[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap] hate Mondays. Sorry to say it so bluntly, but I do. It’s very hard to get up, get two little people ready + myself, and get out of the house and to work by 9am. Most Mondays, I tend to lose my temper with my kids, and I just feel a bit overwhelmed. I think to myself that there is no way that I can get three kids ready and get out the door by 9am . . . and then I find myself wondering how life is going to work 6 months from now. And worry tries to come in, and it’s just not a good thing. So this morning, I found myself praying a lot and asking the Lord for His strength and help. Asking that He would help me with a busy full day. Help me as it’s tax season at work, and I have a lot to do. Help me as Mark won’t be home until super late, and I have to get Ryder ready for preschool tomorrow morning. So grocery store, dinner, baths, and bedtime are all on me.

I was really hoping that January would be a calm month, yet we seem to have a giant amount of stuff going on. And I’m like where is all this coming from? Why would I get a summons to jury duty now? Why does the British Embassy make passport renewal such a ridiculous and expensive headache, and why did we not do this 3 months ago? Why do we have to decide on Ryder’s summer school and next year’s preschool now? Why do our vacuums for the cleaning jobs constantly malfunction? I have enough to do at work with taxes, enough to do with preparing our own taxes, and enough to do as a working mom, pregnant with two kids!! Why the rush?!?! I hate being rushed and pressured. And I’m feeling a lot of pressure. And such is life.

Every Monday I carry guilt for rushing my kids, getting impatient with them as they want to play instead of rushing out the door so that Mommy’s not late to work. They want to know where they’re going and why. Why does Mommy need to go to work? Why do we need to rush? And why is she yelling at us? And I wonder why I didn’t get up earlier and why I’m not more organized?

And as I fight off the worry, stress, pressure, etc., I realize that for me a big area that I’m really having to guard against is discontentment. It’s easy to wish for this; easy to think well, if only we were there, doing this or living a less busy life. If only life was different . . .  It’s easy to find fault with what we have now, and I have fought that battle long and hard over the past 4.5 years. I don’t want to go back to that. It’s also easy to wish that life wasn’t such a struggle. Yet this is where our character is built. It’s the under pressure situations where we realize how much scripture we know, how much we tend to rely on the flesh, how easily we can get out of walking in the fruit of the Spirit and snapping impatiently at our husbands or kids. I don’t like those moments of revelation where I realize that I’ve allowed this or that to overwhelm me. My dad has been preaching on keeping our peace, and he’s using a lot of the scriptures that he used to quote to me when I was younger (obviouly, I have a long history with worry and stress). I have all the scripture memorized and have for years, but they do me no good if I don’t constantly apply them. And it’s reminding me that the Christian life is all about being a doer of the Word. We can know all the theology, all the scripture, all the right things, but the key is to actually do them. The doing is where our charater gets worked out. It’s where our flesh is defeated and our spirit man is grown up. It’s where we obediently say, “yes Lord, I choose to not worry, but to trust this and this to You.” That’s the Christian walk and it’s one step at a time.

I may show up for jury duty next month and get sent home, which means that there is no point worrying about it now. The preschool/work/daycare situation may all take care of itself in the next 6 months, which means that I wasted any stressing about it now. Yes, we have to prayerfully consider the preschool options as we have to pay to reserve a spot, but who knows how it’ll all work in the end. God wants us to enjoy today and be focused on doing what He’s got for us TODAY, not tomorrow. He’ll take care of tomorrow . . . if I let Him. And that’s my daily choice. He’ll even help me through all the tax paperwork as He’s given me the mind of Christ, but I have to yield. I have to get back into peace, backing into letting the Holy Spirit rule and reign, and avoid all the traps that my circumstances would like me to fall in. Yes? Yes.

And as a last illustration . . . we were running around on Saturday, trying to fit in a bunch of errands before nap time, and trying to keep a certain 20 month old happy. We let the boys run around the mall to get their energy out, and while doing so, they spotted a photo booth and immediately got into it and started punching buttons. Normally, I would tell them to get out and hurry so that we could get in the car and be on our way. But my easy-going husband decided to let them have their fun and to pay the money for all of us to get our photos taken. It’s nice being married to a spouse who is spontaneous and relaxed. And it’s so nice to be in a place where we’re not so uptight about money. We’ve spent so many years being so tight and such penny pinchers, and we’ve gotten out of that mentality. A year ago, I would have said that we couldn’t waste $3 on photos, but this year, I went with it. (Can we all give a shout of yes, that is progress!!!) So we got in and paid, but before we knew it, Ezra had punched so many buttons that the camera started clicking away. We had about 15 seconds to make it as fun as possible and to roll with the camera. We thought we’d be lucky to get one good picture in the end . . . yet we were pleasantly surprised. And that short 5 minutes showed me how great it is to sometimes stop and take a break from all the have-to’s and all the rushing, and just do something fun. That is so vital for our health, and so important for the livelihood of our boys. I’m realizing this more and more. So I hope you enjoy our little fun moment. And I hope to write more and more about getting into peace, rest, and ENJOYING this beautiful, yet imperfect life. We serve such a good God who wants our joy to be full, and I want that so much too.

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