Maybe it’s just a mom-thing? But I often replay the day and it goes something like this:
I hear this voice speaking truth but the voice is too smooth and the tone is condemning. It’s like the vacuum salesman that makes you feel like a terrible housekeeper and tries to sell you a remedy you know you can’t afford.
You don’t have enough time to…
You didn’t do a good job on…
You shouldn’t have done…
He’s reminding me of my failures and all the places I fall short, and the bummer is that he’s right.
But I thought the devil was always wrong?
My head swirls with the lynch-list of my failings and even if it’s just my own thoughts recounting all the misdeeds, he’s right there to confirm them.
Except he’s leaving out the most important thing, of course: grace.
He attempts to drag me down with powerful truth, but he neglects to mention the power that raised me up from certain death. Or better yet, he forgets that I’m already dead but I live in Christ. This makes a difference, because most of the truth he speaks to me is about fear.
And once you’ve reconciled your death, you can put fear in proper perspective.
He skirts the truth that I am loved in spite of my shortcomings and long-strivings, and he wants me to believe that all my mistakes are ruining my children.
(And curious, isn’t it? How the replay always comes at bedtime, when the day is done and the kids are tucked in and all the words and actions of the day seem cemented?)
That’s the tenderest spot in my heart, and repeatedly a bony finger pokes there. He replays the tears over math and the words over chores and the voices raised high over things we forgot we were arguing about. He keeps a good record.
Or maybe it’s my record, but it’s accurate except for what it leaves out. But for the grace of God, we’re all doomed.
But for the grace of God.
The grace that gets left out is exactly what’s missing. Every picture I paint at this time of day, in this frame of mind, is an accurate portrayal of life without Jesus. It has the same monotonous colors and brush strokes and the paint hardens if we wait too long.
It becomes our story if we allow it.
Tonight I’m going to beat him to the punch.
I didn’t have enough time today to read that book to my child, but we planted the garden together instead and we put down a stake in a memory that will last.
(And I have all the time I need, thank you very much.)
I didn’t do a good job on planning our dinner tonight, but sometimes spaghetti and salad an hour late is just the side dish to some good conversation, and we had that.
I shouldn’t have spent that time on facebook, but I’ll take those tidbits of peoples lives and pray over them tonight, and tomorrow I’ll read that book to my child instead of checking facebook.
And this is the verse I cling to on nights like this:
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. ~ Romans 5:10
I think I’m not the only one who replays the day with a condemning tone. How do you combat the half-truths of the day?
It’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt:
Every Friday we spend five minutes spilling words and we forego editing and fretting, and just write. It’s fun, it’s free, and you should click the link above and try it! Or at least, read what some others write for fun on Fridays.
It’s crowded and that makes me a little uncomfortable.
People and words and lack of air all combine to choke me a little, but it’s Sunday and I love these people.
She stands to update us all on her life, because she’s a part of us and it’s been so long since she’s been ‘in the valley’. Her voice is so clear and the words hit me between the eyes.
“When I was a teenager I didn’t want to go with my family to Mexico. My heart wasn’t in being a missionary. But I finally submitted to God and decided to be satisfied with wherever He had me.”
I worry about doing enough and being enough and did I teach them enough. Did we pray together enough and do they know Him well enough and will they ‘turn-out’?
We all have to turn out to find our enough.
Worry turns me in but her words remind me. He is enough for wherever and whatever and nothing shakes a heart submitted to being satisfied.
I don’t always give my best.
Sometimes ‘my best’ is too much work and I settle for doing ‘just enough’ or even ‘maybe later’. I’ll go to bed with that sink-full of dishes and toppling pile of laundry, with no idea what’s for breakfast and with a lovely, crumb-crusted floor.
Once or twice, I’ve even fallen into bed fully clothed and with un-brushed teeth. Sorry, honey.
I just thought a little confession would be good.
As though someone really does have it all together, all the time.
