Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Hardest Thing...

This blog post was supposed to be something else. It was supposed to be titled A Magical Morning or something like that. My intentions were to write about how much of a SAHM (stay at home mom) gift this morning turned out to be surprising to me. The Blog Post turned out to be titled The Hardest Thing, and I'll get to why. Here's the short version-that's what God wanted it to be.

I was exhausted this morning, and as I was laying in bed with my eyes closed I was thanking myself for buying frozen ego waffles yesterday at the grocery store so I didn't have to get up 15 minutes earlier to cook eggs. I got up at 6:30 with full intention of leaving our house at 6:45 which to my astonishment-we did. Or at least around there.

As I drove to school traffic was unusually light and the interstate was interestingly moving along at an adequate pace.

As I turned off where I am usually in a long line of traffic stuck at a red light I began to wonder where are all the cars, traffic jams, Is it Saturday? Was I supposed to fall back an hour? And then I remembered to thank God for his favor. It's a silly thing I do when I cruise through a green light and time seems to stand still on a busy morning. I say in my head, "Thank you God for your Favor." Yes I know God is not a magician in the sky poofing the green lights just for me. It just keeps me grateful for the little things that honestly to every stay at home mom or any parent shuttling kids around is a BIG thing-green lights, being on time, light traffic!

SO I got home thinking after a smooth school drop off where even the dog stayed on his blanket quietly in the car all morning only whining as we pulled up to the schools because he cries as the kids get out of the car (I get it Sonny I do), that THIS was a magical morning. As I scooted around the house in my pjs I realized how wise I was to block off this day to do exactly what I was doing. I was asked to work but said I could not which I couldn't because I had this day set aside for me. This lead me to ask myself as I was enjoying my morning, Why don't more parents push pause on the busyness and grant themselves the serenity of time?

As I pulled in the drive I noticed the grass was getting tall, and the weather is so nice I thought I should mow the grass. But I didn't want my day off to be about that so I resisted the urge to start my usual long to do list. I came inside, and as I was filled with calm and a grateful heart, I looked down and followed a horrible smell which turned out to be my sweet little (smelly) dog. So I said come on Sonny you're getting a bath. I had nothing else planned for this morning. And I actually did feel like spending some time taking care of sweet Sonny. I wasn't in a rush, I scrubbed him and massaged the soap into his little tiny easy to bathe body. I rinsed and re rinsed. I blew out his soft furry hair. And then looked around to see what else I needed to do next. Surprisingly the house was fairly clean! I put some laundry in (there was only a load or two to be washed-very surprising) I opened the kids' doors to their rooms which were pretty clean and what? they made their beds?! It truly is a magical morning-this kind of thing is rare-far and few moments between. So I went in and straightened their already made beds and arranged their stuffed animals that never quite make it on to the made beds. I found myself oddly cheek to the carpet rescuing stuffed animals that had been hiding under the bed for a few weeks now. I started appreciating the very fact that I had enough time to arrange stuffed animals! As I did this I was thinking about each one, when we bought it, where we were, how happy my kids were to get it. So emotionally grateful my kids are still young enough to love their stuffed friends.

I wandered around their rooms tidying the corners and taking in all that was my children. I noticed their little doodads and books they were reading and ones they had stacked ready to read next. Their art, the things that makes them....them.

I realize how much I enjoy my kids when they are not around. Thinking about who they are when I am not stressed out about having to feed, cloth, tend to them. Someone gave me advice in a parent talk to go into your kids' rooms and pray for them when they are at school. Lay down on their beds, stand in their doorways, kneel face down on the floor in their rooms and pray fervently for them. I loved that advice and intend on doing it whenever I get the chance in my home all alone.

So I scurried around arranging stuffed animals, breathing in the surprisingly cleanliness of the house, loving on my dog and it hit me-I must blog about how magical and rare this morning is so I can remember it.

I go downstairs and make coffee and admire the little remnants of what stage of life we are in. I'm making mental notes of the left out science projects, the left over mess from homework at the dinner table with my son before we sat together and ate at it. I am feeling sentimental that one day these artifacts of this stage of life with my school aged kids won't be laying around my house.

I go outside with a full heart. So glad I gave myself this gift of time today and fully appreciating it when I decided to sit down with my coffee on the porch and enjoy the fall weather. I was sitting with my journal and had no idea what I was going to write as the breeze was blowing.

I thought of how nice this invisible breeze was. I couldn't see it, but it was amazing! I could hear it in the trees as loud as the birds. I could feel it on my arms and through my warm blue and white polka dot pajama pants. I watched it knock loose the yellow lifeless leaves and toss them around. I just thought about God. How we can't see Him but the evidence of Him is so overwhelming that there is no way I can deny Him. Like this breeze. This wonderful October blue sky day He gifted me with. Then I thought on that gift. Can you imagine if you made the perfect gift for someone, handed it over to them, and they were too busy to acknowledge it, admire it, say thank you for it? That is what most days are like for me. The gift is all around me but in my busyness I don't say thank you.

That's when I heard God speak to my heart. That's when the title of my blog changed and its direction. First I had a message to send someone. God whispered to me-Forgive. I knew what he was saying.

God was answering a question I had not even asked Him this week but wanted to many times. Maybe I was too hurt to ask. Or too angry. Maybe all month I wasn't ready to hear what I knew would be His answer. But today, this magical morning-the traffic, the kids' made beds, the clean soft cuddly dog, the fall October breeze. God set the stage and sat me down some how to speak to me where I would hear and accept His words-forgive. God even told me what my response would be to Him before I said it and he answered each one-

But what if they don't deserve it? Forgive!

What if they continue to hurt me? Forgive...

What if they aren't sorry? Forgive.

What if they are wrong?

SO I heard it. I got it. I understand. I looked up the verse God had put on my heart out on my porch coffee in hand after he had set the stage this morning this magical morning for me to hear it.

Matthew 18:21-23 I read it.

I looked it up and read something else related that interested me. It said 70 times 7 was not meant to be 490 times as the answer but instead it represented-Grace upon grace (as God gives selflessly to us despite our continued imperfection and mistakes). It meant that even with all the questions I asked God as He knew I would, the answer is still the same. It's not even about the person you need to forgive-it's about ourselves. Our own heart, spirit, soul. It's about our own spiritual growth. It's about trying although we will never achieve it to become more and more like God in spirit. Grace upon Grace. It said in a devotion I read that 70 times 7 is about our own hearts and learning to forgive the thousandth time with the same grace as the very first time. Man that's hard. That to me as a Christian is the hardest thing.

It made me think about marriage. How in our day and age we say the vows like when we become Christian, but that doesn't mean the fairy tale is set in stone. It doesn't mean we become perfect or won't fail over and over again. We tend to live out those marriage vows for better or ok maybe mediocre. But not worse! Why would I live out worse? My husband has seen me surely at my worse-sides of me that no one else has seen-sides that are like the exorcist-but continues to love me still.

Sometimes when we feel we can't do something it gives us a chance to sit back and watch as God does what we cannot. Like the ability to forgive.

So that's it. My magical day, my easy comfortable morning was God setting the stage to ask me to do the hardest thing, an uncomfortable thing. An ongoing thing. Forgive

My blog posts are sparse, they're not catchy, they're often wordy. And I only sit down to type them when I feel God pushing me to. So here it is. It was for me. I'm sure I will need to come back and read it as a reminder as early as this evening or tomorrow afternoon! But I hope it was for you too. I hope it brought you answers and peace.