Robbed of Joy and Filled with the Spirit

Right now is good.

Right now I am sitting here with the knowledge that yesterday is over, today is nearing an end and tomorrow new and big things will happen. Tomorrow I pack my two under three in the car at 5am and head to watch their Daddy compete as part of his job’s lineman rodeo, his first. We are proud, so very proud.

& right now both kids are sleeping and I smell like bleach. I just got done cleaning the kitchen, the dishwasher is going, and if someone who didn’t know me walked in they would think I have it all together. & by the Grace of God I am starting to.

I didn’t though. Lately I had been robbed of the joy that I had so grown to love as a mother. I was content, fully and irrevocaly content in my job as a mother and wife. My domain was this little 3 bedroom/2 bath of ours and my reward was two miniatures of my husband that I call my very own, always in tow. However, I recently was brought face to face with a sin of mine, a good friend actually as we have spent many years together, and that friend is laziness. The way I keep my house was called into question and rightfully so. I am not the kind of woman who can have company at the drop of a hat. I welcome it, but it also means about half an hour of manic cleaning to present my home as a pretty packaged place we live. & many a day my husband would come home from work and I would present him with a plan of how I would start a “cleaning schedule”.

I would detail when I would do laundry and which day I would wash the linens but somewhere in the shuffle of living the list would get tossed and things would go on. Don’t mistake my banter for lack of commitment to my problem. I hate cleaning. I hate it. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t clean when I am angry, or sad, or bored, or lonely. When I am those things I find comfort in my two biggest gifts, my husband and children. I find solace in rocking my baby on the front porch or playing bubbles with my oldest or lying in the arms of my husband and letting the world crumble around us.

But it’s true, I entered a covenant with my husband before God and promised to take care of him and I was neglecting do so. A home cooked meal? No problem. A healthy relationship with God? A daily treat. But keeping my home orderly? No bueno. Not my thing.

& then the hands and feet of Jesus Christ showed up with a cleaning caddy and a loving heart. A friend, and a sister who out of the kindness of her heart wanted to help me get things organized for an event I was having.

It broke me. That and some other forces just wiped me out.

When that wonderful woman of God walked in with that huge smile on her face and cleaning rag in hand, it broke me into a million pieces and joy flooded out of my heart and embarrassment and pride took it’s place. But at the same time I was overwhelmed by the lack of judgement and pure kindness she offered.

& so we cleaned, and we laughed and we enjoyed fellowship with one another while we mothered each other’s babies and I healed a little. And over the week that followed I healed a little more.

I found this.

“Let us therefore come bold unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

I let that soak in. I bathed in grace and when self-pity was gone I was happy again. Not because the problem was solved, because it isn’t. I have to work hard to be the kind of woman who scrubs the baseboards, but I was able to enjoy the hard work I have done in my 4 years of marriage.

I have been able to become the kind of mother I always wanted to be. The kind that spends intentional time teaching her kids. Teaching them their letters, their numbers, or my favorite song from being a kid. Teaching them about bugs, and the weather and how Jesus lives in their hearts and that being kind still matters. The kind of mother that would turn the tv off and go play in the rain, or show them how to plant strawberries. The kind of mother who would take them shopping for Daddy’s favorite cake ingredients and let them make it even if it meant shells in the batter and starting all over (sorry Daddy).

& sure, now I have some other skills too. I know I can’t be overcome with laziness. When the time is right I do have to shoulder the responsibility I took as a wife and now because of that good friend I can do so joyfully and full of the spirit of love and not of obligation.

So.

I have some cabinets to sort and some towels to fold, but then, when it’s that time of day and everyone is awake again and ready for momma… then I have some babies to snuggle. & for that I count myself the luckiest woman in the world.

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