In the shower this morning I tried to recite James 1. I'm working on memorizing it. A challenge taken up by several of us on the Hearts at Home bulletin board. I've done it before, when my oldest was an infant. I was bored, lonely, and depressed so I started memorizing James. I only made it through the first chapter and a few verses of the second. This time we're shooting for the whole book. It may take awhile. It may take months. But we'll get there.
I find it ironic that I am willing to meet large challenges head on. I will plan, think, pray, prepare for them and look forward to it. Yet, small things. Daily life things can break me down. Feelings of failure swirl around in my head and my own voice taunts me with how incapable I am.
It is good to sit here with the sun shining outside my windows. It is good to see my girls laugh and play in that sunshine. And it is ok, for today, to not read outloud our history, science and even Bible. God's world is full of ways and things to learn about. I'm not a failure for letting the girls be children and play. I am a success. I have evaluated what was critical for today, and bookwork inside was not it.
The laundry was set to defeat me as well. Tim is in the midst of renovating FOR ME! He's making our downstairs bathroom into a bathroom and laundry room that will be pleasant to use. A new shower, new (at least to us) washer and dryer to come, a new floor and a white sink and toilet. Bliss!
But for now it is hard to use that space. The area is cluttered with tools and debris. There is a partial wall, with the spaces between the boards too small to slip a laundry basket through (yes, I tried). So I need to go around. To get through that doorway I had to clear rolled up carpet, underlay, and more garbage. PHEW! I opened the door to the dryer and groaned. It was full of clean towels. A good thing, except, where to put them? I started the washer first, giving me an empty basket, moved the now full basket of towels into the hallway and THEN I was able to put the wet laundry into the dryer.
That too is a success. I didn't have to leave our house. I didn't have to use money at the laundromat and take time from my day I just don't have to spare away from home. I didn't have to load the van, unload the van, then load and unload again. But most of all, I am washing the clothes and blessing my husband with clean jeans.
Supper is in the crockpot, a roast with potatoes and carrots. I will go to work and my family will still be fed. There might even be leftovers for me to eat when I come home! All this because I wrote a list of what needs doing and started doing one at a time.
Do you know what was crippling me? The feeling that I had to figure out the perfect way to do it. That there was a perfect way and if I was just smart enough I could figure it out. Crazy, huh? Since I couldn't figure out the perfect way to fit everything in I wasted a bit of time just sitting whining about how hard it was going to be. So I am thankful today that God hears my thoughts and answers prayers I'm not even wise enough to pray. He gave me clarity of thought, but beyond that he simply impressed to do one thing then another then another til my list is nearly done.
One step at a time.
Here's the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns:
- Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
- Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.
- Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.