When Poetry and Exhaustion Collide

A tired frame I see looking back at me as I study the reflected image of the back of my eyelids.

Too tired to dream, still I find myself lost, far removed from the realm of reality.

Can I curl up for one hour before life demands my waking?

Is it too much to ask for the contour of my bed to swallow whole the form of my body for a brief respite from the day’s demands?

Is there a pillow handy to catch my falling head?

Can I slow time slightly in order to sit still long enough to doze?

I think I need a nap…

 

I couldn’t resist sharing this poem I wrote yesterday while sitting in car rider line picking up my daughter. It was so overdramatic and pitiful that I laughed hysterically at myself. I thought perhaps you might get a kick out of it too. 🙂

Memoirs of a Superhero

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I’ve been distracted…

I’ll admit that I’ve often been impressed with my supermom ability to be able to juggle multiple tasks at once. You moms will know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s those moments when we’re on the phone, cooking dinner, cleaning up, folding laundry, watching our kid who wants to show us his/her latest amazing trick, refereeing the argument brewing between the older siblings while managing to sneak a kiss or two from our spouse. All the while, it doesn’t even seem to faze us. It’s what we do. We were designed to be perfectly capable of accomplishing multiple things at once before our “going batty” sensor starts to blip. It’s life.

Somehow in the midst of it all, we find time to spend with the Lord. We meditate on his goodness while doing the dishes. We worship in the car. We pray in car-rider line. We read the Bible daily. It’s essential to our survival; so we make sure we keep our life line stable and we’re off and running. Even more surprisingly, we manage to teach our children the value of this.

My pastor’s wife once told me that a mistake many moms innocently make is that the only time they read the Bible is when the kids are asleep. This makes perfect sense because it’s the only time there’s peace and quiet to really focus, but the problem lies in the fact that then, our children never see us reading the Bible. I’d never thought of that until then and I quickly shifted my schedule so that though the majority of my study happens before they are awake, I spend time in the word in front of them as well so they know it’s a priority in my life.

I’m still doing all of these things. My household is running smoothly. I’m grounded in the word. I’m praying. But I’ve been feeling disconnected.

I attribute this distraction to the fact that I found out about a month ago that I’m expecting baby number four. My husband and I and the kids are all excited. We know that a baby is a blessing from the Lord. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” Psalm 127:3-5. I am so thankful. For the record, my husband is amazing! His reaction to the news was a little shock at first and then he pulled me close and prayed a blessing over me and our new baby. It doesn’t get better than that. But I digress.

I feel as though, my brain and body have been abducted by my hormones. I can’t focus. I’m so tired that I accomplish everything five times slower. My once superhuman multi-tasking skills have been reduced to blank stares and “huh?” It’s bizarre. What I fear the most is that I will let go of my life line. I remember when my other kids came along; I had to focus so much on them that I lost some of my focus on the Lord. I don’t want to make that mistake again. I’m trying to be patient with myself and realize that I’m still indeed human and God doesn’t demand that I be supermom or super-Christian or super-worship leader. He just wants my heart. My heart is His.

The scripture that I keep returning to is:

“The Lord your God is in your midst, The Mighty one, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Then this morning I read this:

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble. You shall surround me with songs of deliverance” Psalm 32:7

While I am running around down here striving with all my might to keep it all together, God is in my midst delighting in me, rejoicing over me with gladness and trying to quiet me with His love. He doesn’t want me working myself to the point of exhaustion (which isn’t too hard these days) in an effort to keep everything “perfect”. He wants me to chill. He wants me to hide in His presence and find my strength there.

I’m a singer and I’m passionate about it. I long with all my heart to hear the songs the Lord is singing over me! He is singing songs of deliverance and songs of rejoicing over ME! I think instead of striving, I’m going to practice listening. Who knows, maybe someday, I’ll get to hear those songs if I quiet my heart and head enough. Either way, I choose to rest in His love. I choose to enjoy my children, my husband and this new gift growing inside of me. I’ll even rejoice in the morning sickness!

