Even though not everyone will have a set schedule, we all do tend to fall into a routine. We rush around, as if on a timer, and sometimes the day flies by in a blur, while others, it drags and tortures our overloaded minds. But what causes those overloads? Is it truly our loads, or could it possibly be our mindsets?
So subtle are the lies we begin to believe from an early age, our thoughts align to them, followed by our reactions. They become a part of who we are. Our words soon testify to this. Are our words building us and our homes up, or are they tearing us down?
This past week my house was victimized by tornadoes. Yes, three of them; ages 12, 10, and 7. The week kept us busy with my sister's birthday, my husband's change of schedule, and lots of curricula research for our first year of homeschooling, which will begin in a few short weeks.
Doesn't seem like much, but somehow my cleaning schedule took a back seat for a minute. I watched the dishes pile up and sit for a longer-than-normal period of time. I didn't sweetly welcome my husband home when he showed up earlier than expected because I was too busy thinking, "Darn, I can't clean now because I don't like an audience." I also skipped our read aloud of The Secret Garden all week.
A sense of inadequacy began to set in and I no longer enjoyed my coffee. I'm serious. Not because coffee is particularly important (depends what time of day you ask, he he), but because of the thoughts that prevented me from enjoying this simple act of drinking it. That's because I felt as if I had failed in my own home. You know those days you count the minutes until bedtime so that you can have some time to yourself only to continue dwelling in your insecurities? I had a couple this week. "What kind of mother does this?" I thought to myself. Past failures and battles with depression threatened to challenge my desire to overlook the petty things.
I was left with a question (Ok, I'm a woman- it was probably 20): What have I left unaddressed in my submission to God? It sometimes seems that I am in a never-ending cycle of self-condemnation. But why? Why do we do this to ourselves, as if we truly believe there was a perfect woman out there that we need to emulate? Where does it stem from? Childhood? An experience? A loss? Neglect?
It's time to break the cycle. For good. Right now.
Even if you were brought up in an environment where you were not allowed to blossom correctly, it doesn't affect who you are in Christ today, nor does it render God unable to intervene and comfort you. Forgive your parents- or whoever hurt you- and know that your Heavenly Father bore the scars long before you did, in order to free you. That's perfect love; it casts out fear and it lays down its life.
It doesn't matter if you've read countless articles and books on parenting, self-help, or homemaking 101. They are just grazing the surface, compared to what God can do. He can go much deeper, if you'll allow Him. His Word is alive and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword... (Hebrews 4:12). It will pierce you, point out what needs to be dealt with, and drive you to your knees, as you acknowledge your need for God's intervention, redemption, and grace. Allow it to happen; break the cycle.
It is doubtful that in a few years we will remember that at the end of the second week of July 2014, our house wasn't tidy. It won't make a difference. What does matter, though, is that you be truly surrendered to God; that you allow His Word to fill you and guide you; that you truly realize whose you are; that you know that He is for you; and that you be free of unrealistic expectations of yourself, so that you can better serve and enjoy your family, yourself, and your God. I had a couple of friends ask me recently if I'm enjoying my new home. To my disappointment, I said I wasn't; I was too busy. Busy cleaning and self-condemning.
Those same things we expect of our children are things we ought to model for them. Let them see your obedience to the Lord, your respect toward authority, for people in general, and your cooperation to help the day run smoother. That means we can interrupt our routine and take them to the park! Not every day, of course, but what reason do we really have for not taking them once in a while? Besides, it works to our advantage! They get happily tired and your home is safe for a couple of hours- ha ha!
My house is clean today and I enjoyed my coffee, by the way. That may be the reason I am thinking more clearly. Apparently, I can survive an untidy house for a few days.
Next time (Lord, please don't let there be a next time), I resolve to speak God's Word when I feel overwhelmed, and join my kids as they tear through my home (ok, perhaps not, he he).
The truth is, we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) in the image of God, our Father. We can be a reflection of that instead of our insecurities, which are likely based on lies. Talk to God and to a friend to help ease the burden. Good friends are always willing to tell you the truth you don'
We don't get "take two." Why spend such priceless time giving in to unhealthy thinking patterns? It's time to break the cycle, dear sister. Refuse to let it hold you captive. Your Prince of Peace came to bring you peace, and set you free.