You won’t relent
Until You have it all
My heart is Yours

I’ll set You as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are one
[ Lyrics from: ]

Last night, Mark and I were sitting in the café section of Ikea, and Ryder had just thrown a tantrum and spilled water all over the table and down my legs. So we were embarrassed, traumatized, humbled, and just exhausted really as parenting is proving to be a challenge that we’re failing at. Or at least feel like we’re failing at. And people could say that we shouldn’t have had a two year old out so late, or he’s just reacting to being a big brother, or you need to just keep him home if he can’t behave in public. Or whatever. At this point, I don’t even care anymore. We had to make the hour drive down to Ikea in order to return a window blind that wasn’t the right size, and last night was the only time we could do it. So Ryde had to cope, and he didn’t cope very well. Once we gave him a 99 cent toilet brush to hold, he did great; minus trying to hit people with it as we passed by them . . .

Anyway, so we’re sitting there, and really, all you can do is try to find some sort of humor in the situation. So Mark looks across the table at me, and starts to tell me this – “I can picture God sitting in heaven and getting this idea to gift you with Ryder. He nudges the angels with his elbow and says ‘hey, you want to get a laugh? Let’s see how Micah does with this.’” And we both laughed as he said it, and my response was that God has killed all the pride in me through my son. And then Ryder started to call Mark “Mark” instead of Daddy, and I got a good chuckle . . . 🙂

Then this morning, Ryder woke up at 5:30am, as he has been for the past several mornings, and by 6:30 and him still being awake, I went and got in bed with him. He then proceeded to head butt me and gave me a bruise on my eye socket. The morning then finished with me rushing as I was late to work and Ryder throwing more tantrums. Needless to say, it’s a new day, same old story . . . by the time I got in the shower, I just cried out to God as this isn’t working. Being a working mom with a two year old and a newborn and having to get ourselves to childcare and then to work on time is not working. We rarely get out the door with all 3 of us clothed, fed, supplied, happy, and on time. Mark is now back to working long, long hours so that he can help to take care of Ryder while I work. And as much of a blessing as that is as I seriously cannot work and watch Ryder, we’re back to the same boat of him being gone until the evenings. So . . . all I could do was vent my frustration to God and know that He hears. I don’t see a plan B or any end in sight to this as our bills will take a few years to pay off. And we cannot scrape anything more off our budget. We exist to work and pay bills. And honestly, I haven’t found any fun in it at all.

Before you quit reading due to the negativity . . . keep reading.

I’m realizing one thing, and it’s taken me several months to get it. We’re all in different places in life. Some are in good places, some not in good places. My situation is better than many, but not as good as many. You face your trials; I face mine. Yet one thing is the same – God. He doesn’t play jokes on us; I hope He got the heart of what Mark was saying as Mark and I needed a good laugh. But we both know that God gave us a beautiful gift in Ryde. And He will show us how to raise this little person who is so strong willed and so sure and passionate regarding what he wants and doesn’t want. And in the midst of it, my Father has not forgotten me. He sees my tears, hears my heart, sees all my dreams laying in the dust, and He knows. But I have to trust that He knows AND that He is caring. He is acting on my behalf. He hasn’t handed me a plate of trouble and just wants to see how beautifully, peacefully, and graciously I eat it. I don’t believe that’s the God we serve. I do believe though that in the midst of my trial, He wants me to set my face as a flint and keep my eyes on Him. He knows I’m not going to handle it all perfectly or even well sometimes. He knows that I may not have joy every moment. I am trying, but it’s not always happening. All I do know is that He wants my heart. He wants my heart set on His heart.

And so I posted the lyrics to the song above, because I randomly read those verses in the Word the other day and then thought of the song. The song has then stayed in my head and heart ever since. It’s been like a healing balm to my wounds . . . His fire is what gets us through the existence of just working and paying bills. Setting Him as a seal upon my heart is what keeps me sane. It doesn’t matter what people say about me, if I react perfectly to every situation, or if I keep a constant smile on my face. It matters that I’m leaning on Him, looking at Him, dwelling in His presence. Even as I battle a 2 year old, I can inwardly keep Him before me. And if I lose focus, I can take two seconds (or maybe 20 minutes depending on the day) and get back into Him.

Sunday morning, during worship, I was feeding Ezzy and feeling very, very cranky as we had a busy day of work ahead, and I was tired. Just bone tired. And as I held my sweet boy, who is still innocent and peaceful, against my chest and listened to the worship being sung around me, I got this picture of God holding me in the same way. I felt how much I love my boys and how my heart is so entirely for them. Our God feels exactly that (yet magnified by a million times) for us. His heart is for us. Yet how easy it is to forget that.

To end this, I just want to say that I’m keeping this blog real. And I don’t mean “real” in the sense of showing you every ugly thought that I might have, but real in the sense that I’m being honest about where I’m at, yet hopeful that I’m not staying here. I want this blog to be a testament of all that the Lord does in me so that others can have hope and encouragement in knowing that I’ve gone through things and God has refined me and brought me through to the other side. I see beauty in others when they’re able to share their brokenness yet also know that their wholeness is in Him. I hope that makes sense . . .

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