Here I was. Raw. It was at the end of a day for many but for me it was just another transition. School had ended not long ago, the kids were playing outside, and I needed to get dinner going. I had barely sat down today and my body was raw and ragged.
Still, four hours before bed. Or more, of course, depending on the teething baby.
Dinner, Awana verses, tuck in four children into bed after two get baths (our poor hot water heater).
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Daily. Weekly. Monthly.
So I cried. Right there in my spaghetti sauce. The sauce I was going to give my four children (directly and indirectly through nursing) for dinner that night. They were literally going to eat my tears.
Usually when I cry there is some sort of dialogue with God.
I am tired, God. What gives? Why is the mundane daily agenda sometimes so hard?
It was that moment I felt like God had led me to the top of a mountain to examine the valleys ahead and behind.
When I looked back, I quickly acknowledged that it was a big crazy year. Like a BHAY. Big, Hairy, Audacious Year.
A lot of aches and pains mixed right in with amazing blessings. An answered prayer after 17 long years of asking. Another prayer answered after 10 years, but alongside it a heartbreak I didn't expect that would be a part of that answer. Oh, yeah, and I had a complicated pregnancy and early-ish arrival of our newest sweet baby girl which then of course brings all the newborn sleepless things.
"However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived' - the things God has prepared for those who love Him" 1 Corinthians 2:9
I saw ahead of me my family who need my attention and affection daily regardless of my lack of wisdom how to do so and balance it all at the same time. I saw my creative outlets and ministries I love to be a part of (it's my self-care, really) and business I run. I saw the home tasks and to do lists that never end.
And then I surrendered.
The Bible makes it clear. No human is meant to hold the weight of everything on their shoulders. It is not our job to know it all. I examined my heart, released my desire to control...And that is so freeing!
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still
(The Lord speaking to Job) Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
After my prayer of surrender and after the last tear went into my sauce, I took a deep breath in. A new perspective came to me and I realized two things:
- My tears did not change the basic structure of my pasta sauce. My feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed doesn't necessarily call for change in circumstances. Just acceptance and surrender. It's ok, dear momma.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
- The aroma of the sauce mixed with saline eye drippings was almost more pleasant and beautiful. Not that my "special seasoning" did anything to contribute to that, but when we surrender, our mundane can turn into a beautiful aroma of worship to God. Our works are worship - even the most daily trivial tasks.
From the truth of His living Word, my mind was filled with remembrance that even as the scent of my tear-stained spaghetti sauce fills the air, I know that my Lord and my God is here with me. Watching me cry. Knowing my tears. Capturing them.
It is a regular task, dear friend, to surrender to God. Our sanctification isn't a one-time surrender deal - it's a daily laying down...learning to be content.
And that is beautiful.