In her book, What Happens When Women Say Yes To God, Lysa Terkeurst writes that we have become “so familiar with God yet so unaware.” I have definitely found this to be true in my own life.
I know the Lord and I rely on Him for lots of things. I love to read and study His Word, and I’ve seen Him work huge miracles in my life and in the lives of my friends and family. But it can often be difficult to find God in the monotonous activities that comprise our everyday lives. I mean, let’s be real for a second. I’m not usually praising Jesus while chasing a two-year old who is screaming at the top of his lungs because he doesn’t want to sit on the potty. Twenty times a day. I would like to think that I’m one of those people who is always smiling and thanking God for every single thing that happens, but really, who are we kidding?
God, however, sees our circumstances, and because He loves us, He meets us where we are. A few weeks ago, He met me on our playroom floor just when I needed Him most.
Peter was out of town. (I’m sure he was competing in a triathlon, sleeping in a hotel room, getting a full night’s sleep, eating in actual restaurants. You know – living the good life.) Brienne was also out of town, visiting her grandparents for a couple weeks, so it was just me and the two little ones. This is usually no big deal. I’m at home by myself every day with Jonah and Vivienne so the fact that Peter and Brienne were out of town wasn’t really a huge thing.
This particular weekend I was scheduled to work in the baby room at church. I love holding and loving on those babies, and usually when I’m working, Vivienne is perfectly content to sit beside me and play. But not this time.
After dropping Jonah in his classroom, Vivi and I went to the nursery and almost immediately, she started screaming her little head off. To give her a little credit, her tummy was hurting so she wasn’t just screaming for the heck of it. But still, I was unable to put her down. For the entire hour and a half. Needless to say, I wasn’t a very big help to the other nursery workers, and frankly, when it was time to leave, I just wanted to get the heck out of there and get my screaming baby home.
So, I went to pick up Jonah from his classroom and, lo and behold, he had the biggest meltdown I’ve ever seen! It was awful! And the reason for this monumental tantrum, you ask? Instead of Peter, I was the one who came to his class to get him. You see, Peter is ALWAYS the one who gets Jonah from his classroom while I go get both girls from their classes. And Jonah is such a creature of habit that, when he saw me instead of Peter, he screamed and cried, threw himself on the ground, kicking and flailing.
It. Was. Lovely.
I was wearing Vivienne on my hip in a sling and I tried to grab Jonah with the other hand. But he wasn’t having any of that. Finally, one of the ladies who had just worked in the nursery with me (and had listened to Vivi scream for almost 2 hours) took pity on me and helped me carry Jonah to the car. It was embarrassing and I was absolutely mortified.
As soon as I got the babies strapped into their carseats, I got in the van and cried. And I don’t mean just a few tears. I mean, ugly-crying, body-wracking, drippy-nose sobbing. I was exhausted and embarrassed and wondered why God was allowing these frustrating circumstances in my life. “I need You to show up and help me,” I cried out. “I have nothing left to give. Nothing.”
I finally dried it up enough to safely drive us home and get the kids into the house. We went into the playroom and Jonah asked me to read him a book. I looked over and his children’s Bible was lying on the floor, open to the loaves and fishes story. As I read this story to my precious little ones, I felt the Lord speak to my spirit. “You’re always looking for the big miracles. Look for Me in the small things.”
Jesus was able to multiply the young boy’s lunch of bread and fish. And He can multiply what little we have, too; all we have to do is offer it. If I have nothing left, I will give that to Him. He can give me what I need; He can use me even when I feel empty. Christ moves in huge ways, of course. But He also moves in small ways every day. We just have to be tuned in to Him.
I need to be intentional in my pursuit of Christ in the everyday mundane activities of life. First, it’s important to spend time in His Word and in prayer. And then once the day begins, I need to remind myself that God is in control and nothing surprises Him.
When Jonah yells at me, I can take a breath and silently thank God that Jonah is now able to express himself. For so long, his language skills were delayed, but hearing him speak, even in anger, is something to celebrate.
When Vivienne throws all her food on the floor (again), I can be thankful that she is becoming more independent and less dependent on me for her every need.
When Brienne argues with me over homework assignments, I can thank the Lord for her intelligence and for the Christian education that she is receiving.
When I lose my cool with Peter, I can remind myself that we are doing the best we can as parents and spouses. We are striving to follow Christ and need to extend grace to each other just as the Lord extends grace to us.
Romans 12:12 says this: “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” We must have a continuous attitude of prayer each and every moment of each and every day. Only then will we be able to catch glimpses of God at work in the mundane.