Last night I wasn’t feeling well. I finally caught the cold the kids had been passing around for a couple of weeks. Ugh! Shouldn’t I be immune to it by now??? Apparently not, because I came down with it bad: sore, scratchy throat; stuffy nose; a wee bit chilled; and tired—but finding it hard to rest.
Yep, all the symptoms my kids have had. Thanks, guys!
I’ve finally figured out why I detest getting sick—and it’s not just how bad it makes me feel. I dislike it because it means I can’t keep going, I can’t cross things off my to-do list, I can’t serve my family, I can’t help them, teach them, feed them. All I can do is watch all that needs to be done, and try my hardest not to do it.
Not many moms I know are good at this.
Not even the ones who have been at it longer than I have or have more children than I do.
I spoke with a dear friend the other night who recently gave birth to her eleventh baby (And… Oh. My. Is he ever adorable!) and she’s struggling with the same issue. How do I stare at the spots in the carpet that need cleaning and just lay here?
I hear ya, sweet friend! The day after I talked with you, reminding of grace, grace, and more grace with yourself during your recovery time, I suddenly find myself in a similar spot (pun intended).
But it really does boil down to grace.
Not so much the be-patient-with-yourself kind of grace as it is the be-content-with-where-the-Lord-has-us-at-any-given-moment kind. It’s the kind of grace that brings us to our knees. The kind that keeps us humble and—like my friend’s newborn babe—in open-handed, needful reliance upon Another to supply even the contentment upon which we must subsist.
Learning From His Time “On The Bench”
Jesus tells us to imitate Him.
He came as a babe.
In total reliance upon sinful humans for His sustenance.
In a form that rendered Him seemingly unfit to change the drought of the human souls He came to rain His living water upon.
Seemingly unable to clean the spots of sin and death off the world He created.
No, He was in total reliance upon those whom His Father had placed around Him.
So He grew…
He grew in wisdom and in stature. He lived humbly. He lived poor. He lived life as the son of a woman who had seemingly conceived out of wedlock (for which her immediate society could have stoned—with Him in her womb). He lived as a carpenter’s son.
He lived not as the King and Deliverer Israel had imagined Him to be. He could see all the wrong: the sin, the pain, the blemishes, the spots on the carpet of His world.
And yet, until His Abba told Him it was His time, He could do nothing to rescue those He came to clean, help, serve, and save. And from the biblical account, He seems to have been content with where His Father had Him… Until His Father said “Now, go, do what I sent You to do. Begin Your ministry!”
And did He ever.
So it is with us—if we learn from Him.
We wait, dear friend, you and I… until the Father tells us to “Go, do all I have commanded you to do in my Name.”
In the meantime, we praise and thank Him for the rest. We ask for the grace to be content—head and heart—with His leading, with where He has us at each moment. And when He tells us it’s time, we immediately rise up and serve (remember the woman Jesus healed from being sick and she immediately rose up and served them? —Matthew 8:14-15), thankful for the grace in both the rest and the work; because it’s all for Him. All of it keeps us right where we need to be: close to Him.
Much love to you, old friend. May God grant you, me, and all who are “on the bench” the contentment and grace necessary to be thankful for where He has us; letting Him rain His grace all over the spots we are unable to clean… just yet. 🙂
How About You?
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Has the Lord placed you “on the bench” in some area of your life, and you are struggling with being OK with it? Let us know how we can be praying for you… I promise we will. We consider it a blessing and privilege to lift you up before His throne!
21 Day Christmas Declutter Challenge, Day #2
How did your entryway de-cluttering go yesterday? Mine was fairly simple since I had recently cleaned the area. I found:
1. one sad little piece of trash that needed to be thrown away, and
2. an old phone book that really just needed to be recycled.
No giveaways in this room but the next room has plenty… I’m taking our declutter tour according to the layout of the main floor of our homes first, so your next challenge is:
The Living Room
Walk into this room and take a quick look as if you are coming into it for the very first time. What is your general feeling when you walk into this room?
- peaceful and relaxing, or
- chaotic… or
- somewhere in between?
How do your bookshelves look? When was the last time you went through your bookshelves to clear out books that are either no longer in use or never will be used again?
I know, it’s been too long for me too.
I just know on those bookshelves I have blessings waiting to be given to others; gifts that are waiting to be put to use by someone in need, or something I can sell in order to give relief to someone in need. How about you?
Ready! Set! Go!
Get your three bins/boxes/bags Ready! One is for trash, one is for giveaways, and one is for things that need to go back to their place in your home. Set! your timer and Go! to work…
1. Start with your bookshelves. Don’t get lost in them or your fifteen minutes will disappear. Once this room is decluttered, you will have more space and time to read at leisure. Until then, focus on which category the things on your bookshelves belong.
2. If you get through all of those bookshelves in fifteen minutes, GREAT! If not, don’t fret, look at your schedule and see if you have another fifteen to thirty minutes to spend zipping through those shelves today. If not, when can you mark it on your calendar so you get back to it? Planning is half the hurdle. 🙂
3. No bookshelves? How about coffee tables, end tables, TV consoles, magazine racks or bins? Go through these and spend fifteen minutes categorizing them into your boxes.
Now that your fifteen minutes are up, take a deep breath and assess what’s left. Can you tackle it today? If not, that’s OK; mark the time for this on your calendar.
How Did You Do?
What do you have at this point to give away? Is there any way you can package it up into a beautiful gift? Is there an ministry or mission in your area that can take it and put it to use? Contact them!
Is there someone alone and hurting or sick this Advent season? Take it to them with a plate of cookies or other Christmas goodies and spend some time visiting with them.
Seek to bless with your excess!
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ —Matthew 25:37-40
Dear Heavenly Father, please help us as we go from room to room in our homes, seeking to bless others. Help us to bless our families with a peaceful home; help us to bless guests with open hands; and help us to bless the sick, the lost, and the lonely as You—out of Your riches—have done for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God bless you all and I will see you tomorrow with our next challenge. You are welcome to tell of your progress in the comments below. Also, if there is anything we can be praying for you, please contact us and let us know. It is our pleasure to partner with our friends in prayer!