Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trial by Solitude Deprivation

I wake up early to spend time in quiet before stumbling boys with tousled heads climb into my lap to be read to. Or ask me for pancakes. Tuesday morning my baby girl was coughing her wake-up cough and stirring as the 5:30 alarm sounded. I went into the kids' bedroom and gave her the pacifier and willed her to go back to sleep so my first moments of the day could be peaceful, refreshing ones. I made my coffee and sat down and opened my book, trying to ignore the coughs that punctuated the stillness and nettled me. Already I felt wound too tight, oversensitive to minor irritations. If there was ever a day I needed some time to fix my mindset, don a cloak of thankfulness and patience... Peanut Butter wailed a sleepy complaint from his bed. I sighed in desperation, went to his room, covered him, whispered calming words, gave Raindrop her pacifier again, went back out to my "quiet" spot. Whispered a plea to the Maker of Days, desperately turned my heart to thankfulness. Thank You for the three living, breathing children in the room down the hall. Thank You for a day that starts wrong, that I have this day to live. Please, help me in my rawness, in my impatient temperament, to still bear the fruit of the Spirit to my husband and little ones today.

He did. He redeemed the day. It wasn't an easy day, not an effortlessly fun and cheerful one. I felt somewhat...tense and frustrated all day, for no cause that I could see. But He redeemed what could have been a rotten day. He opened my eyes to gifts He mischievously hides in random places for me to notice in surprise at odd moments. He helped me find reserves of soft words when the sharp ones tried to leap out first. I failed a lot. But He was there, and kept helping every time I asked, and it was a different day than it would have been.

Wednesday morning, yesterday, my early morning alone time was again interrupted. "Lord, I need this time! I don't wake up early to deal with the kids early. I wake up early to get myself ready for them later. I do it out of obedience to You, because it's wise, because it helps. What am I supposed to do when in spite of my effort and obedience, I don't get to prepare for the day?"

Be thankful. Be broken. Lean into Him and breath deeply.

Last night baby Raindrop woke up often with a stuffy nose that made it difficult to breath. Now, today, it's nap time, and Christopher Robin is talking to himself not quietly enough. Peanut Butter has finally fallen asleep, but last time Christopher Robin took too long falling asleep, he ended up waking Peanut Butter up early, and never did get a nap himself, and was a growling, wailing, whining bear cub by evening. I sit here with thin skin, every noise nettling like a tiny pin pricking, wondering how to live like He calls me to when all my reserves of natural patience and cheer have been depleted. In my weakness, He is strong. Any kindness, patience, love displayed comes from His power, not mine. Any happy moments this afternoon originate from His unending supply of grace, the surprise gifts he leaves among the ordinary every day things. Bending my heart to thankfulness is my stretching out my hand to the lifeline. That is how to survive. To redeem the day.

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