Friday, January 10, 2014

Moments of Decision

I have had several parents talk to me lately.  I usually get parents asking me for advice on various topics- everything from potty training to homeschooling to discipline and everything in between.  I think that with being a mom of so many children born so close together there is an assumption that I know what I am doing.  That is only partially true!  I know what I am doing and I think I am executing it well- but really that's only because I have had so many kids to practice on, haha.  I am just another mom like you trying to do my best by my children- some days doing great, other days locking myself in the bathroom pretending I have a stomach ache just to get a few minutes of peace and quiet (which still wont get you any peace and quiet by the way in case you ever try it. They will find you!)

But with my illness and new way of living I sometimes "forget" that I am a mother.  Some days the main goal is keeping myself alive- medication, rest, awareness of symptoms, doctors appointments- and that means Jeff is the main one running the house.  But with time has come wisdom and with wisdom has come an understanding of how to make this all work, and I am getting better at balancing the two roles.  Not great, but better.  I am slowly getting to just be mommy again, even if only when I am able to.  And I missed it so much- how I ached to have the kids come to me with their questions and their tears.  How I want to freeze time for every single one if their hugs and kisses "just because".  But I am also reminded of just how crazy it can be at times.  It is an overwhelming feeling to be in the trenches of mommyhood- and I know many of you readers started reading this blog when it was mainly about raising kids.  And today I want to remind you that I am still with you.

With my new blend of medications I have several hours in the day that I am functioning- its a beautiful thing, really.  I am up on my feet and able to do a lot of my mommy stuff- dishes! laundry! diapers! Who would have thought this would be so exciting!  But I remember that feeling from long ago- that feeling of being lost in the everyday busyness yet feeling like I am getting nothing done.  The everyday mundane and the constant discipline and the wondering if what I am spending ALL my waking energy on is really amounting to anything when all I see is constant sticky-fingered short people who STILL don't say please or thank you, despite my reminding them in my oh-so-gentle voice for the thousandth time.

Well I am here to remind you that YES, it matters.  It matters so much more than you realize.

I want to take you to a little known story in the Bible, yet one of my favorites.  It is the story of a woman named Abigail.  Now this is going to be told by me- it will be accurate to the Bible, but if you have a problem with the NIV version of the Bible then you are definitely going to have an issue with my storytelling format, lol.  But you can find the actual story in 1 Samuel 25.  Anyway there is this smart, beautiful woman named Abigail and she is married to a real piece of work named Nabal.  I mean, total loser- this guy is rich but he is a real jerk.  Anyway, the king of the land (King David) is passing through and asks Nabal for some food and water for him and his men after their long journey.  The king would be entitled to this anyway just by being king, but furthermore King David protected Nabal's shepherds while they were with them, so Nabal really should have been grateful and done the right thing.  But Nabal acted like the jerk that he was and refused.  This aroused King David's anger and King David gathered 400 of his men and prepared to go and basically slaughter Nabal and his household (yea I know- but that was how things were dealt with back then.)  So the servants of the household ran- and do you know who they ran to for help?  Abigail.  They went to her pleading for help.  They knew she was wise and they knew their master was a fool and they begged her to do something- and she did.  She gathered as much food, wine and meat that she could- and she rode out to meet the King.  While her husband was partying and getting drunk during the sheep-shearing festival party, she strengthened her arms and rode out to right the wrong of her household.

When she met the king she bowed down before him and begged for forgiveness for her husbands' rude behavior.  She could have given up.  She could have let her husband suffer his fate- get what he deserved.  But Abigail was a woman of honor- a woman not only of inner strength, but a woman whose decisions flowed out of the character within.  She did not let being married to an awful man turn her heart bitter- she did let her circumstances define her; change her on the inside, nor harden her heart.  And so she asked for mercy and presented the king with the gifts she had brought him.  And do you know what?  She received mercy that day.  For herself.  For her husband.  For her household.  And for her very personhood.

Now there is actually more to the story. Her husband ends up dying 10 days later- and when the king heard about it, he sent for Abigail to become his wife.  Married to the king.

The first part of the story is my main point and why I love this little forgotten story so much.  So often we feel like our role is so small, so obscure, and of such little consequence.  Yet you never know when that moment will meet you- that moment that will change the course of history.  That moment when you are not just a woman; a mother; a wife- but someone who can stand up and do right when a wrong has been done.  That moment when you must make a sacrificial choice for the benefit of another who may or may not deserve it- but you choose to do it because it is right.  And that action may alter the course of history.

Mothers every act of discipline, every loving word of encouragement, every prayer whispered over a sleeping baby is an act of bowing before the Lord begging for mercy- and one that He hears.  It shapes a person and thus a destiny.  Your role is not small nor forgotten- the door is always opening left and right for you to walk through and make a difference.  Abigail walked through that door.  Moms- daily, you walk through that door.  You stand daily before the King and plead.  Oh no, you are not small.  This world owes you a great debt.

This goes for all of us.  We all play a role in the lives around us or even in our own lives.  This role is never small- any time you choose to do the right thing whether it be a major decision or a small personal decision you are choosing to alter the course of forever.  Kings rule nations, but men rule moments.  Rule your every moment- strengthen your arms, and when you see that wrong being committed even if being committed by yourself, then gather yourself and beg for mercy.  Have the wisdom to right the wrong and not only spare yourself the immediate consequences, but understand that you never know when you are meeting your destiny.  Nabal met his- so did Abigail.

What of you?

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