This week has been one for the books in mom life. Living in a small (and I mean tiny) two bedroom house has its ups and downs. Ups being, I can deep clean the whole place in a few hours. Though my husband would probably scoff at that sentence because it typically doesn’t work out that way with two kids. Another positive note, I can hear everything my kids are doing from the other room. Sneaky kids can’t get past me! Except I pretty much always show up a millisecond too late, just as one is covered in sour cream or the other is jumping off my piano. The current downside is that my not-so-baby one year old outgrew her crib and now shares a room with her almost-three year old brother. The transition was okay the first few weeks, but took a sudden turn for the worst after we got back from a camping trip. The amount of attention they are both requiring to stay in their beds has been so draining. My husband and I end up with only a few hours of sleep each night. We’ve done it countless times before, but it was usually one kid or the other keeping us up. This time around, because they are in such close quarters, if one wakes up then the other does too. You see where I’m going with this.
I think my subconscious has taken this a little personal. Quietly whispering, “Why God? I’ve been through this many times, so why are you testing me like this again?! Can’t You make them sleep!!” The ugly parts of myself come out at 3 a.m. Which is probably good enough reason to test me. And I’m not saying God is testing me by keeping my kids awake, but I do believe He is working all things out for my good and will use all things to help me walk out His calling over my life (Romans 8:28). Just as I am typing this blog out, God is reminding me of a recent Psalm I have been praying to Him:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-14)
God really is using my kids’ growth spurt/teething/sleeping adjustment season of life to help me discover my weaknesses and lead me out of them. I should be praising Him for my spiritual progress instead of complaining about my physical discomfort. Last night I prayed this Psalm 139 scripture, and instead of complaining about my kid’s harassing me, I asked God to be my strength during these present weaknesses within myself. He did exactly that! The cherry on top was reading 1 Kings 3. this morning during my quiet time with the Father. Through this passage I found the answer to my relentless cry for help:
I was asking for a way out when I should have been asking for God’s understanding.
Having God’s perspective is the way out of the storms.
In a book I am currently reading, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson, the author states, “No problem, no miracle”. How profound is that? Without the annoying discomforts, without the thorns in our side, how will God’s grace ever be enough for us or how will His power ever have is perfect work in us?
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV)
Now let me share a story from earlier this week that I believe might coincide with this divine perspective:
A few days ago my husband, kids, and I went to a new park. My son, Lazarus, was wearing his Spiderman costume from last year’s Fall festival. Laz’s attire was another one of those things I just had to let him get away because us moms pick our battles, right? Anyways, as we approached the playground all of the little boys and girls ran up to Lazarus. They were touching his costume, looking at his hands, and saying, “Hi Spiderman!”. The kids really and truly thought Laz was this superhero-man of spiders. It is no secret that Laz absolutely loves Spiderman. So this praise from other kids his age really boosted his spirit. He began jumping all around the playground and shooting imaginary webs everywhere while the kids followed him. It was one of the funniest/cutest things I’ve ever seen..until Brenner and I spent a hairsbreadth of a second looking at our daughter, and then the onslaught of Laz’s painful screams began. There was a 6-7 foot tall rock-climbing wall on one side of the playground’s tower. Imagine a stairway leading up to the area where one could go down the tallest slide on the playground, but there also being a doorway up there to climb down the rock wall. Apparently Laz, a.k.a. Spiderman, fearlessly jumped from the very top of the opening to descend the rock-climbing wall and free-fell like a flying squirrel to the ground . What was he thinking as he stood over the edge of this 7 foot drop? Lazarus was without a doubt believing that he was Spiderman.
Yes, yes as parents we should have been there to catch him. Trust me, my momma heart chewed on that guilt for a long while. Accidents happen, and if you have kids you know what I mean. Thank God, Lazarus was 100% okay and somehow just knocked the breath out of himself. But putting that aside, Laz believed with all of his heart that he was a superhero. So much so that he jumped from the highest point possible on this playground believing his superpowers would kick in before he fell.
If we as followers of Christ truly believed that we are who God says we are, then we would be able to endure the most nerve-wracking and uncomfortable moments life has to offer us with complete faith that our divine superpowers through Christ will kick in before we fall.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
Of course, in my son’s physical situation, Lazarus did fall and he did get hurt. But we, his parents, came to his rescue and we healed him with our superpower kisses. We gave Lazarus the gift of divine understanding by telling him that he was a superhero, but in the future he should wait for us to be there to catch him when he wants to fly off something high up. Does God not give even greater gifts to His children than us mundane parents? God can be everywhere at once. God can catch all of us at the same time as we take tremendous leaps of faith to trust Him in the unknown and uncomfortable moments.
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:17-22 NKJV)
That is a lengthy read, but packed with life-changing truth! In Ephesians 3, Paul goes on to talk about us being raised to life with Christ and seated at the right hand of God’s throne with Christ. This means that believers receive all of these benefits of Christ: wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, enlightened understanding, the riches of God’s glory, and the greatness of His mighty power over all things (to name a few). In other words, we are more super than Spiderman and God is a more amazing Father than my husband and I (as if we didn’t already know that). My point is this, God’s perspective on who He is and who we are is fundamental in walking out the fullness of God’s plan for our lives with fearless joy. Whether it’s jumping off a 7 foot ledge in faith of flying, or getting up 15 times a night to keep your children sleeping in their own beds, identity and divine perspective are the keys to thriving in it all. Be who God says you are and trust the process through the valleys and mountaintops alike. God is good and faithful. His mercies are new every day, and His grace is enough for us.