I entered our master bedroom like a “battleship” yesterday around 6:15 a.m. Fuming, I told my husband (still asleep under the covers)…”Get up! Children are crying, and I’m about to cry!” With a flurry I escaped, doors closing behind me, into the shower. The shower, “a mother’s sanctuary.” Should have entered the shower first and kept my sin influenced mouth shut. Grace before gunfire.
I wake early…really early most days between 4 and 5:30 a.m. “Meeting Jesus at Dawn” is my goal. But, how is it that when I leave my special desk and quiet alone tea time with God’s Word, I transform…into a Battleship? My husband and I “talked” it through yesterday. I reflected in the shower, and I prayed. As moms we do fire shots at the ones we love because we feel at war with the world.
Our world is tough. Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”…a dare to live fully right where you are was a favorite on my books shelf, and I gave my copy away to someone I thought needed it. I even bought a copy recently for a grieving family in our neighborhood. Their 20 year old baby daughter died in a horrific car accident on January 1, 2013. This mom likely feels like a battleship too. In Ann’s words:
“Where is God, really? How can he be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away. Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?”
You see in reflecting on yesterday’s rough war-like start, I realize that trying to be perfect is a spiritual attack. I set my bar high, and when people or situations fail to rise to my standards, hopes, or dreams…I get angry, sad, and bang! I fire my guns. People get hurt. God does not want us to heart others or ourselves. He wants us to LOVE.
1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”
God doesn’t like swords and weaponry that we wield. He is the source of true judgement, justice, and love. He uses his Word to change us. I’m a work in process. When the cat annoys me, children cry “mommy” endlessly, and my husband works or rests hard…I need to sail my ship with grace, peace, and love. When I try to call the shots…it is not pretty. Things do not go “my way”, life is full of defeat, discouragement, and loss. We must rise up, seek joy, and choose love instead of war.
Who is the Captain of your ship? Have you recently fired shots at God or loved ones? Life is short, life is fragile, and when we relax to enjoy the seas we become changed. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
p.s. Thank you Rachel Wojnarowski who led me into the Word of 1 John 4 though her sweet Valentine printables. I made some with our three year old this week, and I wanted to read the verses in context. Awesome! Love is so uplifting…especially the love of our Father!