But having it all together in real life is more illusive, more of a special occasion.
There are those days where everything clicks along, every meal is planned, the house is clean and I even see the bottom of the laundry baskets. School happens peacefully and the kids play a game together. My husband walks in to the smell of his favorite dinner, sits down to eat it with his favorite people, and we all have a lovely discussion that is relevant and fruitful.
The trouble is that I expect the days to always be that way. And what do expectations get me?
More often, those events don’t all line up on the same day. Monday I might have all our meals planned. Tuesday school might go peacefully and the kids might play a game. Wednesday may be a marathon laundry day, and Thursday we might have a really good discussion at dinner with no bathroom noises, no 5th grade humor, and no fighting over who-sits-where.
Read More298. The full moon299. The fog clearing away in the morning300. Motivation!301. Bailey, thanking me for making her do hard things302. Bible discussions303. good friends at the river304. 3 things that were broken or lost, that are now found or fixed
I’ve set my watch for 5 minutes. I’m supposed to be leaving right now, on my way to Portland with my beautiful daughter for a couple days of book choosing and lattes. But it’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt:
It’s much easier just to stay home, and when I’m out it’s easier to tuck inside the shell.
There is so much risk associated with being in public. What if I say something stupid? What if I say something irrelevant? What if I don’t know what to say at all and I pull a Peter-on-the-mount?
I still remember the first time my dad made me order for myself at a restaurant. I was Piglet-p-p-p-petrified, certain that the waitress would…I don’t know, laugh at me? Give me the wrong food? Not understand me? I remember that I was scared, just not what I was scared of.
Something irrational, I’m sure.
And I remember many many foot-in-mouth times.
But risk is what I need.
My husband actually tells me to talk more. Crazy. He thinks I have something profound to say.
I’ve stood in front of large groups and sat with small ones, said lots of dumb, silly, laughable and forgettable things, and I’m always scared of the risk.
But a few weeks ago this came to mind (I hesitate to say the Lord told me…so take it for what it’s worth to you): I, you, we all who follow Christ, need to meet lots and lots of people.
Scary. That means lots and lots of risk.
But I, you, we all, have something worth risking ourselves for, and something worth saying.
I smile and enjoy the moment. Everything is right with the world and I am happy as a clam. The day was perfect, the conversations edifying, a little work happened and a little play and rest. Now the children are tucked in and it’s just me and the man of my dreams.
Some days everything just lays out perfectly.
But what if…
What if something happens to one of us under this roof and our bliss is taken? What if there comes a day when my husband gets up and there is no job for him to go to? What about fires, earthquakes, floods, and cancer?
But what if…
What if I reach 80 and have bitter regrets? Or I realize that I chased the wrong dream, loved the wrong things, and sacrificed for what perishes?
They flood into my moment and steal my joy. Those thoughts play on the unknown and they mock me because truly, everything could change in the blink of an eye.
But what if I just always enjoy this moment, because it’s the only one outside of eternity that I’m sure of? Can’t I be happy with this?
Thus far the LORD has helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)
I have no reason to doubt His goodness, and if all else fails, then my default is eternity. If all else fails then this life was just a blip on the screen and the good and bad all wrap up in Forever, where there is no ‘what if’.
Worry can take a hike.
So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. (1 Samuel 7:13)
Have you had moments stolen by the ‘what ifs’ this week? Maybe you, like me, need to remember that thus far the LORD has helped us and we have no need to fear that He would suddenly stop. His faithfulness is to all generations.
So the reminder for us is in everything give thanks. The only thing to come, the only future we need to dwell on, is the certain one bought for us by our Redeemer.
Be thankful for, and live in, the now.
Some things I’m thankful for now, added to the slow-growing list:
250. starting over again, with new mercy for every morning
251. friends and family that stop by
252. my handy-dandy, new-to-me computer hutch, given by a friend
253. un-prompted apologiesRead More