A Day Off

My prayer partner and I were talking this morning about how difficult it is for mothers to get a day off. Unless we leave the house, there will always be something required or asked of us. I immediately thought about my Heavenly Father; He never gets a day off – never. I call on Him every day throughout the day and He always answers, but when I get tired of my family calling my name, I act like I don’t hear them. What if God took a day off? The thought alone is unsettling. 

It’s soooo easy to complain, but what do I have to complain about? Even when I’m tired, God restores my energy. When I’m frustrated with everyday household chores, He helps me to find the good in what I do. When I’m exhausted with homework and grades, He gives me the wisdom and strength for positive parenting – it’s not my homework anyway! When hubby acts like he can’t do for himself, God reminds me I’m his helpmate, not his mother - there is a difference! When I’m consistently asked to volunteer, God reminds me how simple it is to just say “no.” God is my sufficiency for every hat I wear.  

Once I realize I work specifically for Jesus and not the people around me, I won’t be so carnal minded and desire a day off, yet desire strength, energy, and power, to do what I’ve been entrusted to do. Instead of taking a day off, I’m taking a day off from complaining - again! Thank you, Lord for the ability to do what is required of me – one day at a time! I trust you to give me everything You already know I need – even a day off!

We Can Do This!

Secondborn has had a cookie business for almost three years now. It wears me out physically and mentally. Friday night, he was preparing for a business expo and had a difficult time focusing. The process of baking and packaging the cookies started off fine, but about an hour into the mix, Secondborn said he needed music to motivate him. Okay, that’s fine. Minutes later he wanted a sandwich. Shortly after, he was getting tired. Then he had a headache, and then he needed a shower to help him wake up. I was mentally exhausted. I knew he needed a few words of encouragement, but my words probably came across as words of chastisement. 

Secondborn pays me $5 a week to help him. Trust me, I’m worth a whole lot more, but as his mother, I’d do it for free. We can do this! The day of the event went very well and he sold lots of cookies. He also received a wealth of encouragement from customers and other business owners. I was thankful because he sure didn’t get it from me. No one sees what goes on behind the scenes, and that’s okay. I’m thankful for the people placed in my little entrepreneur’s life to support and encourage him. 

Yesterday, Secondborn mentioned he had a lot of “motivators.” I told him those encouragers are his support group to keep him moving forward. We all need encouragement. It’s like mental energy to keep moving. Nothing gets done without hard work and sometimes it’s hard to encourage yourself. 

As a wife and mother, I have to encourage myself in order to keep my family encouraged and being cranky and tired is not the way. I must refuel and replenish myself - daily. I must renew my mind - daily. I must remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and encourages me - through His Word. It's a new day...a new week...I can do this and so can you! Have an encouraging Monday! Be encouraged!

Every Breath

I didn’t want to, but I needed to. Firstborn and Secondborn were only five and three years old when the 9/11 tragedy occurred, so last night, our family watched one of the many 9/11 documentaries. Surreal. Senseless. Unbelievable. Here one minute - gone the next. No one knew, the morning of September 11th, a decade ago, that a sequence of events would occur to change their life forever. The surviving firefighters spoke of how precious and memorable the moment was when they first saw their families and even saw each other after the tragedy. I wondered why it takes death or a near death experience to truly appreciate life. 

As much as I strive to live and cherish each moment, too many irreplaceable moments are taken for granted. I assume I will inhale again after I exhale, but it’s not promised. I assume I will see my family again this evening, but it’s not promised. I assume tomorrow will come, so I can call the friend that has been on my mind, but it’s not promised. How can I not value every breath I take? How can I not take advantage of the precious moments flying by?  

Sigh…thank you, Lord. Thank you for reminding me that my life is just a vapor – a brief wind blowing by – a gasp of breath to exhale – a puff of air – here one minute – gone the next. Life travels fast. Learning to take advantage of the time we have with friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family would be wise. Every moment we’re alive, whether we enjoy it or not, is a moment with breath in our body. Every breath we take is a gift of life. It’s time to enjoy this gift of life – with every breath.

Be All You Can Be

I asked Firstborn if he had any ideas of what he wanted to do after high school and he said he didn’t know. Hmmm…Sweetie, you’re in the eleventh grade, you don’t have long. He then asked about the Army. I told him I only knew about the service I served in, the Navy. Of course I favor the Navy, but in times like these, I just want my children to have security – spiritual and financial security. 

Firstborn is only 15, so I’m not surprised he doesn’t have his life mapped out. I pulled up the Army website to view the available careers and also saw one of the Army commercials stating to be all you can be. I was thinking of myself more than Firstborn as I watched the commercial. Am I being all I can be? As a woman, wife, mother, servant of God, sister, daughter, friend, and writer, am I giving God my best? Am I in a position to allow God to pull everything out of me that He’s placed in me? Am I living at the optimum level I was created for? Just as I reminded Firstborn that he didn’t have long, I don’t have long on this wonderful planet Earth, so I better get it together. I can’t expect Firstborn to be all he can be if I’m not doing the same. As his mother, I should be able to boldly say, “Do as I do and as I say.” From the simplest of tasks to the most demanding, I must be an example – I must be all I can be.

It doesn’t matter how old we are, God is never finished with us. There is always another opportunity, another endeavor, and another chance – there is always a next in life! Today is a new day, let’s be all we can be – one day at a time!