This morning, I lay in bed an extra thirty minutes, actually make that almost an hour, after I awakened, dreading a little what lay ahead—the taming of the house from the aftermath of celebration. I feel a little like the toad in Wind and the Willows when he took the wild ride in a car he didn’t know how to maneuver, creating a bit of havoc along the way, and now the price had to be paid.
I know my home will not be totally uncluttered until after New Year's. I am so very grateful that our children grew up helping, as much work as that took, so I am not left to do all of the cooking and clean up. They seem to be partners in it all by now. But I am treasuring the days and soooo thankful to have them home. I know there will be a big hole when they are gone.
Our Christmas was filled with great family time, hilarious laughter, a few bad attitudes and bah humbugs, feastings, and snow and very cold weather, which makes for more tea, coffee and hot chocolate mugs strewn here and there. ! No matter how hard we as moms try, there are still sinners in the house, but also, redeemed, and all in all, with grace extended, we made it!
I walked down the stairs to survey the damage—wrapping paper and Christmas bags that needed to be put away. Mugs with hot chocolate residue, piles of the kids’ gifts in their own corners, a full laundry basket, and dishes soaking in the sink from left over sticky toffee pudding and caramel sauce. (Lifegiving Table book has the recipe.)
I made my morning cup of tea, proceeded to my bedroom and pushed all small messes in my room out of my sight from my quiet time chair, lit a couple of candles and plugged in my one strand of Christmas lights above my window, and slowly sipped my warm brew.
I had inserted an instrumental, Celtic hymns cd and sought to bring peace to my soul. The first song that gently filled my silent room from a very old but favorite instrumental brought inviting lyrics to my mind, “Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me, …, Come home, come home, you who are weary, come home.”
What a loving, gentle call to me as a busy mom this cold, snowy morning. Jesus wants to meet with me to love me, to give me peace, to give me perspective. He, who is my home, is waiting for me and will be with me.
I then opened up a little devotional book that I read most mornings which has bits of scripture for each morning and evening. There, right in front of me were His words of life to sustain me,
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” I Cor. 15:58
He knows about my work as a mom! He lovingly reminded me that my toil is not in vain. He understands how much I need to be encouraged because He understands weariness—Be steadfast—hang in there—commit to a heart of steadfastness, choose to be steadfast and immovable—why? Because, my work matters, it is changing history, one life at a time—I am soul-building—it counts.
The next verses struck my heart, “And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we will reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
“Don’t lose heart, Sally, I see you, I know you, and I promise that all those prayers you have been praying, all the choices of faithfulness you have made when no one else saw, I saw. You will reap a harvest. Remember, I see you and I love you and I am waiting always to speak loving words to you, because you are my own daughter.”
He had tenderly, earnestly called me to himself this morning. My piles and duties and responsibilities, have not changed, but once again, after being in His presence, I am changed. I will turn on music while I work, and I might even dance a bit around my messy kitchen! My words will be softer and my actions more patient, because He has filled me and given me courage. I can rejoice because He is here, He has met me and will be with me. Yet, I see that my heart and joy and tone establishes the whole family in joy, and my celebrating life in the midst of it all, creates in them a willingness to follow my lead.
With Mary, his own courageous, steadfast mother, I will say, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior.” Luke 1: 46-47
Many of you might have missed last week's mini-podcast about how to find grace when you are waiting for answers to prayer, or waiting for a season of life to go away, or waiting to find an answer to your difficulties. I put it here again because several people wrote to tell me it was their favorite podcast ever--and it goes with this blog post. Because of the busy season, you may have missed it. Grace to you in the midst.