This is the question everybody is asking me now that my girls are in school all day. It's not bon bons and soap operas, but cottage cheese with peaches and the Today show featuring Moms in different stages of life! At least in this very moment. This moment of munching on my healthy snack after a run with the tv on in the background has me thinking about how blessed I am to finally have this kind of time on my hands!
So far I've:
*done two 10 mile runs
*done one 50 mile bike ride
*dated my husband for a day
*meal planned & grocery shopped
*finished my novel (American Wife- which was really a great read!)
*hung out with some sweet, special friends!
While all of that stuff is absolutely wonderful, I want to share what God has been doing in my heart in the quieter moments. For those of you that have walked along with me in much of my struggle as a mother can really appreciate the sweetness of this victory. It was the first day of school when God had it rain ALL day. This kept me from going out on a long run or a bike ride. Rather, I spent more time with the Lord that day. I stumbled upon a great little devotion thing written in my Sanctuary Bible. I am going to type it out because I believe it is just that good.
A battle is raging- a battle that we can't see. The concept of spiritual warfare is difficult enough for me to comprehend, much less teach my children. They need to understand, however, that there are powers beyond our senses, beyond what we can see and hear. The battles we wage in our lives are part of a huge cosmic battle that has been going on since Satan's fall. The battle will not end until he is destroyed.
In the meantime, God promises that if we wear his armor, we can stand firm. As we pray God's promises for our children, we need to pray for strength in the unseen spiritual battles.
In prayer, put on the belt of truth, praying that she will be a truthful person who not only believes the truth but also lives it. Then prayerfully add the body armor of God's righteousness, protecting her heart and giving her the ability to stand up to Satan's attacks because the righteousness is not her own, but God's. Next, "for shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News: (Ephesians 6:15). When you put on these shoes, your child is ready for any battle because ...she [knows] that she is already on the winning side.
Give her the shield of faith. Satan will shoot his fiery arrows of temptation, doubt, fear, despair, accusation, or problems, and only strong faith can deflect these arrows. Help her to put on the helmet of salvation, protecting her mind from the doubts that can so easily creep in and undermine her faith. Doubt can deal death blows to those not protected by the assurance of salvation, so this helmet will protect her.
Finally, pray that she will have the sword of the Spirit- the Word of God. This is her only offensive weapon. When she knows God's Word, she is prepared to answer Satan's attacks as well as other people's doubts and questions. Pray that she will learn God's Word and apply it correctly to her life."
-Linda K. Taylor
See, I was able on the very first day away from my girls to realize that I get to use this time while they are "out there" (essentially in the world) to pray for them. When they were right there beside me ALL THE TIME, I didn't necessarily want to pray for them. Now, that they are away, I see that my behind the scenes role for them is to pray for them. I thought it was so precious of God to show me that the first day and to gently teach and lead me into this new position!
This in turn has given me a new tenderness towards them. Nick is out of town so I've been doing the routine alone the past two days. This very morning, I felt God Himself gently loving them through me as I walked in their rooms to wake them up. It began with a quiet singing voice that I put on for them. It sounded like this:
♫ ♫ ♫ "So, rise and shine and give God the glory glory, rise and shine and give God the glory, glory! Rise. And. Shine. And. Give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord. ...... Good Morning, good morning, it's time to rise and shine!!! This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day, This is the day that the Lord Has Made!"♫ ♫ ♫
All the while, caressing them and awakening them. I just thought this was such a gift as I can't recall too many times I've felt that endearing, mothering feeling that I think most Moms feel. Thank you, Lord for making this day for me to be glad in :)