Every good and perfect gift comes from above. It’s our job to acknowledge them and rest in His presence.

Forgiveness

Bound

Anyone who has been a Christian for any amount of time knows a thing or two about forgiveness. First, there’s the fact that we’ve been forgiven so much, a concept that still blows my mind when I think of some of the things I’ve done or worse yet, acknowledge the things my heart was capable of doing. Then at some point, we dig a little deeper and find the skeletons of long ago that still cause our hearts to grieve and/or our blood to boil to the point of seething and we slowly start letting go of them. We clean out the baggage that takes up much needed space in the closets of our hearts.

We find that forgiveness comes easy in some situations and much harder in others. I can vividly remember a particular situation that I went through where I found myself coming repeatedly to the Lord and crying out for help because I wanted to forgive and said I’d forgiven but I knew in my heart I wasn’t over it yet. Some wounds are deeper than others. I would leave my prayer closet thinking I had overcome only to find myself fuming and my stomach churning the next time someone mentioned the offender’s name.

The beauty of such a long hard battle is that when the victory comes, it somehow seems sweeter. My victory in this situation was actually subtle. After years of prayer and struggle, I ran into said person at a store one day. I say “ran into” but the truth is I walked by and noticed someone hiding behind a fruit display in the produce department. This person apparently spotted me first. That struck me as so funny that I figured I’d go be pleasant and eliminate the need of any future fruit cover up.

I was standing there in the produce department having a conversation with someone who hurt and abused me, someone who threatened the life of me and my daughter, someone who had held the weight of my wrath for so long, as if we were old friends catching up. I realized in that moment that it no longer hurt. I was no longer angry. I had obtained my freedom without really knowing it until confronted with it. There were no lightning bolts from heaven signifying the end of an era. I didn’t need to ‘hug it out’ or have any real sense of closure on the situation. It was simply done. Hidden and absorbed with the blood spilled to free me in an old cross, and purged by peace into life.

I’ve found myself being confronted with this passage of scripture several times recently,

 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24

What people often overlook in these verses is that Jesus said if someone has something against you, not the other way around. Obviously, we know if we have something against someone else, we need to go make it right, but Jesus raises the standard. He doesn’t want us to allow strife at all. We are required to make an effort even when it’s someone else holding the offense against us. This, in my opinion, is a tough one.

I had a conversation the other day with someone who was adamantly refusing to make an effort to make peace with a person because they were convinced that was they said was right. My counsel to them was that it doesn’t matter if you are right, you don’t have to say you were wrong, but you are required to try to mend the relationship between you and your brother. God doesn’t tolerate strife, period.

We often allow our own pride and defensiveness drive our actions. I believe that though we never compromise on what we believe, we don’t always have to fight for ourselves. God will defend the righteous. That is His job. Our job, according to Micah 6:8 is this, And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

There are times when we will extend the olive branch of peace to another person and that person is not willing to accept it. I believe in those situations all we can do is pray for them and continue to walk in love toward them. God knows our hearts and will not hold the actions and attitudes of another against us. Please don’t take the effort to mend a relationship to an unhealthy extreme. I have seen people who become almost obsessed with trying to make someone forgive them or like them. You are only responsible for what you do. If someone else refuses to forgive, let it go. It’s between them and God.

When we choose not to forgive someone else we are binding that person to our hearts. I refuse to allow those who have wronged me to continue to have any effect on my life. I am determined to free myself of them and any chain they have in me. So I forgive quickly. When it’s hard I pray for them even through clinched teeth when necessary, until the chain is broken.

Forgiveness is one of the most freeing things we as mortals are given the pleasure of experiencing. I am so thankful for the forgiveness and grace extended to me by my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for the people who love and bear with me daily as I make my way through this earthly existence. I am so thankful that I am given the opportunity to release the chains that bind my heart when I hold an offense against another person. We are blessed.