We're feeling particularly thankful this evening. Our only air conditioning issue this summer was fixed, and by a great guy who didn't charge us after hour rates for the few minutes he stayed past five. It's been a good day, but a touch busy with treat-making for a visit with our besties and their little girls tomorrow, the air conditioner guy, laundry, and our speech therapy appointment. Usually she comes Tuesday and Thursday at three, but needed to come today at one. No big deal, but it was during the littles' nap time.
Usually, it wouldn't be a big deal, anyway. And it wasn't until we didn't have milk for dinner. Usually, if you tell Mae that we don't have milk, but we'll have something else instead, she gets over it pretty quick. This time she acted like she'd been shot.
She screwed up her face, wailed, cried, and all-around displayed her displeasure. We reminded her that crying will not get milk to her cup any faster, offered substitutions, but nothing helped. She was inconsolable.
Then her head started to nod. Her puffy, red, sad eyes drooped, then dropped, then bobbed back up. Poor kid had been so excited to see our speech lady, K, that she hadn't slept. No nap. No matter how old she acts or thinks she is, she's still two. Her little body can only take so much, then she has to rest. The milk was just the disappointing catalyst for shutdown.
All of our kids have done this at some point. Ryan fell asleep in his spaghetti when he was just under three. Richie has done the same numerous times as well. They go and go and go, then flop in a heap. They're so young that, without me to remind them to rest, they will go until they drop. They need someone to keep them in check.
In "Missing It Again" we talked about the frustration of defaulting to the wrong behavior. In a crisis, the opposite of what I need to do or know is best is too often my first response. The freak out, the crying jag, the rant to a loved one. We've all done it. But how can this be the knee-jerk of a believer? How than those two things exist in the same heart?
My favorite example is David. He was the man after God's own heart. He was a crazy prolific psalmist. He was an ancestor of Christ. He was the slayer of Goliath. But before we hear the metallic "ting" of David's halo, look at a couple of his knee-jerks.
His desire to move the ark of the covenant was greater than his desire to obey the way God specified to move said ark, and it cost him not only a life, but the privilege of building the temple. Later, caught in an adulterous relationship, his knee-jerk was to have the woman's husband killed.
The difference in David and so many other hailed heroes of the bible and anyone like, say, Lucifer himself? A confessing and repentant heart. A pull back to God.
The same heart that committed these grievous things the bible calls sin is the same man who penned so many psalms. One of my favorites, Psalm 51, could not have been penned from a perfectly clean heart. It could only have come from a heart that had seen and was seeing darkness, and so desperately needed light. A heart that had run smack into a wall, and needed a breath of air.
A heart so much like the one that beats in my chest. The one that, so much like that tired little girl, throws a fit over something ridiculous while missing the thing I was created to need... the rest that comes from allowing the correct thing to fill the God-shaped hole.
I miss it. I try to fill the hole with cleaning better, organizing better, decorating better, gardening better, crafting better, sewing better, writing better, even doing more bible studies and attending more of this at church and less of that elsewhere. But is that what it's really about? All of these things will eventually come to a close. None provide peace. It is only in releasing the striving after these things and the embracing of the knowledge that I'm just not enough... and the looking toward the One who is.
I'm gonna do my best with this Richie having surgery thing. I'll appreciate your prayer for him, and that Eric and I do a good job of dealing with this. I'll pray that we'll all look up when we hit our walls. And I'll try to remember that sometimes we need those walls to remind us who we are and Who we need.
Thanks be to God for turning our chins upward!