I love how God uses Gentle Reminders to help me keep things in their proper perspective.
You see, our a/c unit quit blowing cold air yesterday. It was HOT and I was cranky. My husband worked on it all evening, with no luck. We do not have the money to call someone to come fix it.
After much prayer, I really felt like God was saying to me – Really, Amanda? Do you not realize how blessed you are? You have a window unit you can use, and fans to keep you cool. Do you realize how many people do not have these luxuries.
Then I just started thinking about all the hurt and suffering in this fallen world. And I realized how selfish and materialistic I was being. Was it hot? Yes. Was it unbearable? No. Was it miserable? Not really. Not in the grand scheme of things. After all, we could go outside and play – there has been a great breeze blowing. We had a freezer full of popcicles to keep us cool. Would we survive? Definitely! Is it going to be a long, hot summer? Probably, after all this is Texas 😉 Put perhaps this will help us get creative, and active during our hot summer.
Now I just have to convince my husband that this is not the end of the world 😀
All of this was last night…
This morning, I woke up trying to keep my focus on Christ, and not on how hot it was going to get later in the day. My husband was still pretty grouchy, I haven’t yet convinced him that it’s going to be ok. After he left for work (making me promise to go to a friends house if ours got too hot – he’s so sweet, making sure we will be ok), I started cleaning the house. He is always in a better mood when the house is clean – and yesterday it was a wreck!
So the kids and I were in the Boy’s room… That’s when my Love said “AAAHHH!! There are ants in the floor!!” – Yep, ants all in the Boy’s carpet.
Sigh. So I get the kids out, and say I’ll deal with that later. We start working on our living room, taking all the toys to their proper rooms, and sweeping up dog hair, etc. I decide to vacuum up the hair, and wouldn’t you know it. The vacuum starts smelling, and making awful noises. I go to dump out the cylinder that holds all the yucky stuff we vacuumed up, and then cannot get it to go back together!
It is at this point that I start getting really cranky with the kids. “JUST CLEAN!” – “TAKE THAT TO YOUR ROOM!!” – “MOMMY IS NOT PLAYING NOW, WE ARE TRYING TO GET THE HOUSE CLEAN!”
I’m not proud of my behavior. After a few minutes of praying, I asked my Love to forgive me for not being kind. Then I suggested we have a chill out moment – eat popcicles and listen to some fun music. While I was sitting and holding her, she gave me a big hug and said “This is the most fun mommy, me, and Luke day!”
I was caught off guard. How could she say this was the best fun day? I had been grouchy, and making them clean, then raising my voice and being very stern when they weren’t picking up. Plus – IT WAS HOT! But my sweet girl had already forgotten about that. All she knew was that I was showing her love, by holding her, and sharing popcicles.
(Gentle Reminder 1)
I also decided I needed to reach out to my husband. I knew he was being grouchy because he felt he was not providing well for his family. How can I convince him that he is a great provider? He loves us, enjoys us, and works a job God has called him to do, and does provide well for us – after all I get to stay home with the kids – and homeschool. We have a nice home, food, water, electricity. We are even able to splurge on a few luxuries like the internet, and paying a man to mow our yard twice a month. Sure, we may be having to start over at Baby Step 1 of our Financial Peace Journey – but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a great provider for our family.
So while taking a break from the cleaning, and letting the vacuum cool off I was browsing through facebook and came across a post from RachelWoJo in which she referenced Deuteronomy 2:7 “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” Reading this ignited something in me (the stirring of the Holy Spirit?), so I sent this verse, along with the following words of encouragement to my precious –
“Remember, my precious, none of this is a surprise to God. He loves us. He provides for us. He cares. If we seek Him, He will guide us and direct us in how to fix all of our mess. Just as He was with the Israelites and they lacked nothing, so He will also be with us, with whom His Spirit dwells within.”
Gentle Reminder 2
Then I’ve had this beautiful song by Seeds Family Worship stuck in my head all day – “Mighty to Save – Zephaniah 3:17” – you can CLICK HERE to listen to it.
My Gentle Reminder 3
God is in control. I’m not. Cody isn’t. Life happens. We can either mope about it, or we can step back and watch our Father take care of us. Ok, so our a/c isn’t working. Big deal. It’s truly not the end of the world. Ants in the room? We can take care of that pretty easy. Vacuum cleaner not working? Also not a big deal. (Let’s be honest, I don’t use it that often anyway…)
I need to focus on my heart. I did not act in kindness, or in gentleness when I should have. I spoke sternly, when in reality – it wasn’t my kids I was upset with. It was myself. I was upset because the house was a wreck, because it was hot, because my Precious was grouchy and had spent the entire evening before working on the a/c and didn’t spend anytime with the kids and me. I’m sure the fact that I am counting down the seconds until payday was also a factor. But this is all my problem. It is a heart issue. An issue I have to turn over to the only One who can repair it. He loves me. He delights in me. He cares for me. He cares about the little things that I take for granted. All of this will pass, and we will laugh about it in the future. I want to make sure that in the future, we keep our perspective, and priorities straight as well.