The other morning I was quietly enjoying my devotion time. I was a little behind my usual schedule, and the boys were up early. With one engaged in a craft, and the other disappearing back into a bedroom, I refreshed my coffee and returned to my favorite overstuffed chair to continue with prayer and reading.
I’ve been feeling heavy hearted for some time. I’m not sure that’s an accurate assessment. I feel like a burden is resting on my heart. A deep need that requires great prayer. Through intercession, the burden will sometimes feel lighter, but always remains. Lately my heart feels only the heaviness, and there are moments it feels almost suffocating.
In past years, summer has always been a time of rest and refreshing. With the hint of fall chill in the evening air, I realize the need to finalize plans to begin a new homeschooling year. I’m disappointed at missing that feeling of refreshing.
My reading was interrupted as Magoo bounded back into the living room, dressed and ready for the day announcing, “Mom, you really need to do laundry!”
I rolled my eyes to look over my bible and he continued, “Our laundry hamper is stuffed. You really need to do laundry. There’s a ton of it to…..”
Seemingly unaware of a conversation already in place, Columbo called for my attention “Mom! Mom!?!”
Without waiting for a response he continued, “When we’re all old enough to watch ourselves, are you going to get a job again? You know, where you go and work?”
“Umm….” is all I got out while watching Magoo scamper out of the room. Clearly no longer concerned about laundry.
I looked back at the pages opened before me and had no idea what or where I had been reading. My eyes fell to the story of Jesus walking on water.
“Come,” Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:29-30
I began to wonder what Peter saw. We can’t see the wind. We see the evidence of the wind. Whatever he saw caused him to not only take his eyes off the Lord, but made him fear. I considered the distracting winds of my own life. The responsibilities and cares of this world that cause me to sink.
Recently a friend had told me of a family activity they had heard about. A Christian camp that provided various outings and homeschooling lessons. Although I knew it was not within our immediate school budget, I did an online search for curiosity sake.
I marveled at the opportunities for learning about nature and creation. I was intrigued by the family events and retreats aimed to encourage and promote personal growth.
What really caught my attention was the availability of a prayer cabin. An individual could go for a few days or a weekend and experience a quiet location for prayer…time to talk to God….listen to God…..Rest….. Something deep within me was so stirred I was on the verge of weeping. I longed for, yearned for, a quiet place alone with the Lord.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
As the days have progressed I have struggled to patiently respond to the increased disputes of my children. Like every mother I am amazed at the things I find I have to say to them.
- No you cannot use the guinea pigs to play hide and seek.
- Find your quiet voice please.
- Do not hit your brother in the face with a book.
- Take that rope off your sister!
- Are you respecting your brothers words?
- Please find your big girl voice.
- Get the guinea pig OUT of MY bed!!
- Please use your inside voice!!
- Turn off the headlamp and go to sleep.
- Use your walking feet!
- No you cannot ride the dog like a horse.
- You cannot use the furniture to play American Ninja Warriors!
- STOP YELLING!
As I prayed about the increased chaos, I also gave thanks for this season of their childhood. I know they will grow more quickly then I want. I gave thanks for their creativity, love of animals and even my daughters big voice for one day she will need it.
My heart is still heavy with burdens that require prayer. I recently went to visit a friend. Her home was quiet. We sipped coffee and poured out some of the burdens on our hearts. We spoke words of encouragement to each other. We carried each others burdens in prayer. With a parting hug, she commented our time was like water to the soul.
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Matthew 14:31-32