Friday, October 28, 2005

Blessing Your Family

Have you ever woke up to start a new day, but you really weren’t ready to start it? Have you ever thought, “I don’t want to be Mom today.”? I can get so tired of the constant in my life. The constant laundry, constant dishes, constant dirty diapers, constant sticky floors and I could go on, but I think you understand. I can become so consumed with what needs to be done during the day that I miss out on the blessings that God has for me. That’s when I start crying and saying things like, “I don’t want to do this today! I’m tired of dirty kids and dirty floors and dirty diapers!” I can only remember one time when I passed by the laundry room & there wasn’t a pile of laundry waiting to be washed. It was our last walk through of our house before we moved in! I have been changing diapers since 1991…and potty training someone since 1994. And I am still changing diapers & potty training with no end in site yet.

There is good news. I don’t want to discourage or depress you. I want to encourage you that it does get better. During one of my pity parties one day the Lord showed up. I was talking to myself & he joined in on the conversation. “You are looking at the wrong picture.” He said. “Look over here.” And it was as if He took my face in His hands and turned my face to look at a different picture. It was beautiful. There were my children looking well behaved and clean. I was there too and I looked good (I must say). My husband is there playing with the kids & life looks good. “Wow! Where did you find them?” I asked. “They have always been there, but you choose to focus on that other picture.” The other picture was full of chaos. The kids are yelling the house is a mess; I am exhausted and where is my husband?

I miss out on the blessings that God has for me when I focus on the wrong picture. When I focus on how tired I am, how long it has been since I went to the bathroom alone or that my husband is late from work again; I am feeling burned out on life. God has given me 9 of the most wonderful kids ever. My husband is still crazy in love with me as I am with him. So why am I complaining? Because of my sin nature, it is easier to live in my weakness and cry than to live in my strengths and be blessed. My family is my gift from God. It is a gift I don’t deserve, but it is given to me by God because of his love for me & His amazing plan for my life & the life of my kids. There is another reason why I do this. The enemy loves it when I focus on myself rather than the Lord. Nothing pleases him more than for me to take my eyes off of the Lord. It is then that I become weak let my guard down & the next thing I know is I’m hosting another pity party.

O.k. so how do I stay focused on the right picture? His Word is the best way for me to stay focused. Psalms 16:8 says, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” God put our eyes in the front of our head. We sometimes wish we could see behind us but we can’t. It would definitely make my days easier. We can only see what is in front of us. You can’t focus on God if He is not in front of you leading the way. Meditating and reading his word on a regular basis will keep you strong and better able to recognize temptation and resist it. It is a temptation of the enemy for us to focus on ourselves rather than the Lord. In Stormie Omartians’ book, The Power of a Praying Wife she said this; “God wants us to get through temptation because He wants to bless us. But He needs to see if we can be trusted to choose His ways over our fleshly desires. He’ll always give us a way out if we want it badly enough to seek Him for it.” One of my ways to battle temptation is to keep scripture up in front of me all day. That way His Word is on my mind and on my wall!

Another way to remain focused or get focused is to stay in conversation with the Lord. As a mom of 9 I rarely get the amount of time in prayer that I really want. I have had to learn how to stay in an ongoing conversation with God all day. I am so thankful that we can come to Him anywhere and anytime. I have also learned that I can worship God in all that I do. That keeps my attitude right. If I’m worshipping God while I am mopping the floor then I am not complaining about having to mop the floor. Prayer can be worship for us. It can happen in the midst of chaos. I don’t know how it happens, but I have on occasion been able to zone out my kids & just be quiet & let the Lord bless my spirit while right in the middle of chaos. It is great!

When I am looking for the bad in my children I will find it every time. The funny thing is that when I am looking for the good I find that too. In spite of what we would like to believe at times God made our children excellent. They are made in His likeness just like we are. They are not perfect, they do smell at times. And they are great at breaking things, spilling things, throwing things and blowing up things. But my kids are also very good at hugging, kissing, helping, playing, praying and just being an out right hoot to be around. We have a lot of fun in our house. My kids have a great sense of humor and a lot of laughing goes on everyday. But often we are only paying attention to the things that bother us instead of trying to catch each other in a good deed. With that kind of mindset I am looking at the wrong picture and missing out on a lot of blessings. When I pray and ask God to help me see my children as excellent as he sees them, I love them even deeper and desire to have them around me.

It is so important to keep God first in your life as you are teaching and training your children. Only God knows what that final picture of their life will look like & we have to trust Him and look to Him for wisdom and guidance. Psalms 127:1 reminds us that; “Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city the watchmen stand guard in vain.” I mess it up all the time & try to “build” my way or by myself. How great our God is to be there waiting for me to come back to Him seeking forgiveness. He will be there every time as long as we desire to be right with him. The Lord knows how hard our days can be as a mother. He understands our frustrations and exhaustion. Erma Bombeck once said that “Motherhood isn’t for sissy’s.”, and I believe it! We put up with a lot everyday. But God puts up with more so don’t be surprised if He crashes one of your pity parties like he did mine.

Keep your eyes focused on the right picture that God has set before you. Talk to him daily, listen to him daily and read His Word daily and then sit back & rest in knowing that your children are in His hands. You can make it, his Word says so. Psalms 18:30 says, “What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God-direction is road tested. Everyone who runs toward Him makes it!”(The Message) As a mom that is a very comforting thought to know that if I seek Him then I will make it. I will not only survive these days while my children are young but I will be blessed by them also.

© 2005 Copyright, Dana Bailey, All Rights Reserved

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