When I don’t have a perfect day …

It has been a long time since I’ve written.  Truth be told that is a result of deep discouragement.  When last I wrote I was hopeful that the months of cyclical sickness were at an end and we were on an upswing.  Unfortunately that has not been the case.  Kids got sick, Matt got sick, kids got well, Nicholas got sick, Matt got mostly better, Nicholas is still coughing but inhalers seem to help.  I was working through Nick’s sleep schedule (which was totally thrown off by illness) and feeling like we were about to be 100%.  I was getting into a good stay-at-home mom groove, and then on Saturday I began feeling all too recently familiar sensations in my lower back.  It is certainly not as bad as it was, but it has put all progress on the home front on hold.

All this sickness and pain has really taken a toll on me.  I am not as patient when I’m in pain.  I cannot accomplish anything when I can’t move.  Even lifting the baby to his high chair isn’t doable for me right now.  Inability on my part seems to highlight the innate differences between Matt and I.  We just do not see things the same way.  I shouldn’t be surprised.  Many months ago as we were driving along I voiced a revelation to Matt “I’m beginning to understand that other people don’t see things the way I do.”  I’m all about order and responsibility and he’s all about thinking and dreaming.  We are — a perfect match, but the differences and pain could give way to frustration.  I am resisting the urge to expect him to be an exact replacement of me on a good day in the midst of my neediness.

While I’m down, I’ve had so many friends offer to help in very practical ways.  Instead of being immediately grateful, I’ve felt ashamed.  So maybe as we (hopefully) catapult out of the cycle of illness, I must need address my pride.  And I know that’s what it is, otherwise the temptation to delete pride wouldn’t be so strong.  When I’m at my best, I love to give.  When I’m at my worst, it’s not that I like to withhold, it’s more that I have a hard time graciously receiving.

Recently we went to our daughter’s first school program.  She was so excited and serious about this performance, and I was struck by one of the lines of her poem.  “When I don’t have a perfect day, God smiles at me.”  I look at my children each night and my heart overflows with gratitude for the gift they each are; that I have been entrusted with the weighty privilege of raising them.  It doesn’t matter how hard the day was; how many times I had to redirect them, train their hearts, discipline in the midst of a tantrum … when it comes to the end of the day and I look at my three sleeping miracles, I smile. 

Parenting so often reflects the Father’s heart for us.  I want the best for my children, but often that means “tough love” … discipline.  The best for them is to have their hearts turned toward me and Matt, so that we can turn their hearts to the Lord.  I am in that place as a child of God right now. I can feel him so dearly speaking to my heart,  “Lindsey, you needn’t be so proud.  I have given you friends not only for companionship, but also for in times of need.”  Thank you, Lord that you can gently and compassionately redirect a heart that has strayed from your best.

As I begin to turn my heart toward him today, I am encouraged at the thought of being known … of being seen … of his presence filling our home and his peace our hearts.

The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves.  He will rejoice over you with gladness.  He will bring you quietness with his love.  He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”  

Zephaniah 3:17 HCSB

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