Little bear hugs

June 27, 2017

Sweet sighs, little bear hugs, and cozy cuddles.

That’s the cure to a stressful day.

It wasn’t that my entire day was stressful. It was mostly the hour of 5:30 to 6:30pm that just about did me in. One hour. That is all it took for me to tell them to get outside. Sixty minutes or less with my 5 and 6 year old, after not being with them most of the day, and I was ready to send them to bed. Mother of the Year.

It wasn’t just one thing that they did that was terrible. It was the cumulative effect of several weeks, finally taking its toll in that one hour. Bickering, disobeying, not keeping hands to themselves, burping, arguing with me- It was just too much.

Thank you Lord for my beautiful husband’s next words…

“Anyone want to go on a Pokemon hunt?”

Bless him.

It gave me an hour of peace. Sixty minutes to watch Lincoln toddle around and venture across the living room on his own. Time to let his little giggles melt away my irritation and soothe my soul, restoring me so that I could ENJOY my sons.

I don’t know what it was, why I was so annoyed. I can blame Summer, and too much together time for two brothers. I can blame work, and too much to keep track of, leaving no room for chaos at home. Not enough sleep, that’s a good one too. Little egos developing and flexing their muscles, surely that is enough to push me to my limits.

But deep down, I really know what it is.

I’m missing my time with Jesus.

It’s not that I don’t pray- I do. It’s not that I don’t read scripture, or listen to worship music, because I do that too. But, the problem is, I’m not soaking Him in. I need to wade through the waters of distractions, and get to the deep. Out to the fathoms, to where the Lord surrounds me. Swim on past the shallow and lie still, trusting and letting all else escape me. You know, when you float on your back, and your ears are under the water but your face is not? Muting the world, and letting you sink into the water as you float. THAT is where I need to be right now. Muted to all noise, only hearing the still, quiet voice of my Savior calling me.

I go through these cycles, as I imagine most people do. Seasons of walking so closely with the Lord that I can feel His hand on my shoulder, guiding my steps. Times where I can feel myself take a step away, but still within arm’s reach. Then I have had times where I turned my back completely. I didn’t stop believing, I just stopped pursuing. I pray I never go back to that place.

But for now, I feel at arm’s length. Desiring to be close, but not quite taking that step to do so. It’s now when I must discipline myself, and make the time to spend with the Lord. If I don’t, I take baby steps everyday in the wrong direction. I never regret it when I make time for Him. So why is it so hard?

The problem is, when I don’t stay close, I am not the only one to feel it. My family suffers because of my laziness. When I don’t tame my heart and place myself willingly onto the path with Him, my most loved ones pay the price. My words become harsh, my patience disappears, and my compassion fails.

Thankfully, His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

The weather was beautiful this weekend, so we were playing yard games together as a family in the front yard. About halfway through, Zachary became angry and quit. Lately his attitude has been- if he doesn’t win, or if he isn’t good on his first try… he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.

“I’m bad at throwing things!”

“You know how you get good at it Zachary? You try. You practice. No one is just great without ever practicing.”

In his defense, he gets it honest. I am not fond of losing either. But as we were teaching him this life lesson, I knew it held a lesson for me as well. It just took a few days to sink in.

I will mess up. I’m not going to be great at it automatically. Walking with the Lord daily is something I have to practice. When I see that I am failing at it or doing badly, I don’t quit. I shouldn’t throw my hands up in the air and give up. I call out for help. I need His strength. I need His peace. I’m going to mess it up, guaranteed. But you know what? I keep on. I keep practicing. The more I do it, the more I’ll want to do it. The more I want to do it, the more natural it becomes.

A quote came to my mind this week, and I think it is no coincidence. (Don’t you love how the Lord does that?)

“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.” ~Anne of Green Gables

I imagine I will let my pace slow again at some point. I will inevitably let the noises pull my attention away. I just pray the Lord will continue to provide His mercy my way, and share His sweet creations with me in those moments. A little bear hug goes a long way.

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