Friday, April 29, 2016

When you have the fullest day...and where to get your strength.


Today has been so full for me. 

And my confession?  

The amount of mothering required
around here today is busting well over what I alone am capable to give. 

I'm flat out spent and brimming over with invitations to serve.
My house, and my heart, is full.

Full of runny noses and hacky coughs. Of doctor visits. Of measuring out equal shares of Motrin and more motrin. And rubbing the head of a sick husband. And "emergency" runs back to school to pick up a(nother) sick kid during lunch (after I had just put the toddler down to nap). 

Today there was a special ankle doctor appointment for a limping kid. And frantically making dinner and burning vegetables for my hungry tribe. There was cleaning up fallen spaghetti noodles and spilled ginger ale, and warming up gallons of chicken noodle soup. There was uncompleted math sheets and squeaky recorders and dogs who ran wild and muddy over our clean, hardwood floors. 

Today, I have not had one moment to myself. 
Not one stinkin' minute to pause and think any adult thoughts, much less use the bathroom without someone wanting to sit on my lap. 

Today has been one of my fullest days in so long. 

But the best thing? 

In the midst of this chaos even though I haven't been able to pick up the Holy Scriptures or steal away to silently pray? 

Today has been so full of Jesus. 

Because I’ve needed Him at every turn. Needed his patience with a 2-year-old, as she took off her pants and underwear again and again (hope this isn't a sign of what's to come). I've been desperate for His kind voice, to replace my own, as I cared for a feverish husband (honestly, these men are worse than the kids!). Today, remembering that my face does not belong to me but to my Creator, I asked for His smile to replace my own, as I cuddled an complaining, ankle-braced kid. I needed His grace to love-on a daughter who insisted she and her crutches stay within an 18-inch radius of me ALL DAY LONG. I relied on His strength when my body felt so tired and sore from bending and cleaning and being up all night with sick kids. 

"I am the vine, you are the branches. 
Whoever remains in me and I in Him will bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 

And when I've needed Him most? Jesus has shown up today. When I fail so often as a mother and wife?  Praise God, when I invite Him into the mess, He never lets me down. 

"The one who is in you is greater than the 
one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4 

And as I sit here briefly to write...I get the chills remembering something I just read yesterday. This blessed saint's words come flooding back to soothe my soul. 

Because that's what purposeful, daily time away with our Lord does for days like today...Carving out that effort to study and spiritually grow, fuels our hearts with Living Water when the fire comes. 
"Real prayer is union with God, a union as vital as that of the vine to the branch, which is the illustration Jesus gives us in the Gospel of John. We need prayer. We need that union to produce good fruit. The fruit is what we produce with our hands, whether it be food, clothing, money or something else. All of this is the fruit of our oneness with God. We need a life of prayer, of poverty, and of sacrifice to do it with love.  

Sacrifice and prayer complement each other. There is no prayer without sacrifice, and there is no sacrifice without prayer. Jesus' life was spent in intimate union with His Father as He passed through this world. We need to do the same. Let's walk by His side. We need to give Christ a chance to make use of us, to be His word and His work, to share His food and His clothing in the world today. " (Mother Teresa "No Greater Love" Pg. 11 and 12)

So, my dear Mama-Sisters, I want to quickly steal away to write something down for you and me to read when we are in the thick of it, one days like today. I'm writing to you, the one opening this up on her I-phone or hiding out under the covers, reading late at night on her laptop. A mother, whose children may be 2 or 22, just so tired from what you've faced today and so longing for encouragement. 

Invite. 
Jesus. 
In. 

He's a gentleman. And He's waiting for you to ask. 


And I share this, because this truth has changed this girls life. You have been right by my side through all of this. This hard everyday loving when we feel like we have nothing left. And I am so glad it will be you, next to me and my sister Diana, up sitting all comfy in big ol’ rocking chairs, next to our own Mamas, whole and without blemish, as we rock and sing in eternity together at the feet of Christ. (PS- We will be able to take long bathroom breaks up there. I promise.) 


 "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you,rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me."
Philippians 2:12-18 





Today has just been one of those days. 

One I NEVER want to forget because 
I have experienced Jesus so deeply

And my dear friends...I want to remind you just how MUCH Jesus loves you today. You are His beloved daughter. Marinate in that truth right now, 
just as I am in this quiet moment. 


And now I'm off....because a sick kid is calling my name from the other room! 

In His Grace and Protection, Jodi 
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