mum.

  11. As always, always, always, your posts are wonderful and have the tendency to influence my whole day and beyond. Although I wish I would have read it yesterday, as a sick June clung to me all evening and into bedtime, and NOTHING was getting 'done' :).

  12. This is so great, Mrs. Dweej! God bless you, <3

    ~ Country Girl's Daybook
    Recently Posted: a movie review + walter mitty's clementine cake --> http://bit.ly/19ICsYA

  13. Love your writing! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Absolutely LOVE how you put feelings to words. :)
    Although I didn't officially label it my "word of the year", Peace IS my word for this year (no matter the label). "Be still, and know that I am God"
    Thank you for sharing!
    ~Ruth Anne

  15. "I have to stop overlooking our daily bread because I'm busy worrying about the bread five months from now."
    This was for me. maybe others too, but definitely for me. I worry a lot about having enough and getting bills payed. And then we find out my husband's job is phasing out by April and I worry more. Then my husband starts a new business with lots of start up expenses...even more worry. So thank you. I needed that reality check, that humility, that peace. :)

  16. your blog makes me better mum too. i need peace too. my husband always says that. stop stressing and fussing about thigs - everything. i`m here, keeping an eye in your blog and trying to be more peaceful. although when i think of a word for the year, which i have never done before and i`m not fully committed to this stuff for 2014, when i think of "word of the year" i think of selflessness, and i don`t even know it it`s a word! but cound be, and cound be a good word to live on into 2014. thank you !!

  17. Beautiful. I think you could have written this about me.

  18. This is so much at the heart of the struggle of being a mom in this modern world. My words for this year are grateful and present. Together they really just equal peace. I need that and my family needs me to have it. Best wishes to you on your journey toward peace.


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