I am sitting here tonight- Stomach churning and painfully piercing at times from what is most likely a stomach virus. It comes in waves. And so are my thoughts of this past weekend.
We had somewhat of a family reunion with family from my husband’s side. We spent days getting ready for it. Come to the final hours, everything was in place- except my heart.
I wasn’t prepared truly for the task. I had visions of long conversations with my sisters and older cousins. I had imagined just sitting and talking and precious heart to heart moments. I imagined our babies and children happily playing while we caught up.
I didn’t imagine our youngest son would be so overwhelmed by the amount of unfamiliar faces that he would cry anytime I tried to leave his side…
The amount of time I would be stuck sitting with him because he wouldn’t even eat unless I was at his side.
I somewhat imagined the energy that would be required to monitor the little ones that could not swim as they toddled around a dock and lake all weekend. But I figured our family was big and would gladly take turns on life guard duty. Didn’t imagine that the only person who would be able to life guard our youngest would be me.
So our youngest would want to toddle down to the dock at every chance he could. There he would test his limits as always. When I would bring him back inside, where I could take a bit of a break, he would cry.
I wanted to sit.
I wanted to relax and talk and fish, go out and ride the boat with everyone else without a baby on my lap.
And after a full day of this, I was visibly bothered.
And more than anything, I was bothered at my own heart. Still am.
Because even though I have gone through this toddler stage 6 times now, it still got the best of me.
Practice doesn’t always make perfect.
And our family was so great. They pitched in and did so much. They bought food. They helped cook and clean. I did not help prepare a single meal, but was blessed with the ability to have the weekend off from cooking. And there were no quarrels and truly no chaos. They tried to watch out youngest but he wouldn’t have it.
There truly was nothing wrong with the weekend – other than my heart.
I went into the weekend imagining me running around smiling and serving our family. I went in to the weekend excited truly at the opportunity to serve. But when where I truly needed to serve was back in the exact same place- I wasn’t smiling. I was irritated. Resentful.
And tonight my stomach and heart churns at the opportunity I missed. I had the chance to shine, but I didn’t.
I had the chance to embrace and enjoy the person right in front of me who needed me the most, but all I wanted was to push that person away and move on to bigger, better things.
What about you?
Where has God continued to call you to serve?
Who has he called you to serve?
Is it not what you envisioned?
Does your heart long for bigger, better things?
Can I challenge you tonight with a little question, one that The Lord whispered to my soul:
“What if this is the big thing?”
Can you embrace it?
Can you shine in it?
Can you serve with a genuine smile?
I regret that I failed to this past weekend.
I wasn’t smiling. I was struggling.
As I write that my mind goes back to my struggle in the grocery store this past weekend. I had to make a food run. Wanted to go with just my sister but couldn’t. I ended up taking along our two youngest. There I was, pushing my shopping cart down the grocery store aisle. Our youngest in the basket seat. Our three year-old hanging on each side of the cart. Trying to talk with my sister… The reality sinking in that this is what talks look like nowadays. And the cart began to feel heavy and wide. And for a moment all I could feel was the weight. Almost instantly, The Lord brought to my mind the image of an anchor.
An anchor, Lord?
Yes, an anchor… hanging on the side of my shopping cart.
And I began to consider: Could it be that what feels like such a heavy weight is indeed just an anchor, God’s way of keeping us exactly where we need to be?
And it dawned on me that children are truly God’s anchors.
They anchor us to service.
They anchor us to humbleness.
They anchor us to selflessness.
They anchor us to the very heart of Christ.
So, weary parent of a busy toddler… I pray tonight you consider how God is calling you to serve.
I pray your eyes be opened that is the “big thing.”
And I pray that that you pick up your child with a smile, convinced that your little anchor is keeping you exactly where you need to be.
Because I didn’t.
But praise God, I still can.