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The Imperfect Homemaker: Will You Say Yes?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Will You Say Yes?

I have a deep admiration for God's servants.  When I see people who have given their whole life to Him to do whatever He asks, no matter how hard, I am motivated to be like that.  I am so encouraged when I see people who are making sacrifices and living through difficult circumstances with a smile on their face.  I've watched a missionary family live with numerous health problems and deal with inconveniences like their water being turned off for nearly a week.  I've watched a family proceed with multiple international adoptions in spite of the lack of finances and the emotional, physical, and spiritual toll it takes to parent adopted children.  I saw another missionary family who lost their 3 year old daughter in a tragic car accident, yet they are choosing to be thankful for the way God is using that accident for His glory.   These are just a few examples.  Everywhere I go I see people who have said "Yes" to God, no matter how hard a thing it is that He has asked them to do.

 I have spent much time in prayer asking God what it is that He has for me.  What hard thing is it that He wants me to do?  I am determined to say "Yes".  I will trust him for the grace each day to do whatever He asks of me.

...Or will I?

Fast forward a few days, and in your imagination come join me in my home.  I get up early, eager to tackle my lengthy to-do list.  I have big plans for all that I am going to accomplish.  I read my Bible and pray, then get up and start working on my list, humming as I go.  I'm excited to face the day, determined to be a great mommy and homemaker.  Several short minutes later, my well-laid plans are interrupted.  I hear a baby crying.  "He never wakes up this early," I think.  "Pleeease go back to sleep so I can get some work done."  After a couple more minutes, I decide that I'd better go get the little fella.  I'm too late.  My oldest boy, who shares a room with the baby, has already awakened, and there's no getting that one back to sleep once he's up.  To top things off, he gets so lonely while I'm feeding the baby that he has to wake up his little sister so she can play with him.

Okay, I can adjust.  I'll just go ahead and start working on the things I had planned to do after the kids were up.  Then I'll get them down a little early for their naps and go back to working on what needs to be done while they're sleeping.

All 3 kids are cranky all morning from getting up so early.  I'm stopping every few minutes to console a crying baby or try to thwart an emotional meltdown from my 2 year old.  In between grouchy spells they're running around like little crazy people, getting into everything they're not supposed to get into.  I'm trying to maintain some semblance of order, so I stop to deal with each issue that arises and clean up each mess.  By lunchtime, I've accomplished the amazing feat of getting everyone dressed and fed.  That's it.  Oh!  And I did throw in a load of laundry and make a loaf of bread.  Well, I dumped the ingredients into the bread machine, if that counts.  I'm eying the clock and eagerly anticipating naptime so I can at least get a little bit of work done.  I'm hoping that everyone (including myself) will be in better spirits after a good afternoon rest.

Naptime, however, is delayed due to the fact that the timer on the bread machine says that the bread will be finished exactly one hour later than I thought it would be finished.  I'm almost out of groceries, and that bread is about the only thing in the house that I have to feed the kids, so I'm stuck waiting for it to finish before we can eat lunch.  Combine hungry grouchy with tired grouchy, and we have a house full of very grouchy people.  And Mama is getting grouchier by the minute.  I'm very close to surpassing the grouchiness of my children.  Yes, that happy, humming mama that arose so excited about her day is acting like a child who is not getting her way.

But wait, it gets better.

Much to my relief, naptime finally arrives.  I make sure the two older older children have gone potty, and get everyone tucked snugly into their beds. 

For about fifteen minutes.

That's when I hear the footsteps in the hall.  "Mommy, I have to go potty," I hear a little two year old voice say.  "You just went potty.  Go back to bed," I reply through gritted teeth, trying hard not to sound as irritated as I feel.  As she turns to walk away, I see the little bulge in the back of her Pull-up.  I roll my eyes, thinking to myself, "WHY does she have to go stinky during her nap every. single. day????!!"  I change her Pull-up and put her back to bed.

For another fifteen minutes.

"Mommy, I have to go potty again."  I check the Pull-up.  Stinky again.  I change the Pull-up again and put her back to bed.

She's up and down several more times after that, not to go potty, but just the general two year old naptime avoidance tactics.  By the time I finally get her to actually go to sleep,  my oldest boy is up.  He's actually taken a good nap, so I have no reason to make him go back to bed.  I try to make him sit quietly and read books so I can have a few minutes of quiet.  Yeah, right.  Four year old boys and quiet don't belong together in the same sentence.

I finally give up and go to the kitchen to start supper.  My husband walks in the door, and is greeted with what is by this time a very grouchy wife   I start complaining to him about my day, how I'm so tired, and how I didn't get anything done today and that I barely have enough strength to make supper.  (Which is true.  I'm still nursing the baby, and I hadn't had enough to eat throughout the day.)  He just smiles at me and goes to play with the kids.  I sit down with my head in my hands and wish that supper would make itself.  There's not even anything that I can eat for a quick snack to give myself an energy boost.  I get up and manage to pull together some chicken and pasta, and while I'm cooking, the Holy Spirit speaks to me in His still, small voice.

"Didn't you tell me that you would do whatever I asked of you?  And that you would do it cheerfully?  Do you know what I've asked of you today?  I've asked you to love your husband and to love your children, and to have a good attitude even when your day doesn't go the way you planned it."

I confess to the Lord my selfishness, and for the rest of the evening I choose to be joyful.  I choose to say "Yes" to God, although I wish I had obeyed a whole lot earlier.

What about you?  What is God asking you to do?  We all have different life circumstances, and the thing that He asks you to do will be different from what He's asked me to do.  Maybe, like me, you haven't even stopped to recognize what it is that He's asking of you.  Will you take the time to realize what it is?  Then, will you say "Yes" to Him?   

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Anonymous marianne said...

Great post! It's true, sometimes it's harder to maintain that "yes" zeal when comes to the daily mundane things. Sometimes with the bigger obstacles you can immediately check yourself and say, "Yes Lord, I'm here and waiting and will obey." The little things is what I need work on most.

March 28, 2012 at 5:00 PM  
Anonymous marianne said...

...and I want to say thanks. I think through your post God just gave me His message. It's been a rough day.

March 28, 2012 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Grandma said...

Good Post MaryEllen - even us older folks need to be reminded often.

March 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Renee said...

I don't have little kids but have had similar issues during the past two years while my elderly mother lived with me. I would make my agenda and then her health needs would take precidence. I must be very stubborn because God has to show me again and again how much I have to learn about submission and servanthood. Thanks for sharing your struggles. It's encouraging to know He's working in other hearts also! Many blessings!

March 29, 2012 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Susy the Lamb said...

wow. good post. thank you!

March 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your post! I needed that today! I have been so depressed about moving into our new house and not able to be super housewife and mom and accomplish everything. Thank you for reminding me it's not about my plans, but His.

March 30, 2012 at 3:37 PM  

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