Years ago, Jim and I visited our daughter Courtney while her husband was on his first-ever submarine tour — for 90 days. Jim and I had gone to fill the void such an assignment from the U.S. Navy was bound to create.
All was going well — in fact, better than any of us had anticipated. It was such a joy to share meals with our grandchildren — Jacob almost two and Katie almost one. And I always delight in helping clean up after we eat. My standard line is “No, you made the meal. I can clean it up. You just go and sit down.” After six years of an empty nest and having only Jim to fuss over, it was sheer joy to be in an active, lively home where there is actually something to clean up.
Spaghetti in the Light Fixtures
One morning, Jim and I decided to run some errands. We told Courtney not to hold lunch for us, but to go ahead and we would see her when we got back. And off we went. As I said, all was well. Well, we came back to Courtney’s house at about 2:00 that afternoon. We let ourselves in, headed to her living room, turned the corner, and there she was (or should I say there it was?).
Courtney was sitting in her rocking chair with her feet up on an ottoman. She had a blanket draped over her legs. Her Bible was open on her lap. But that’s not the half of it. Their dining space adjoins the living room, creating one large room. And I have to report that it looked like a bomb had gone off in their living area!
The floor was trashed. The table was covered and smeared with food and spilled milk. I maybe even spotted some spaghetti noodles hanging from the light fixture overhead.
Jim and I looked at the damage...and we looked at Courtney. And then she said, “You won’t believe all that happened here after you left. I don’t know what got into the kids, but they were awful. Everything got spilled or thrown. I finally got them down for their naps, and I was just sitting here trying to calm down and asking God to remind me of how much I love and wanted these children.”
Savoring a Quiet Moment
I personally think my daughter found a fine solution that particular day to her real-life situation as a mother. She had the grace to know that her spiritual needs at that moment came first. Dear Mom, have you had days (or maybe even months or years) like this?
May I encourage you? Spend time finding comfort and confirmation from God’s Word through your Bible and prayer. Make this time a priority — and a necessity. Ask for God’s grace to just stop, leave things as they are, and look to the Lord for His patience and a quiet spirit. Seek Him for help to maintain (or regain, whichever the case) your perspective on the blessings of having children to love and the privilege of parenting them.
Pausing in the mess to turn to God’s message will help us understand God’s plan and role for us as a Christian mother. And in turn, this will help us become mothers and women after God’s own heart. Moms who leave their mark on the world by leaving behind a child who grows up to love and serve the Lord — who then also raises godly children to continue your godly legacy for generations to come. Now that’s worth taking a time out for, wouldn’t you agree?
Dear Lord, I love You. And I thank You for the gift of my children. Help me pause to read Your Word so that I will grow spiritually. Amen.
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Do you make time to spend in reading God’s Word each day?
When you are tired or frustrated, ask for help.
Pausing in the mess to turn to God’s message will help us understand God’s plan and role for us as a Christian mother.