Been spending a lot of time looking back and reflectinglately…there’s so much to take in and process these days.
I keep feeling my heavenly Father nudging me to rest & reflect.
But it’s hard to rest in the reflective moments as our minds tend to conjure up all of our shortcomings and failures rather than celebrating the good.
It’s so tempting for us Mommas to settle in regret.
In the hard days of toddlers and unending meal prep I often lost myself in looking ahead. Having four boys right on top of each other and a husband in ministry the days were crazy and intense. I found myself living in the waiting room of life more times than I care to admit…waiting for better seasons to come and just enough time to pass to usher in some sweet relief and yet here I am on the other side looking back…
I wonder what causes us to look ahead in the hard and look back when it’s passed us on by?
Each new first beckoned the years to slow down while the days seemed to pass all too slowly. Each fall brought the crispness of a new school year with the change of weather and an excitement of what was next. As the older the kids grew I had a hungering for the days of the past to return. The tension we live inside as Moms stirs a restlessness within us, doesn’t it? When we’re down in the trenches of parenting it seems to come all too hard & fast. We spend so much of our days sifting through expectations and doubts… surviving rather than thriving. We can’t see it until we’re down on our knees cleaning up messes and life seems to be coming on so fast that we hear the whispers of truth we’re longing for….It’s in these times the truth has to overcome the lies shouting in our thoughts. Then there’s the dew drops from heaven God pours over us as we catch glimpses of our children living their own God-first life. This is where we begin to see what all our long nights and hard days are really all about…Mommas know you’re doing eternal and meaning-full things. Don’t ever forget this!
Our ministry of being present in their lives is how we’ll change the world-
One child, one day, one moment at a time!
For these seemingly small moments of investment are a big part of our child’s story… our ‘return of investment’ on our child’s soul.
I can’t quite remember when it happened but without too much blinking it seems I’ve left the days full of naps and lullabies and am entering a season full of unknown.
I’ve been thinking of a story filled with change and hardship. Though it tells a very different narrative it speaks of a longing to return. I am reminded of the Israelites who were freed from a season of oppression and slavery, who longed for freedom perhaps even dreamt of their release. Yet within the pages of their story we read of a hungering to return to the past. I’ve wondered what could cause a person to yearn for the past more than moving forward?
Yet these are the contimplations hovering over me…
For a second the other day I was doing the ordinary when all of the sudden I found myself weeping for my son’s leaving, for the quiet lull that would return with his absence. My heart was in a quandary of emotions…there’s nothing greater than knowing your child is walking in the way of the Lord and yet I knew there was an ending to a season coming through my door. My tears were burning my eyes, not another loss so soon. I feel like I’ve been collecting losses these days and yet my heart desires to not feel their pain. What eases this kind of loss? Our world numbs it with so many different things trying to find some relief from its pain….addictions fill our homes where too many dreams get replaced with regret. If only we knew our temporary fixes are keeping our healing at an arm’s length away from happening within our souls.
These times become the narration of our story.
It’s where God calls for us to come….to sit and rest in these moments with Him.
God asks us to live a life of worship in the smaller corners of our lives,
where He meets us….
I think of Hannah a barren woman in God’s story who hurt day after day longing for a child to call her own.
One day while she sat in the presence of God in the walls of a sanctuary and poured out her pain before the Lord. Eli her spiritual leader came to her and mocked her accusing her of being drunk as he saw her lips begging God for a child. Rather than wallowing in her bitterness and hurt Hannah opened up her heart and spilled it like an offering before God and Eli. And God ushered whole heart healing to Hannah and gave insight to Eli who changed his tune. Eli prayed a blessing over Hannah.
If it weren’t for Hannah’s surrender her laying down of her brokenness not only before God but also before her spiritual leader she wouldn’t have known the cry of her son Samuel that came from this interaction.
God wants to meet us in our seasons of pain and He wants to heal us here too!
It’s here where our lives get cultivated by our Creator, where he repairs our wounds. We’ve been writing a story our whole life…words from deep within.
And now God is leading us to finish the lyrics written from the depths of our souls.
It’s in these hard and holy moments that God is leading us to continue writing out
He’s making us in the secret…inside our moments of weeping as well as our sanctuary of worship.
My soul deeply longs to love rather than injure.
grant me this kind of soul quenching healing…
open my heart dear Father in the secret places and bring your fullness of healing.
Who’s needing some of this?
Maybe your circumstances aren’t the same, perhaps your story involves tragedy that’s still bleeding….listen to your heavenly Father who’s calling you to your knees as the sun peeks over the horizon.
A lot is going on in our world…a whole lot of pain pounding down on the pavement of life. And maybe right now you need to hear the words rest & reflect… think upon God’s goodness and faithfulness and how He has carried you through some hard storms before.
Although there’s an ending to my constant shuttling of kids to their activities, no more fixing lunches in brown paper sacks and cleaning off their muddy shoes…
but what I know to be true is that God has prepared me and you for this time not only for the days which have passed on by, but for the days that are here & upon us.
My sweet son this one who is about to leave for college, sat beside me on my bed last night and patiently said, ‘how are you doing with everything Mom?’ It melted my heart at his compassion and thoughtfulness, because what I have ahead sweet friend is these kind of conversations filled with big questions where he’s able to handle my broken answers and console me. You see there’s not as much navigating to do when the one asking the question is mature enough to handle your answer.This growing up thing may be hard on our nurturing hearts but it’s really soothing to our souls. I’m finding the way through this season is found in celebrating these tender moments that renew us. We must remind ourselves our brokenness doesn’t knock us out it is what others get to be strengthened from.
So today rather than getting lost in the cutting edges of regret we must find rest and reflect on how God’s grace carries us forward.
And the question for each of us becomes…
‘How are we going to leave our story better than how it began?’