A rude awakening, an abrupt welcoming: letting the Spirit lead

So since my last post, I’ve been living life differently, or trying my best to.  My most recent goal: letting the Spirit guide me. With everything.   

Today, God gave me several abrupt welcomings and rude awakenings into this new lifestyle and new mindset I’ve vowed to live by.

First, I woke up early to workout for the first time in weeks, and I was psyched (normally I work out a few days a week, so I’ve really missed it).  But, mid-workout, God told me what He wanted me to write about for a church group.  I kept going on the elliptical for a few moments, debating with myself.  I knew what needed to be done, so I shut those other thoughts up, got off my high horse (meaning the elliptical), and wrote my post. WIN.

My daughter woke up mid-post.  She wanted me to play, immediately, as she always does (to her, eating, peeing, pooping, and bathing take away from playing, and therefore, she dislikes doing all of them).  I thought hard for a moment, and let the Spirit in.  I knew then that I needed to let my daughter know Jesus is my main priority, as I recently learned He should be over all others by far.  I told her I would play with her as soon as I was done with my post.  She asked me “why?” and I explained to her “it’s about Jesus” and she dropped it.  A God-send.  This doesn’t normally happen that she drops something she doesn’t care for. WIN.

My dad is… amazing.  I love him dearly, but he’s not yet a follower, though I think and pray that he will be soon.  He was more along the lines of “I’ll go to church every other week” and we’d talk about God on occasion throughout the week.  Each time we talk about it though, his insights are more profound and more real.  Amazing.  And so exciting.  I knew he went to church last week, so I knew asking him to go this week would make him uncomfortable and guilty, most likely.  I prayed for the right words and waited until I felt “the nudge” then blurted out “Em and I are going to the 12:15 service if you wanna join!” to which he replied “oh, okay” and walked away.  I prayed for him.  Miraculously, when it was about 11:30 I heard him in the bathroom shaving.  Shaving on a Sunday could only mean one thing.  I was jumping up and down, squealing I was so excited. WIN.

Ethan has been gone all weekend, hanging out with his friends and brothers on his first weekend off since Labor day.  A well-deserved break and much needed male-bonding/adventure time.  He’s been reading Wild at Heart by John Eldredge and explaining it to me, so I’m trying to accept and encourage this time for him, knowing now that it is crucial for his emotional and spiritual well-being, although I’d like to be by his side 24/7.  Although he was very short with me today, and didn’t show as much excitement to see me as I’d hoped, I let the Spirit guide me.  I gave him hugs and kisses when the rest of my emotions wanted to make him feel guilty, I told him I loved him first, when I wanted him to initiate it.  I resisted the urge to call him and guilt him into hanging out with me, and I am totally at peace with it, because of what’s happened from then to this moment. WIN.

During Em’s naptime, she woke up crying (hard).  She’s got a terrible cold/cough and an ear infection.  She’s behind on sleep and so am I.  It’s been a rough and awesome last few days.  I went in there, saw that she was inconsolable with words, and scooped her up into my arms like she was a newborn for the first time in… I don’t know how long.  I went and sat on the broken lazy-boy in her room and let her lay curled in my lap against my chest as she fell asleep.  That time that I spent in that chair was one of the strangest and most profound of my life.

I sat there, holding my peacefully sleeping 3 year old daughter, listening to her deep breathing, seeing her long eyelashes flutter, seeing that peaceful look on her face, holding my little angel.  All the while these thoughts kept popping into my head “Just a minute, then you have to do homework.” “Just put her down now, before she gets too comfy.”  “The longer you sit, the later you’ll be up tonight.”  “Seriously, your list of homework still-to-do is too long for this.”  “You’re wasting time.”  Then it progressed to “Alright, that’s enough.” “How much time have you spent here?”  I get so consumed in what needs to be done, what hasn’t been done, what I should do for school or chores that I put my relationship with my daughter on the back burner a lot of times.  I feel a constant nagging by that daily list of to-do’s that will only get longer if I don’t tend to it immediately.  

This is the sin tendency I’ve been trying to overcome as of…today.

And then I prayed and I told satan to back off.  Then I started thinking “I want to stay here forever.” “She hasn’t been asleep in my arms for two years.” “Look how big she’s getting, pretty soon she won’t fit on my lap.” “Look at that beautiful face.” “Thank you for her, Lord.  Thank you for this moment.”  I will never forget that time, and it will be on my list of priceless moments with my daughter forever.

Then tonight, I read a friend’s facebook status about what she wants to hear and what she doesn’t want to hear from friends and family regarding the death of her baby.  She was born with no heartbeat due to many complications in how her body grew and developed while she was in the womb.  My friend was very open, honest, and real.  She explained that she will forever be grieving the loss of her baby, and that nobody should expect her to “move on.”  She talked about the deep sadness and longing that fills her when she sees other mothers with their babies.  This broke my heart for her and quickly became one of those “no more taking this for granted” moments.  The days that my daughter throws tantrums, I will try to be loving and patient.  The days that she wants to play when I don’t feel like it, I will pray for the energy and desire to pour into her.  The days that I want the bedtime routine to be as short as possible, I’ll ask for patience.  What my friend wouldn’t give to have heard her daughter throw a tantrum or ask to be played with…

Today was crazy, and not very productive on the homework or chore end.  I do, however, think I made progress in my faith that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  I don’t think I’ve ever let the Spirit guide me as much as I did today.  I strongly encourage everybody out there to ask for the Spirit in you to be renewed and restored, then pray and listen.  Wait for Him to lead!

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