So my five-year-old son, Jack, prays before breakfast, "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you that my sunflower has stopped growing. And thank you that Mommy is mad at Daddy for not cleaning the dishes. Thank you, Jesus. Amen." He is a stitch. And he catches everything that I say and do - even when I don't realize it.
Like the other day, I must have made mention that I had some work to do. You know what he told me? We were driving by a pretty cool park and he said to me, "If you don't take me to that park right now, I will call 911 on you and tell them that you won't take me to the park because you said you had to work." Ouch. So I took him to the park. I'm a sucker for a smartly-worded guilt trip, what can I say?
I've had an interesting month or so. I've gone back to work. Maybe 'back' isn't the right word...can't really say I worked all that much prior to having kids, but you know what I mean. I have a kindergartner and a first grader, and God brought an amazing opportunity my way for a part-time job at my church. The kind of job I knew I would want when I was really ready to work outside the home - like in a year or so when both of my kids would be in school all day.
But as wonderful of a job as it is, and as much as I love it, I am being pulled in so many directions now. My heart (and mind and body) have been at home for seven years. I hadn't been looking for a job yet or wanting a job yet. But now, I'm out doing something new that I love. And I'm a bit scared because I'm watching myself do about a hundred things, but feel like I'm doing few of them well, let alone with excellence. Can you relate?
So here's my fear. My son feels the need to threaten to sic the police on me if I don't take him to the park - because I said I had work to do. And my daughter woke up in the middle of the night crying a couple days ago simply saying she was sad but didn't know why (because she misses me perhaps? because when I'm home, I'm so preoccupied these days?). I don't have any real answers to offer - I'm still just figuring all this out myself.
But I do know one thing for sure. God knows my fears. He saw my son desire a trip to the park with his mommy. And He saw my daughter crying in the middle of the night. And He sees my piles of work at home and church and sees my scattered mind and sees my tired body and sees my emotional upheaval. But He doesn't just see it all. He is standing by, waiting for an invitation to intervene.
Are you feeling pulled in different directions? Are you feeling tired these days? Are you feeling scattered? Invite God into your chaotic world. He is waiting and watching and desperately wanting to help you. He may not come down and play with your kids or do your work for you or cook your family a great dinner (wouldn't that be nice?!), but He will send a peace that carries you through the moment-to-moment. He guarantees it.
Elisabeth K. Corcoran is the author of Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul. She is wife to Kevin, and mom to Sara, 6-&-1/2, and Jack, 5. Her passion is encouraging women and she fulfills that through heading up the Women's Ministries at Blackberry Creek Community Church in Aurora, IL and writing as much as she can. Calm in My Chaos (2001) can be purchased directly through her publisher, Kregel Publications at #1-888-644-0500 or www.kregel.com, at amazon.com, or through your local Christian bookstore. This column is original and not excerpted from her book.