Usually I'm not the mom that sets out clothes the night before and makes breakfast and lunch freezer meals in preparation for busy mornings. As much as I wish it wasn't, my natural way of doing things is rushing the kids out the door frantically searching for that one shoe that's to blame for sabotaging the morning. I catch myself in these terribly cliche moments of momstering on the drive to church and I hate it.
So this year, with the onset of varying school drop off schedules, pick up lines for dayzzz, bible study mornings, MOPS, and my part time job, I couldn't continue in my frantic ways. Something had to change from the deepest part of me. So I've taken up a new spiritual practice, even though it takes time after [blessed] bedtime, and it requires planning and intention. I've started worshipping in this new practice, offering my living sacrifice in a new and ordinary, will-never-make-me-look-impressive-or-famous way. I won't grow my audience, recruit more subscribers or gain followers for doing this, but my hope and my prayer is that my little people who follow me every day...that they'll see a different mom.
A mom who's less angry, a mom who takes responsibility to steward the climate of our morning, a mom who cultivates order and excitement as a launching point for a new day of learning and wonder.
So what's this new spiritual practice? It's taking the grace, laying down my life and serving from where I am and what's in front of me TODAY. I’m intentionally devoting all these spinning plates to God, that my little people might see Him in every moment of my life and understand that He is in every minute moment of theirs too.
I'm praying these mundane living sacrifices produce discipline in me to give my best from what I have right now, today, in front of me. I'm trusting that my perseverance through (sometimes) menial tasks will strengthen my integrity to take responsibility for those frantic mornings instead of blaming that one dadgum shoe we can never find. (Although we all know sometimes it really is the shoe's fault.) I'm hopeful that this discipline and integrity will remind me that my identity is in Christ alone for the glory of God, so that on this ordinary daily grind, I find joy and rejoicing.
And laying down my life as I lay out the clothes and pack the lunch boxes-- changes me. Making a dozen of those freezer-turkey sandwiches when I’d rather not, and doing it because that’s what serves our family best in this season invites Christ into my little moments, my real life. Because with every diagonal cut sandwich I lay down my dreams and my desires for just 20 minutes so that I can love my people (from where I am, with what's in front of me...are you seeing a pattern? I need to repeat these truths over and over so they stick).
Maybe for you it's not laying out the clothes, maybe it's keeping a calendar, maybe it’s reading a bedtime story or letting them have a little more independence or maybe it’s not changing your actions at all but changing the heart those actions come from.
And that’s really where the challenge is isn’t it? The heart. It’s not about momming harder, for pete’s sake let’s not make this about trying to add more, be more, or do more.
Laying down my life is about God’s glory, not my glory as a “perfect mom.” Laying down my life is about accepting my weakness and taking up Christ’s strength through the grace that’s there just waiting to be taken every morning. When we are weak He is strong. When we lay down our lives we pick up God’s grace. We have the opportunity to be a living sacrifice with every diaper we change, every sandwich we cut into triangles and NOT SQUARES, with every chaotic morning that we sing worship songs on our drive or pray for the school day, or ask for forgiveness when we screw it up.
And we will, we will screw it up.
We won’t be perfect and with grace we can ask for forgiveness and confess our anger or selfishness or impatience. With grace, being humble in front of our kids is safe, not scary. With grace we can face each of their tantrums and, let’s be real, our own tantrums and receive forgiveness and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to go on and lay more of ourselves down instead of running toward “me time” and worldly escapes to fill us back up.
So whether it’s waking up early or laying out the clothes late at night or seeking sanctification for impatience and anger, offering our bodies and hearts as a living sacrifice is our truest worship. Let's start right now, today with what’s in front of us, let's not wait for tomorrow friends.
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