Thursday, June 02, 2011

If Only....

Lately I've heard myself saying the same thing over and over again in my heart.  I say it differently each time, but the meaning, the core, of my statement is the same.  It goes something like this...

When I walk into the laundry room and see masses of clean and dirty clothes, I might say, "If only I could get caught up on my laundry..."

Or, at the end of a long hot day when I'm worn and frazzled and five pairs of eyes all look to me to provide nourishment, "If only I had planned meals for the week..."

When Jack wants to be held every waking moment, "If Jack would just lay in his moses basket for more than 5 minutes..."

When one of my sons argues with me over an instruction that I have given him, "If only he would just do. what. I. say..."

When brothers have a day filled with bickering, disagreements, and hurt feelings, "If they could just get along!!!!"

When I see my baseboards looking disgustingly dirty or my crazily unorganized closet, "If I just had a little extra time..."

So, I started thinking...

According to what I learned in geometry, an "if" statement should be followed by a "then" statement.  So, what is my "then" statement??  It is...

If Jack wouldn't cry, then I could handle it.  If I had a perfect, ready to go, meal plan,  then I could do this.  If the boys wouldn't argue, fuss, and fight, then I could handle this five kid thing.  It would be within my grasp.  I could be in control. I could conquer it.  I'd have this thing... in the bag.  Game over.  I got it.  The big V.

(Reality check: I just think I could handle it if Jack would be content, etc.  I'm only kidding myself!)

The bottom line, what I've come to after thinking about all this for several weeks, is that it is time for me to lay it all down again.  These "if" statements are all indicative of the fact that I have once again put myself in the drivers seat.  I am trying so hard to keep everything within my grasp, everything under my control.

But, to be quite honest, I'm swamped.  My laundry is piled high, my bed hasn't been made in 2 months, my menu plan is not happening, my counters stay cluttered, my boys are on a very weak schedule, and my personal hygiene is not up to par.  More than at any other time in my life,  I feel as if I am in over my head.

And, it isn't just the visible things.

It is the invisible things, too, the things that keep me up at night, the worries, the decisions, the things we wrestle with but we cannot see.  I can't handle those either.  And, as I sit alone in the dark, holding the sweetest infant, the worries come, the negative thoughts knock.  And, once again I realize that I cannot handle this, all of this.  I must lay it down.  I must give my desires, as well as my worries over, lay them at His feet.

Yesterday afternoon I stood in the kitchen and craziness surrounded me.  Erik Daniel was whining at my feet asking over and over for something I had already told him no to.  Elijah was talking incessantly expecting me to hang on his every word.  Joshua and JCT were talking and laughing loudly.  Music was playing, and the tv on.  And, I was at that moment completely overwhelmed.  The noise level was too much, the pulling and tugging on my arms and legs by my 2 and 3 year olds was overstimulating.  My mind was turning and twisting, swirling filled with lists of things to be done before we had to leave for Joshua's baseball game. I was standing still, in a daze, completely paralyzed by all the life happening around me and inside me.  But, then, I looked down at the infant in my arms.

He was looking up at me, pure peace in those baby blue eyes.  And, when our eyes met, he smiled, so big, so gently, so sweetly.  And, his peace overwhelmed me, caught me off guard. I smiled at the contrast between his sweetness and the chaos that surrounded me.  And, I breathed thanks to God for his gift to me in that moment.

As I thought of that moment over and over again later that evening, I thought of how it is very much like my life now.  Life is spinning, sometimes out of control. Life is full and busy and hyper and loud, and I am at least two steps behind at all times. But, God is staring down at me with eyes filled to overflowing with peace for the moment. If only I will stop and gaze at Him, His peace will overwhelm me.  But, I tend to keep my focus on the busyness around me, the to-do lists, the rat race, and all the while He is beckoning me to come, drop my Martha list, drop the facade that I am in control, and just sit at His feet and soak up the peace that passes understanding.  It is time to give up, fall down on my knees, and  lay all that concerns me, all that entangles me, all that strangles my joy, all that weighs me down, all that keeps me running wide open, all that drives me toward perfection, all the lies, worries, and fears ~ lay them all down at His feet and bask in the peace that only He gives.


Jenny said...

Love this, Erin! Thanks for the reminder.... great timing for me. This is a busy time in your life, but I am sure you are doing great! I always find mommy-inspiration when I read your blog. Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

Ami said...

Amen, sista!

Sunshine said...

oh boy is this a beautiful and touching post. Thank you for writing brought me up short and made realize how very much of the if/then thinking I do and how very much grasping I do. May His peace wrap around you in the midst of each and every moment. Sunshine

Sarah said...

Love you sweet friend :) Thinking of you today and praying for you!

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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