Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Credit where credit's due

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Is 41:10).

Picture an Olympic runner, bursting through the ribbon, hands raised triumphantly, waving to the cheering crowds, smiling for the cameras, barely a sweat dotting his brow. Was this me on Friday, the last day of school? NOT EVEN CLOSE! In fact, crossing this finish line felt more like I was crawling on bloodied knuckles, gasping for breath, ready to collapse at any minute.

I reflected upon this as I watched my youngest son board the bus. With horror, I realized he wore yesterday’s clothing! And, because we had run to catch the bus, his teeth were un-brushed (the dental hygienist’s warnings from Wednesday’s appointment burned in my ears). I glanced up to see the garbage truck roar around the bend toward our house, toward our empty curb - empty because we had failed to get that trash out in our haste. And to top it all off, the cell phone I’d grabbed on my way out beeped its low battery alarm, since I had forgotten (yet again) to recharge it. What a perfect analogy for my present condition: out of energy, running on reserves, in desperate need of a recharge.

As I turned heel and re-entered our house, my eyes took in the post-war landscape – stacks of unread mail everywhere; used school supplies, art projects and toy parts littered every available table top; milk and bread were long gone; unfolded laundry piles scattered about the living room floor. And who knew the last time the bathrooms had been cleaned? Or the carpets had been vacuumed? An overwhelming sense of failure and exhaustion hit hard right then. What do I do first? Where do I even begin?

I decided just to sit for a moment and pray. (Frankly, it was all I really had the energy for.) As I did, God faithfully brought to mind a few very important facts: “Remember playing your son’s homemade math game with him recently?” “How about the prayers you shared with your daughter over her high school anxiety last night?” “Recall laughing with your husband at the pool?” “Have you forgotten all those conversations WE had at their soccer practices, or the worshipful walks you enjoyed around the fields?” YES! God had been there, coaching me through, steering me to the important things, pouring in His goodness and strength during the fray.

I remember a day-trip our family took in early May to Great Falls. It was right after a heavy rain and the river was high and raging. Along the edges though, quiet little swirling pools gathered. What would life be like as a water molecule here? Rushing forward at deathly speeds, bouncing dangerously off sharp rocks, being tossed to and fro out of control. But every once in a while, the molecule would be re-routed to a quiet pool for a time of refreshment, a time to recharge.

I will not kid you, it has been a rough 6 weeks, with all the demands of work, school, house, and end-of-year scouts, music, and sports. If you are the parent of active kids, you know exactly what I’m talking about! But through it all, I see that God was my source of strength and focus. Like that water molecule, He did give me those “pockets of peace”, my pools of refreshment, when I needed it most. And now, He made sure I remembered this. So, I want to make sure I thank Him for it. What's better than giving credit where the credit’s due? To God be the glory forever. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now, Jen, so this is a very timely post. Thank you for the encouragement and for being willing to write with honesty about your life. I'm holding on to the idea of God's refreshment to get me through the next few days. I'm also going to try and reflect on the times I've already had.