When I got married, (at the ripe old age of 18 ?) I had never worked a public job. For that first year, I’d just go to work with James and ride out on deliveries with him during the day and at night we’d work on our house. Carefree, no worries. I only started working a real job to help with the mortgage once we moved into our house. But then we were expecting our first child. And now we had a mortgage and a new baby. I couldn’t quit now. I’d go to work every day, crying because I wanted to be home. Begging God to let me quit work. But then, along came another baby and a new-to-us car because we outgrew our old one. Mortgage, 2 babies, a car payment. We had a mission conference at our church and decided to start giving by faith. Definitely couldn’t quit now. I’d cry on the way to work, “Lord, please make a way for me to stay home.” But then a third baby came along and we outgrew another car. So now a mortgage, 3 babies, a new car payment. And we upped our faith promise. Everyday, more tears. More praying to stay home. But it seemed that we needed more money than ever. That burden seemed so heavy, so large, so overwhelming. That prayer seemed like it’d never be answered.
When my last maternity leave was over, we decided I’d stay home. I don’t know why we made the decision, knowing we couldn’t do it. But we took that step of faith. Because I really wanted to homeschool and it was time for my oldest to start.
5 long years later, that prayer had finally been answered. But instead of being happy, we were lost in the moment of “How? How will we make it now?”
The stress and the worry and the TIREDNESS sometimes overwhelmed us.
Somehow, the bills got paid, the kids got fed, the tithes and missions were met. We missed the second income, but somehow God provided.
It hit me this morning as we were sitting here.
I’m living and reaping the blessings of that answered prayer.
Oh it’s messy. It’s incredibly hard and exhausting. And unfortunately, many times I’ve gotten lost in the moment. Tears of frustration and anger and whining. And the kids are even worse. I think about what it would be like to have another child now. How I’d cherish all those moments that my mom brain was just telling me to get through. How I’d not wish for morning to come, that instead I’d whisper a prayer of thankfulness for this screaming baby keeping me awake. How I’d not wish for days when they can finally walk and I wouldn’t have to carry them. How I’d take the time to actually feel how special it is to reach down to that little hand reaching up to mine, instead of rushing them to hurry up. How I’d treasure the stinky feet, messy rooms, the sink piled high with dishes because they forgot to load them in the dishwasher. How I’d look at the laundry and school books and leftover bowls of cereal that are staring me in the face as I try to teach my children more than what you can learn in a book. And realize. This is what I prayed for. Longed for.
How different would we live if we always thought like that? No matter what situation we’re in, whatever trial we can’t seem to get through, we just realize instead that one day we will look back and wish we’d lived in this moment. Regardless of how messy or hard or exhausting or painful it was. No matter how many times we thought our prayer would never be answered.
Because I think we’d look back and wish we had savored the grace that was poured out. The warmth of God’s presence as he whispered, “I’m here.” I think we’d miss the closeness as He proved the promise- There is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I think instead of wishing for our morning to come, we’d be thankful for the night. The nights when we didn’t think we’d make it. The nights when we were held in arms of compassion and strength. The everlasting arms. We’d cherish the depth of mercy and love that Jesus gave us in those terrifying and extremely hard times. Oh to realize how much God really gives us IN THE MOMENT. And not just as we look back on it.
May we all have kitchen table moments. When we realize what God’s done for us in the past, yes. But may we also have the presence of mind to realize what He is DOING for us, right now. In the thick of it.
Because as much as we wish we could go back and savor what we had, we can’t. And that’s a really good reason to make sure we don’t miss anything now. It’s there, underneath all the hard. Don’t wait to look back one day and see it. Find it now.
No song, as this was typed straight from my heart this morning.