We were already twenty minutes behind schedule when the third issue surfaced in the third child. Each time I walked out of my bedroom, I found another heart gone awry. Big tears on little faces, each child acting unraveled as if it would be for forever. I was still unshowered, of course.
I didn’t have long enough to feel exasperated before I heard, “Mommy?!”
A confused call from downstairs that got progressively louder as Lily reached the spot where I held her sister’s newly-confessed angst.
“The water isn’t coming out of the faucet. Again.”
I knew what had happened. Now being twenty minutes late and unshowered felt small. I let go of the latest hand I’d been holding and hurtled down two flights of stairs to discover what I’d suspected, only worse. The water filter tank, suspended below the sink and over our keepsakes in the basement storage room, had fallen from its holding place in the rafters.
I’d thought we’d secured it.
Water dripped onto a collection of precious items, all organized on a table and ready to be inserted into what passed for the “baby books” of these ones we never saw as babies. The unkempt table had already been a reminder that I was behind my schedule for getting organized, even before the water filter fell on it.
The hearts that had lined up for mending an hour previously were now no longer urgent—to me—as I gathered towels to clean this spill that was seeping into some of the only pieces of their history we had.
All this before 9:00 a.m.
Just after we went from two to four children, I found myself rushing through each day to get to my pockets of time away.
I counted down, waiting desperately for the four afternoon hours to myself I got each week, while Nate manned the fort.
I put the children to bed early in the hope of getting more hours of “me time” back. I daydreamed about the magical “six months from now” when we would (I was sure) achieve a new normal as a family.
I’d grown to believe the great, but subtle, lie of motherhood:
I’ll find Him when life slows down or this burden lifts or I have more time.
But this seeming chaos was aligned for a purpose. To wait to seek Him when my load lifted—when these children weren’t so needy, when I finally got on top of the laundry or was able to get a meal out on time—meant that I would miss the precise moment He’d ordained for me to find Him. Now.
The psalmist says, “And I will look up,” and invites me to do the same … with my minutes.
This is adoration.
I take a passage of Scripture that speaks a truth about God and I repeat those words back to Him, no matter how disgruntled I might feel on the inside when I start. I let my mind clear a space in my heart to receive. He then reminds me of the times when I’ve seen this very truth activated in my life. I praise Him more for that reminder.
I wait; I listen. Pray back. Speak back. Sing back. Write back.
I fix my eyes on who He is instead of what I’m not.
I can approach a plate of spilled spaghetti, a child with a fever, and a rift with a friend with new perspective when I tell Him who He is -- when I tell my heart who He is.
He is waiting to intersect our minutes, mamas. He has sweet Words for us in this season we’re watching like an hourglass.
He sees us, here, and is waiting for this one mess of a moment to be the one in which we see Him.
Adoration is this mama’s ticket out of a grumpy life.
Want a jumpstart, mama? This -- above -- is an excerpt from Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, released via Zondervan this week. I'd love to share with you the pages of this book that have brought new life to my grumpy-leaning heart.
How do you participate?
Leave a little note here, below -- wave your hand and say "I'd love a copy!"
And for the ones, like me, who -- ahem -- celebrate that they can turn their computer on and off and might need a little help -- here's something you can run with ....
Entries for this giveaway will remain open until Sunday, October 12th at 8pm EST. We'll let our three winners know early next week and you'll have those crisp new books in hand before you know it!