Kind of a strange title for a post, right? I thought so, too. I posted a status on facebook a little earlier today, but I feel like God has a little more to say through me than just those 8 sentences, so here I go!
Callen, my [almost] 4 month old seems to have caught a stomach bug that’s been going around. It’s the kind that gives you lots of gas, very bad stomach cramps, and lots of diarrhea. [I apologize for such details.] Elijah, my oldest son, had this bug about a month ago and he would double over in pain and just scream. I’ve had this bug, and it was like being in early labor. An ache, with sharp pains, that persisted and wouldn’t go away. Needless to say, it’s terrible.
Last night was rough. I finally crawled into bed around midnight after finally rocking Callen to sleep, but I was up a lot during the night changing diapers, making sure he was taking a bottle so he wouldn’t dehydrate, and then changing more diapers. My two bubbly toddlers came bouncing in the room at 6:45, just after Lance left for work, so it was an early morning start to an already long night. I wasn’t up long before Callen’s stomach started cramping again and the screaming started. I spent most of my morning rocking him, trying to console an inconsolable child. I went back to the bedroom to lay my now-calm Callen down. It wasn’t even 30 minutes later that he woke up, I changed two more diapers on him, and we were back to the screaming. I sat on my bed rocking him and praying. Next, Asher comes running in the room, crying, with Elijah on his heels crying and screaming. So I did what any mother who has it all together would do – I joined in on the crying! Asher was the first to stop crying, and then he started laughing as he watched me crying. [I guess his name really does have an affect on his personality because he never stays unhappy long!] As Elijah and Callen continued to escalate in their cries, Asher escalated in his laughter, and my crying turned to sobbing and praying. I even remember thinking at one point, “Lord, I know that SOMEONE is praying for me right now, I feel it.” [And someone did come to my mind as I thought that.]
In the midst of all of this, I get a text from a friend asking if she can come by and drop something off to me. I hesitate to answer because everything in me is saying, “NO!” My house is a disaster. My kids are a wreck. One is sick. My house smells like poopie diapers. I’m a wreck; my eyes are swollen from crying, my hair is a mess. Everything in my house seemed to be falling apart in that moment so why would I want anyone else to see that?! But I knew God was telling me to say, “yes.” My exact response was, “Sure! I’m hoping to get a nap this afternoon when the boys take one, but you’re welcome to just leave it at my door if I’m asleep when you swing by =)”. Ok, not a yes at all, and followed by a hope-she-doesn’t-have-to-see-my-mess excuse.
So fast forward a few hours. Things have settled down. Callen is finally sleeping peacefully again, and has been for about an hour. Elijah and Asher have full bellies from lunch, and I even managed to get a bite in, too. The house is still a stinky disaster, I’m still a wreck, but at least things are quiet. Then I hear the soft knock at the door, and I know it’s my friend. I open the door and standing there are two smiling faces, and a big ole tin of freshly baked cookies! My friend and I chatted for a few minutes about our children, and just life in general. It was actually very refreshing after the crazy morning. After she left, I went inside and devoured a few of the cookies, and I couldn’t help but smile. And cry. And then I thanked God, [for the cookies] and for amazing friends that listen to His voice. Because as I shoved another cookie in my mouth, I realized that while I was sitting on my bed this morning crying along with my three boys, a lady was standing in her kitchen thinking about me and making me cookies. She had no idea what my night had been like. She had no idea how my morning was going. The fact that we have a God who truly cares enough about us to stir up other people to encourage us when we think no one else knows what’s going on is so awesome to me.
And maybe we don’t want people to know what’s going on. Maybe we only want people to see the “perfect” family that we portray through social media, but boy, how we’re missing out! More and more, God is showing me that we don’t have to have spotless homes, spotless families, or spotless lives to be hospitable. It’s my pride that wanted to say, “No,’ to that text message this morning, shutting out the world so they wouldn’t know I don’t have it all together. But a life that has it all together has no need for a Savior. It’s in the brokenness, in the not-got-it-all-together state that Jesus does the best work. When we lay down our pride, and admit that we aren’t strong enough to carry the weight of our world, Jesus says, “Just come to me because my burden is light.” I’m finding more and more that as I do this – as I lay down my pride of having it all together, of having a spotlessly clean home, of looking “perfect” by the world’s standards – that I actually find more and more freedom. So thank you to my friend who listened to God and baked me cookies because the blessing in my messy time was just what I needed!
If I can leave you with something, well two things, it’s to not ignore the prompting of God when he’s showing you to do something from someone. It may be small to you, or even seem silly, but you may be the light in that person’s day. And the second thing is this: if God prompts you to open up your life, or home, do it! Forget about upholding a certain persona for your pride’s sake, and let people into the messy area’s of your life, because we are all on a journey to perfection in Christ.