Monday, January 26, 2015

Yesterday begot Today; Today begets Tomorrow

I was driving our mini van back from the library on a 5-minute, late evening, round-trip to return a movie in the drop box.  My daughter was wearing her father's t-shirt and barefeet while Keegan was drinking his evening bottle in his car seat.  My husband was out of town for work, and I was thinking about the upcoming bedtime routine: bathroom break, books to read, prayers, rocking, tucking in, kisses, hugs, etc.  And I began to wonder what the day had been about.  Why did God want me to experience this day?  A very long day, and most of it was quite miserable.

My mind started to replay the tossing and turning from the night before.  I hadn't slept well due to incredible congestion - my head felt like a bowling ball.  I overslept, barely getting breakfast for me and the kids finished by the time the little girl I babysit arrived.  The rest of the morning was peaceful.  The babies slept at the same time, leaving some one-on-one time with my daughter.  She wanted to play RISK, which I hadn't a clue how to play, let alone how to how to modify it for a toddler.  So I made the game up as we went, and we had a great time!  Lunch went well, and putting everyone down for naps was easy.

It took quite a few times of explaining for her to be convinced that the game piece didn't have to match the color of the country!

Afternoon nap time is when the day took a turn for the worse.  My daughter is usually a great napper, but today's nap time included several visits from me to her room to find an awful surprise each time.  Pictures taken off the walls and broken.  Her bed tent off the bed and broken.  Her climbing on her foot board to try to climb in her windows.  Her sprawled in the floor playing with her doctor kit.  Multiple times I had to discipline her and return her to her bed.  We would review the rules of nap/quiet time, and I would hug her, kiss her, and tell her that because I love her she should happily obey my rules.  We talked about how the rules are for her good.  We talked about how she has easily followed the rules for this time hundreds of times before.  And each time we spoke, my heart would soften.  I love this child.  I can't help but love this child.  Even when she is exhausting my patience at every turn, I love her more than she could ever know.

But I was tired.

And the disobedience did not end there. Being sneaky, defiant, disrespectful... and yet, I love her.  I guess if I didn't love her, she would exhaust me less.  I wouldn't care as much about her heart and motives and behavior.  Today, parenting her left me run ragged - emotionally and physically.

And of course, she is not the only child I love.  I have another who is teething.  The poor little boy cried and whined almost all day, unless he was asleep.  I tried several things, and they helped some.  But the poor boy was in so much pain.  Again, loving him is why this was so difficult.  I can't stand to see my child hurt.  I can't leave him to cry and scream when he is reaching for me and looking so terrible.

But it wore me down.

He loved teething on this cold, peeled piece of apple.  Poor baby! 

I remembered all of this as I was driving home, and I recalled something my father once told me when I was a teenager.  He and I had been discussing the "boring" parts in the Bible.  He, being a history teacher, explained that many things in the Old Testament are for historical context.  He explained to me that all those "begots" in the genealogies served a purpose, perhaps several purposes.  I remember him talking about how so many names on those lists of descendents of "so and so fathering so and so" were just that - lists of names... and yet, perhaps just a name represents an entire generation... an entire lifetime lived.  So we as modern readers have absolutely no idea who these persons were or what they did, but we know that their children's children's children fathered someone important, like Moses, King David, and eventually Jesus.  Perhaps these "so and so" persons wondered too why they were alive.  While I wonder why their name is mentioned once, they may find great satisfaction if they saw it, knowing that was why they lived... to bring up the next generation.  Why?  So that the next generation could bring up the next.

Reading books before bedtime
I found great comfort in this memory today as I wondered why God wanted me to live this day?  What did I learn?  What did my daughter learn?  Will tomorrow be the same?  Why do so many days seem to be purposeless?

Perhaps only because I cannot see the bigger picture that God is weaving, orchestrating.  I do not know what an exhausting day has to do with anything in God's plan for my family, but He does.  Perhaps it was another lesson in gratitude that so many days are much easier.  Maybe it is so I will have a deeper appreciation for my husband, who helps so much when he gets home from work each day.  It might also be so that I would be reminded that God sees me the same way I see my children.  I play, disobey, lie, hide, defy, hurt, whine, reach for Him, cry out to Him... and He loves me.  He can't help but love, because He is the definition of love - the essence of love.

So to all of you tired, exhausted, and wondering what is it all for?...

I don't know, really.  But whatever it is, it is for God.  If it is excellent, thank Him for it.  If it is difficult, give it to Him.  If it is meaningless, ask Him for His perspective.

Because today's meaningless happenings beget tomorrow's meaningful gifts.  None of it is wasted nothingness.  All of it has weight and matter, and it is all for His glory and your good.

No comments:

Post a Comment