So today started out pretty horrible. I think I was still carrying some emotional weight from the weekend. We started the weekend with some parenting issues with Allie that we are totally at a loss of how to handle. Nothing she did at all- she's an amazing kid- but some tough decisions we're having to make regarding her situation with her dad. Then I spent a lot of time and energy making a gift for my friend's baby shower, only to find that someone else made the same thing only way more beautiful and fabulous. So that hurt my pride a little. :) Okay a lot. :) I had a committee meeting at church that left me feeling overwhelmed; Rosemary was fussy all weekend; you name it. So I wasn't starting off on the best foot to begin with. Rosemary cut a tooth last week and I think she's trying to cut another. She woke up at 4 a.m. to nurse and kept nursing until 6 a.m. At that point I knew it was time to get up and moving so I went down the hall to get my Bible and have my quiet time, but she screamed. So I tried to lay down with her while reading my Bible, but she wanted to tear the pages out instead. While trying to deal with that, Maggie woke up and got in bed with me too. Forget having a quiet time, I thought. I got up and fixed breakfast, which Penelope threw on the floor. Only you almost couldn't even see it for the rest of the mess that was covering my beautiful hardwood floors from busy toddlers and sticky hands. I had poopie cloth diapers that needed tending, math and spelling that needed to be worked out with Allie, 4 emails I needed to send, some phone calls that needed to be made, and sourdough bread that was soured and ready to be kneaded. I followed the directions for kneading the sourdough bread and placed it in 5 loaf pans (this particular recipe makes a lot). Got that going, loaded the dishwasher, swept, and called out spelling words to Allie. Went back into the kitchen to find that my sourdough was rising so well that it was actually rising above the tops of the pans and spilling out all over the kitchen counter. I don't know if you've ever worked with rising dough before, but boy is that stuff sticky and messy. In 5 minutes' time my clean-for-a-moment kitchen was filthy again as I struggled to salvage the overrunning dough and put it in a sixth pan. I quoted out loud "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and asked God to strengthen me, but I didn't feel stronger. "That's it!" I cried. "Put on your shoes, girls, we're going to the Y!!"
I was in a really good routine of going to the Y until this school year started back again. Now it seems there's just not a "good" time to go. If we wait until Allie is finished with school each day, the childcare is closed. If we go when it opens again at 4, we aren't home when Brian gets home and I need to be fixing dinner. So I've been slacking. But I really needed to go and just run at that moment. I dropped off a few fussy kids and headed out into the sunshine. It wasn't until about half a mile that I realized I was crying. I started up the hill on Esslinger, one I've been trying to conquer for awhile, and just could not run all the way to the top. I stopped, bent over, and just sobbed. "Why can't I do this?" I cried out to God. I turned on Christy Nockels radio on Pandora and started running again. The first song I heard was "Everlasting God" by Chris Tomlin. It says, "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord; we will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord." I thought about that. Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord. I started praying as I was running, Lord I need your strength. I'm believing that strength will rise as I wait upon You. Strengthen me, Lord. The next song was "Speak O Lord" by the Gettys. It says, "Teach us, Lord, full obedience, holy reverence, true humility; test our thoughts and our attitudes in the radiance of Your purity." I thought about my thoughts and attitudes and asked God to cleanse me of pride, of selfishness, of impatience, of anxiety and stress. Next up was "Empty Me"by Jeremy Camp, a song of prayer asking God to "burn away my desire for anything that is not of You and is of me". I asked God to take away my bitterness and anger and replace it with something beautiful. I had this vision of what He could do in me if I just quit trying to be awesome and beautiful on my own and let Him be glorious through me. On my final descent down the third try up the huge hill was the climax song. "Show me Your glory" by Third Day. Oh my. That one really brought me to tears. I stood at the top of Esslinger and I'm sure the people in the houses, if they happened to be looking out, thought about calling the police or the nuthouse. I raised my hands and cried out to God, "Show me Your glory!!! I need YOUR glory God, because I don't have any! Show me YOURS!" And I thought, now I'm finally getting to the heart of it. It's not about me and what I can accomplish, whether I can bake the perfect bread or keep a clean house or have a perfectly scheduled school day or run up Esslinger 10 times. It's about HIM. It's always about HIM. The song says, "Show me Your glory. Send down Your presence; I want to see Your face. Show me Your glory. Majesty shines about You; I can't go on without You Lord! When I climb down the mountain and get back to my life, I won't settle for ordinary things. I'm gonna follow You forever, for all of my days. I won't rest until I see You again." And I made that promise to God- I won't rest until I see You again. I'm gonna keep seeking You, because Your Word promises that I will find you when I seek You with all my heart. I need You, Lord. I need Your glory to shine through me and make me what You want. Burn off everything that is of me and not You. I said to myself this weekend that I really wanted to inspire. I would love to be that girl who inspires other people. But I've been trying to do that in my own strength. And that will never work. I will only inspire when I let His glory shine.
What am I going to do tomorrow morning if the same things happen again (and they probably will?) I'm going to keep seeking God and His glory. I'm going to keep changing diapers, keep cleaning up the same mess 12 times, keep fixing healthy foods that my kids turn up their noses at, keep disciplining Allie to do her best and give it 100%, keep on keepin' on and expect God and His glory to make it beautiful. I'll keep asking, seeking, knocking for Him to show up with power and glory in the midst of the drudgery. And I believe He will make me beautiful.