Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Prisoner

I.am.exhausted.

I feel like a prisoner in my own home.  There isn't a place I can go without being tracked down.  Even the bathroom isn't a safe place.  They find me...no.matter.what.

I.am.losing...

...my joy...
...my contentment...
...my gentleness...
...my patience...
...my witness of Who Jesus is...

The last few days have been hard in my world of motherhood.  I have children yelling...arguing over toys...snatching toys before asking for a turn.  I have children who are constantly disregarding the words coming out of my mouth.  There have been seasons of one child having a streak of disobedience before another takes over, but to have two...three..all four...being outright disobedient is hard...frustrating...even overwhelming.  I shouldn't be surprised by their behavior.  After all they are the cutest little sinners I know.  I also shouldn't be surprised since Chris and I have reworked our schedule and have made some changes in some of the spiritual disciplines. I feel like this is a spiritual attack, and I am losing. 

It is 6:30pm...we have just finished dinner, and Chris sees that I am exhausted.  He knows that I haven't spent time with the Lord today like I have wanted to.  A devotional here and there just hasn't cut it.  So, he sends me to our room, so I can spend some quiet, uninterrupted time with the Lord.  I start writing in my prayer journal...the one just for me.  As I am pouring out my heart to the Lord about being exhausted...about losing my joy.  I write the words, "I pray for joy in what YOU have CALLED me to do."

Then the Holy Spirit leads me to:

"As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
Ephesians  4:1-2

I spend a few minutes confessing on how the last few days have been far from the calling I have received...far from gentleness...even further from being patient..and even further from bearing with my children in love.   

Then the Holy Spirit leads me to:

"Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to ALL.  The Lord is near."
Philippians 4: 4-5

I spend a few more minutes confessing how the last few days I have been far from rejoicing ALWAYS...far from being gentle with my children...and forgetting that the Lord is near.  Forgetting that He is walking with me...forgetting that He is my strength when I feel weak.  Forgetting that He is my warrior ready to fight any spiritual battle that my come my way.  

Then the Holy Spirit leads me to: 

"...be content whatever the circumstances....I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:11, 13

I spend some more time confessing how I have not been content with my circumstances...wishing I was on some far away tropical island swinging in a hammock reading a book sipping a never ending Diet Coke with a slice of lemon.  Instead of asking for His strength, I have daydreamed to get out of my circumstances.


Then the Holy Spirit leads me to:

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God...Dear friends, since God loved us, we also ought to love one another."
1 John 4: 7, 11

I spend more time confessing because I know I have not loved my children in the way that Jesus loves them.  My selfishness has reared its ugly head and love has been thrown out the window.  

But the Holy Spirit doesn't allow me to stop there.  If He did, then I would be left feeling defeated.  I would feel hopeless.  I would be exactly where satan wants me to be.  The Holy Spirit encourages me to keep reading His word.  He leads me to:

"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19

As I finish my time in His word, I realize that tomorrow is a new day...a new day to love my children the way Jesus loves them.  But as I tuck them into bed tonight, I will ask each of them to forgive me for acting like a prisoner in my home instead of acting like a prisoner of the Lord living a life worthy of the calling I have received.