“Both my noses are clogged!” my then 6-yr-old son woke me in the darkness of morning. I consoled the patient and dug for remedies, while my mind realized that it was “night time” to him, but this was my early morning. I was now not only
missing my last couple winks of sleep before my alarm would sound at 5:30, but soon my exercise time and Bible time would vanish…again… while I coddled him, allowing him to get needed sleep leaning on me.
I always feel like I can’t fill the needs of my family until my needs have been met, and yet once again, I started my day of filling their needs, while my tank was “on empty,” despite my intentions. The clock continued its never-ending race, while I ran the laps up and down the stairs to rouse children for their school day.
Breakfast- breakfast dishes- wipe the counters (after the 6-yr-old had already wiped them) – split up sibling squabbles – clean up dog mess – wipe tears over the “eaten” toy – get to the car to take the oldest to school, then back home quickly to get the other three started in their homeschool around 8:30. This was the daily routine of the 2011-12 school year.
We had our family Bible time, then math, grammar, the regular subjects – I switched from one subject to the next, sometimes teaching one, while spinning plates in the background with two who didn’t have my full attention at the time. The day continued at breakneck speed. I looked forward to after school, when all were settled, and I would have an hour of silence before heading with the taxi-full to evening activities.
That’s when the 11-yr-old said, “Can you cut my hair before pictures next week?”
“Sure!” I said, as if it were an easy task. The week’s schedule flashed through my mind. Weekend travel and week night activities, concerts, and the like made me realize that my “hour of silence” that afternoon would once again be taken by something more urgent: haircuts before pictures next week.
Cutting my boys’ hair began as a money-saving venture when we had one child. It grew into an ear-saving venture, when my second son wouldn’t sit still long enough and I was worried the “ear-ritated” barber would cut off his ear. (Sorry – I couldn’t resist the pun!) But at this stage in my life, the currency being saved was time. I could cut three boys’ hair in 45 minutes, which is how long I would have to wait before even starting at some salons.
I began with the oldest and worked my way down to the youngest. I probably should have used the opposite sequence, because by the time I got to the 6-yr-old with a cold, my patience had waned lower than his.
“Be still, please.” I said as I went over the top. He squirmed side to side, and tilted his head at every snip.
“Be still.” I said more firmly, worried I would clip his ear, but hardly slowing my scissors.
“Be still!” I practically shouted at him as I continued my race to get it done before the evening schedule commenced.
Ps 46:10 abruptly came to my mind: “Be still! And know that I am God.”
I smiled to myself thinking of God shouting to me to “be still!” with an explanation point, or He would chop off my ear.
Regret filled me as I realized how “not still” my day was. I felt like promising I would do better tomorrow. “Tomorrow, I will have a quiet time with You.” “Tomorrow,” I will have a less rushed day of motherhood.” “Tomorrow, I will BE STILL and KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOD.”
As quickly as I made promises, I wondered what part of my day I was supposed to have done differently.
Was I supposed to tell the sick child to “go back to bed! I want to be with Jesus now!”?… I don’t think so.
Should I have skipped breakfast or lunch so I could “have a quiet time”?!… Not necessarily.
Should I stop homeschooling, or take kids out of activities, so I can sit around with my me-time and make it God-time?
What am I doing wrong?!
A.W. Tozer in his book, Pursuit of God, hit me hard. I wasn’t born when he wrote the book, but his seeds were planted for a harvest in 2012 and eternity, I’m sure. In Chapter 10, he talks about ME!
The day of the haircuts was as though I was saying, “Sorry I have to do all of this menial stuff called life, but God, I want to be with You, and tomorrow morning, while it is still dark, THEN will be my sacred life.”
The conflict comes when I try to separate my “sacred” life and my “secular” life.
The “stillness” God wants from me is that my sacred life and my secular life are one. It is then that we truly can be still.
1Cor 10:31 says that whether we eat or drink we should do it all for the glory of God. It’s so significant to me that it says “eating and drinking” – such “menial stuff called life.”
Be still, and recognize the gift of motherhood He gave.
Be still and be thankful for the usefulness of my life; I have something to exhaust me every day!
Be still and praise God! …while I go to work, attend school, cut hair, drive the carpool, coddle the sick one.
But don’t wait for quiet time to do it. Believe me: I LOVE quiet time, and set my alarm clock early on purpose. But if God’s purpose for me wakes me before the clock, I can’t second-guess His plans for my day. It is then that I can be still, and know that He had it planned just perfectly, all along.
I suppose being still has little to do with cutting off ears, and more to do with opening them to hear God’s plan for the day.
May you enjoy this day the Lord had planned for you!