18 April 2009

Poured Out

I fell asleep with the kids again and now I'm up. Just put Nathan down for the second time since he woke at midnight, he has such an internal clock. I was sitting on the edge of Jackson's bed, looking at Nathan in his crib, telling him that he was fine, that I was right there, that he could sleep, that I was right there. Of course I was feeling trapped and totally planned on sneaking out as soon as I could hear his deep-sleep breathing. But as I was sitting there I saw the similarity between Nathan and me, and me and God. I know God is there. I know he's watching me. I know that in the ways that matter, I am safe from harm. But I really want him to actually touch me, not just reassure me. I want him to talk me to sleep, every night. I want to wake up and begin to fuss, and know that he's already headed down the hall to save me from the darkness, even though I've been calling to him for help at the same time of day, in the same circumstance, for 16 months.

I'm really tired of getting up with Nathan at night. I'm tired of his demanding ways when he's sleepy and doesn't want to change the status quo. I think he's way too old to need me in the middle of the night, every night, and the whole 'last baby' indulgence I feel towards him is wearing thin. I know that God doesn't feel grumpy at me for struggling so long. But I want to feel God's comfort without reaching out to him. I want him to just come to me and minister to me, without me having to share with him (he knows it anyway, right?) or running to him. I feel like, I've been coming for the same thing, in the same circumstance for so long, that he should just get up and come comfort me. He knows I need it, right, so why do I need to cry out still? Why do I need to keep calling him?

I don't have any answers. I'm just so tired of the struggle. I want someone to serve me for change. When I see that on the screen, it looks demanding and petulant. But as I typed it, I began to cry-- I am just so tired of being poured out for the kids and the house and school; I am so tired of trying to be joyful in hope, and so tired of trying to be patient in affliction, there is no faithfulness in prayer because I am so battle weary (Romans 12:12). I know that if I filled my needs through Christ each morning that I would be prepared for what the day brings. I know if I have no words to say in prayer that the Holy Spirit provides them. But I can't stay awake in the early morning, I fall asleep at the kids' bedtime, and there isn't a quiet, not demanded-on time in the day. It's all I can do to keep track of everyone and work on the laundry and the dishes and school. I dunno. Here are a few of my flashcards of faith...

2 Corinthians 1:8-9
We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

Psalm 23:3
He restores my soul, he guides me in paths of righteousness for HIS names' sake.

Lamentations 3:21-26
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. I say to myself: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him, it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Psalm 138:6, 8
Though the Lord is on high, he looks down on the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me-- your love, O Lord, endures forever-- do not abandon the works of your hands!

Psalm 51:10, 12
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore me to the JOY of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity.

Jeremiah 33:3
This is what the Lord says, he who made the Earth, the Lord who formed it and established it-- the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Isaiah 43:1-5, 7
This is what the Lord says (he who created you, who formed you): "Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. I will be with you for I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, do not be afraid, for I am with you-- everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."


Margie said...

From the "The Ministry of Motherhood"

"I once had great feats I wanted my children to accomplish with their lives. I wanted them to have strong moral character and to be a testimony for Christ. I wanted them to be leaders to their lost and wondering friends. I wanted them to be excellent in their manners and conduct, work habits, and schoolwork and to be gracious and patient to each other I wanted them to take up their cross and follow hard after Christ in whatever they were asked to do.

I still have those dreams, of course. But I've also realized that my dreams are not necessarily what really motivate my children to become the best they can be. What matters to them is my loving presence....If I want them to be open to my messages, I need to be willing to serve them- to voluntarily give up my rights and my time to meet their felt needs-just as Jesus was willing to give for his disciples.

The night before Jesus was to be crucified his heart and mind must have been filled with such weariness and exhaustion at the thought of what he would soon endure. The sins of the whole world-throughout all of history! were about to be placed on his back as he laid down his life to pay the penalty for all of us. He knew he would be rejected by those who loved him, He would be beaten and scourged, spit upon, and wrongly sacrificed in the most demeaning way upon a cross while be handles by rough and sneering Roman soldiers Yet it is at this point we see him making a beautiful gesture of love and service towards his disciples:

"Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him" John 13:1,3-5

Jesus spent his last night on earth with his disciples in service to them. How powerful their memories of that night must have been--The King of the whole universe touching and rubbing their dusty feet and gently drying them with a towel....

Passing on the gift of grace to our children requires commitment and yes, a sacrifice--of time, love, and heart service. The grace we give by serving our children will provide them with a pattern to follow the rest of their lives. When they relate to their own friends, bosses, neighbors, spouses, and children, the example of our lives will steer the decisions they make. The grace they show to others will largely come from parents who learned it first from our own servant King."

Christ truly knew what it meant to feel weary, yet he chose to lay down his own comforts and serve his disciples. He came not to be served but was the greatest servant of all. Pray for the heart of our servant King. This is a season of sowing seeds into Claire, Jackson, Lilly and Nathan's hearts and lives. Just by meeting their most basic needs in this season, you can exemplify servanthood by putting aside you own preferences and giving them your time and love. Sow in faith for the future.

Great Scripture to feed your soul with! Continue to cry out to Him Tracy...this season will pass much too soon.