Saturday, July 14, 2012
The Little Things
Everyone kept telling me how well I was handling my husband cutting off 1/2 his thumb. Honestly, I didn't even cry. I felt really bad for him because I knew he was in pain. I was a little disappointed in the fact that this was probably going to set us back with moving into the tribe (unless some great builders out there want to come to PNG and build a house in the jungle for us :) But I had the peace that passes all understanding. I had that peace because of practice.
I had some drama growing up in my family life (who hasn't?) and then since we have been married, there seems to be one thing after another that should make us fall apart or at least fall on the ground kicking and screaming. But all those times have simply taught me that God takes care of everything and above all He comforts and heals. When those times come, my emotions may be sad, but my spirit is content.
That's right. That's me. I am super Christian. Please everyone model yourselves after me. Sike. For some reason I can hold it all together when my husband might have cancer or when he chops his thumb off, but let someone tell me that he is gonna be alone for his 30th birthday and I fall apart. Dumb. I know.
You see, I found out yesterday that we were on a flight to go see him on Monday! Yay! I packed, then found out that was not accurate and actually there were no flights that had space, so I would have to charter my own flight which would cost us $1,100. Boo!
All the other expenses with this are around $1,000 so spending another $1,100 just seems irresponsible right now as we are about to spend $5,000 a trip flying in and out of the tribe on a helicopter. (that $1,100 for the plane isn't looking so bad now is it?) Anyway, so we decided not to go, and you would have thought the world had come to an end. I cried. A lot.
I wasn't even that sad about being away from 3N1 for 2 weeks. I mean we have been apart that long. When he goes in to start our house he will be gone for a month, and that does not seem like the end of the world to me. But throw his 30th birthday in there and it is Apocalypse Now.
So the Lord reminded me that, "huhum, I am here". Remember the peace that I give? It applies to missed birthdays as well as cancer scares and chopping off thumbs. "
"I know, God, but this is too much!"
"Too much for me?"
"Ok, God, you're right."
Then I realized that I do this all the time. I am fine in these major catastrophes, but let the baby spill an entire box of Rice Krispies on the floor and I am a wreck. Or when the oldest 2 won't stop fighting. And the 4 year old won't stop whining. And when I spent an hour in the kitchen cooking from scratch and something burns and there is no McDonalds to run to, and I have to START.ALL.OVER. These are the times that I am at my worst. When I fall apart. When I fall on the ground kicking and screaming. Why? Why can I not feel the same peace that I have when something truly bad happens?
Because I haven't practiced.
I read a book in college called "The Practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence. He was a monk who talked about the joy and contentment he felt while scrubbing dishes in the monastery. I was really impressed then, and now I think back and wonder what this dude had to complain about. So you had to do a lot of dishes? I do that everyday. At least you get to do it in peace and quiet. But he wasn't just talking about peace. He was talking about being complete, whole, and satisfied in every situation because of the presence of God. Remember the fruit of the Spirit? Yeah, that is a result of the the Spirit of God- His presence- in your life. Peace just happens to be one of many excellent "fruits" that grow in your life when you live it intentionally with God. And although I have a daily quiet time with God and know His presence is always with me, for some reason I forget that in the dailiness of life. I forget I have the same peace I receive in times of real trouble during times of simple frustration. So, last night I prayed and asked God to help me to have His peace daily. With my kids, husband, and neighbors. He promised to help.
And just so I'd be sure to know He was serious, my baby did this this morning:
Yes, that is Sharpie. On my wall. I wanted to freak and cry and buy a ticket to jump on a plane back to America and get in my minivan and drive straight to Target where I would buy a mocha frappuccino and stroll leisurely down the aisles all by myself. Then God reminded me,
"Your peace is not at Target."
"Really, God because I remember it being nice and quiet when I don't take my kids. And it smells good, and they sell pretty things there."
"No. Only I can give you the peace you are looking for."
"Ok, God, I know you are right."
And He was. I breathed, laughed, and took pictures. Then I followed the advice of google and some facebook friends and scrubbed it out with toothpaste. It was amazing! Look at what Colgate accomplished...
Miraculously clean in like 2 minutes! And a great lesson for me to practice the peace of God in my daily life with 3 little girls!
Thanks for caring about my every minute of every day, God. Sorry I am so dense sometimes.