Breate in, breath out. Holy Spirit in. Me out.
This has become my “go to” in life lately.
For those times when life is all CRAZY and you are running and being pulled in all kinds of directions and you wish you could literally BREATHE. IN. AND. OUT.
Those days when you are looking for that one lost shoe and making sure all the homework is done and driving from one side of town to the other for football and dance and piano and church and go, go, go…
Breath in, breathe out. Holy Spirit in, Me out.
And then you have those days when you have tried to drink the coffee that you have desperately been needing since 6 o’clock in the morning when the toddler woke you up because she tee tee’d in her bed through her diaper and you change soaking wet pj’s and sheets and put her beloved blanket in the wash and she screams because “da water id huwting it!!” and she keeps looking back at the closed laundry room door and asking, “id it weady?” And each time you say as sweetly as humanly possible at 6:30, “no, not yet,” she starts screaming all over again and this charade continues every. two. minutes. And all you want is coffee. And Jesus. And Grace. And maybe a little more coffee. But you can’t have that coffee because well, little people are screaming and you heat it up again. and then one more time.
Breathe in, breathe out. Holy Spirit in, Me out.
Or maybe its been one of those days where everything is just plain hard. Where your kids won’t stop bickering and “He stuck his tongue out at me.” Or, “Mom tell her to stop singing she’s annoying me!” Or, “She just picked her nose and touched my barbie!” Or, “Mom tell him to stop copying me” and then you hear, “Stop copying me.”
And that’s about all you can take and forget it…Holy Spirit, I figure you are around here somewhere, but these people are about to meet Jesus!
And so out goes the Holy Spirit and in comes MOMMY! And SHE is DONE!
I am trying. Desperately trying.
I’m trying not to yell. I’m trying to be full of grace and love. I’m trying to be more like Jesus.
I’m trying to have more of the Holy Spirit in me and less of me in me.
But can I say that OMGOODNESS it is so hard!
Why? Why is it so hard?
It is easier for me to yell. It is easier for me to run and hide in my closet and eat chocolate. It is easier for me to send everyone to their room so they can stop touching each other for 5 minutes so mama doesn’t go CRAZY!
We had a few activities to get to that afternoon and I had everyone’s stuff laid out and ready to go. The boy had his football gear on and ready with water, the girl had her dance gear on and I woke the baby from her nap and we got into the car.
I asked 3 times, “OK does everyone have everything?”
And in reply the children answer, almost annoyed, “Yes mom, let’s go already.”
Leaving the house at exactly 4:00. PERFECTION.
We pull out of the neighborhood and onto a very busy street and sure enough…”Mom, I forgot my cleats.”
Ya’ll…In my spirit I head the Holy Spirit say very clearly, “breathe…” and I literally said, “Whatever!” Total disobedience on my part for sure, hands down!
And I started to yell!
“How is it possible that you do not have your shoes didn’t I ask you if you had everything and didn’t you say yes mom we have everything and somehow you forgot your shoes how can you leave the house without shoes what in the world how many times have we gone over this when we have to go you have to have all your stuff ready to go it is not that hard you have to be responsible for your stuff how many times do we have to do this…”
And I kept going as I swerved around, driving like a lunatic, speeding down the streets to get to the house and lecturing on being responsible. And I could hear myself and I kept thinking, ‘breathe, chill, breathe,’ but I just couldn’t.
I calmed down some. And after a bit I felt pretty bad.
I apologized to my son (and of course he was so sweet about it, that I felt even worse!)
And as I dropped off one kid I sat in my car and I was really down. I had let myself down again. I felt like I let God down again. I let my kids down again.
I had lost control again. Over what…shoes? ugh.
And I sat in my car and cried and I asked God, “Why is this so hard? Why do I do well for so long and then fall into the same stinkin’ trap?” And I was really down as I felt this weight of guilt and plain sadness fall on me.
Yet, the Lord delights over me. He doesn’t rebuke me, but rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). And instead of guilt and sadness being laid on me because of my faults, He pours over me a new rain of joy and peace and love knowing that nothing I can do can keep me from His presence or His love. The bible says to “Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people and plants of the field to everyone” Zechariah 10:1. It is the Lord who gives us mercy and grace and love, no matter what storms come, He showers us with His goodness.
Despite my many failures and constant mess ups, I had to remember two truths:
1. He loves us no matter how many times we mess up.
The same way I love my kids no matter how many times they forget shoes or do all the crazy things that they do, God loves me and my kids so much more. On the cross He bore all my failures, all my mess and He already knew that on that day I was going to lose my head over shoes, yet He already forgave me. If He has forgiven me, then I really need to forgive myself and not bear the burden of my own failures and shortcomings when He has already done that for me. There is a time to weep and there is a time to dance and friends, our time to dance is now, knowing that He has taken all our sins away as far as the east is from the west!
2. When all is said and done, I am doing my best and God knows that and He sees that and nothing else matters.
The bible encourages us to “not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” ( Galatians 6:9). Friends, we are doing our best. We are not giving up. Everyday we get up and go through our routine and we are doing the best that we can do. Some days we fail and fall on our faces and some days we are full of glory, and all the days in between we are doing our best. He see’s our hearts and our steadfastness and because we are not giving up and because we are taking on all that He has called us to and running our race as fast and hard as we can, He will bestow upon us a harvest in the right time, because we persevere and do not give up.
If we continually put our hope in Him, stand firm and endure the trials and hardships of our lives and stand on His promises, he will strengthen us, he will bless us and we will not lose heart. Keep going. Keep Breathing. More of You Lord, less of me.
I encourage you that no matter what kind of hard you are facing today, no matter how many times you fall on your face, no matter how many times you trip up into the same trap of sin, remember that He knows you are doing your best, you are fighting the good fight. You are standing firm and giving Him all you have and He see’s you and He loves you and He will bless you.