Browsing through my ‘drafts’ folder, I came across this post that I had begun a year ago today. Although God has continued to work on my attitude, not that much else has changed.
It was Friday morning. My weekend was packed. Swimming lessons in an hour, my daughter was babysitting for a friend while I went to the hospital with her, church event in the evening. Saturday morning, the second half of the church event – Jeff’s going while I have a ladies’ Bible study here at the house. The children have friends over. Friends for lunch. Scrapbooking day – that we can make for the afternoon. Home to the neighbour’s birthday party. Jeff out with the guys Saturday night. Church Sunday morning. We had already decided not to have company for lunch on Sunday. Church Sunday night. The school week looked much less busy.
As I surveyed the disaster that was my kitchen, the impulse to resent my commitments rose strong in my heart. “Why do I need to run this hamster wheel?” I began to tidy. “The girls said they would clean up after themselves.” I muttered.
“Wait.” That still small voice resounded in my head. I looked around. I reconsidered the commitments I had made. “Why am I doing these things?” The answer came quickly. I love fellowship with the Lord through His saints whom He’s put all around me. My heart overflows when I am able to help out. None of the people involved in my weekend care what my kitchen looks like or if there is a load of wash waiting to be done…or even four loads.
The privilege of being able to come before the Lord with these ladies or the honour of one of them trusting my daughter’s training enough to ask her to care for her children mean much more to me than whether the family room has been tidied.
Slowing my pace, I took time to praise God for all of the opportunities He has given me to have rich and full relationships with like minded believers.
Fast forward one year…
There are still dishes on my counter. There is still a pile on the laundry room floor. The carpet still needs to be vacuumed.
Those ladies from the Bible study are some of the greatest supports in my walk with the Lord. The friend with whom I went to the hospital for the ultrasound has a beautiful healthy baby girl. The friends we shared dinner with were with us again this weekend.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to go out on a date. A rare occurrence so we made the most of the opportunity. Our two teenagers at home were going to babysit our younger two and they were all going to have a friend over. That made eight children/teens. They are all great and we trust them, so heading off, everyone was smiles and enthusiasm. When we got home later that evening the house was dark save for one light in our son’s bedroom. Not concerned really, I was curious as to what was going on. We unlocked the door and made our way downstairs. There, piled into the room were not only all of the children but also a parent from each family – except us!
The relationships built over time have led to such comfort that our friends came over to play with our children and theirs – even when we were not home.
Between the children, they call us Mummy #1, Mummy #2 and Mummy #3. They are all comfortable sharing and sitting on one Dad’s lap. Another Dad is the handy one and always ready to teach a new skill or lend a hand. Another Dad shares bits of wisdom and encouragement. With six of us setting aside the busyness and investing in the relationships, there are 11 children/young people whom are being loved from all directions. There are also six adults being supported, encouraged, renewed, motivated and prayed for on a regular basis.
Even though my tendency is toward tidying, my heart is rejoicing in the relationships that God has provided.
Considering how much time we have given to our friends, it is also worth considering how much time we are giving to God.
One of the most beautiful pictures in Scripture is Mary, kneeling at Jesus’ feet. Waiting on His every word. To Mary, nothing compared with the preciousness of Jesus guidance and wisdom in her life. Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1 – 12:11
Whether it is in quietness and prayer, personal devotions, church or Bible study, time spent with God is as important today as it was in Mary’s time. With all of the distractions facing us, it may be even more important.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness …