What We Need When Feeling Behind

Right after I climb in, I go scrambling for my phone to snap the picture.

There are smiles in a two-year old and her big brother worth capturing.

My husband raises his eyebrows.

“You’re taking a picture now?” He’s grinning boyish. Annabella’s crying over lost mittens. Alyssa’s trying to get the sobbing girl buckled. Elliana and Kayla are talking loud over who gets the back seat. We’re all stuffed in a suburban that should have been leaving over a half an hour ago.

“Because you’re thinking you might forget these moments of always running behind?”

I tease poke him in the ribs, him sturdy like a crossbar that carries half my world.

“I… just… well…” I squirm in my seat and try to explain with flailing arms how my photographing of the good amidst the crazy isn’t slowing us down any. As if the more I flail, the better chance of getting that zany look out of his eyes.

He smirks this smile with his eyes all sparkling into mine. “Just remember who was last out of the house – again.” He swerves a little, guarding himself with his arm to ward off the next jab.

feeling behind

psalm 103 verses 7 and 8

And on the thirty minute drive to the nearest Walmart, as she kicks his seat and he looks out her window and the whole back row sings so loud I don’t know how I can tune it all out, I wonder about running behind, and how often I feel like I’m rushing around crazy, but still get there too slow. As if my timing is all off.

As if I’m living this life like it’s some giant emergency, but somehow the days still drag on. Or maybe it’s that the days are going so fast, this slow-to-absorb-girl feels like she can’t possibly keep up. Or maybe it’s both.

Because the days can be so very long (just ask my yesterday when I looked at the clock at 8:30am and was completely shocked that it was still hours before lunch time), yet they go by in a blink (and I’ve got six kids growing all lanky to prove it). Somehow both are true.

And I’m not sure I like the way I handle this paradox.

Even with my writing. I always feel this pressure that I’m falling behind. (For those of you that think I can whip up a post in twenty minutes – not true. It can take me weeks, sometimes months, of processing what God is doing in my heart before I even begin the hours or days of getting the words out. I’m learning to be okay with that – in trusting that God has me hit that publish button at just the right moment.)

And I can’t begin to tell you how many times in the last six months I’ve thanked God that we live only two minutes from our church.

Too slow. Too fast. I’ve got it all spun backwards.

If I counted all the times I’ve said, “Hurry up!” and then turned around and said, “In a minute!” it would be embarrassing.

when falling behind

And you know what? I’m beginning to realize that for some reason not completely foreign to me, I’ve been wanting God’s timing to match up with my own crazy timetable.

“Where are You, God? Can You please show me what You are doing, now!? Why haven’t you done something about this yet? I’m not ready for that yet, God.”

And He holds time in His hands, and somehow knows how my yesterdays will affect my tomorrows.

And I shake my head with a, “Yada, yada, yada.” Because I’ve heard it all before, and it doesn’t seem to be helping. And I begin to sound a lot like the Israelites. Oh, how I understand them. Years of slavery. And even after His hands reached out to roll back the waters, days with no food, no drink. Their leader up on Mt. Sinai for weeks. It was too long for them to wait.

But turn to the page after the whole Golden Calf ordeal, and you know what you find?

Moses, pleading with God: “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Exodus 33:13)

He wants to know God and His ways.

To know – “yada” in Hebrew.

Tears blur my eyes and my chin just about hits the floor.

For hidden in the cleft of a rock God in all His glory passes by, and He is seen just enough from the back. In a cloud that stands there with Moses, proclaiming his name, the LORD.

And hundreds of years later, David pens these words.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
Psalm 103:7-8

And there it is again – yada.

God made known (He “yada”) His ways to Moses.

And to those Israelites. And to you and me through His Words penned on our hearts.

And it isn’t a knowledge of what He is doing or why or how long, but of who He is.

Merciful.

Gracious.

Slow to anger.

Abounding in love.

And here I realize it’s a very good thing His timing is different than my own.

That He in an instant breathes the world into existence.

Yet slows down for my sinful heart to follow.

And this mom slows to listen and to “yada” Him more… and to take one more picture.

Memorizing Psalm 103 with us? Here are this week’s verses:

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
Psalm 103:7-8 NIV

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103:7-8 ESV

Last week… “How to Really See Good – on the Days You’d Rather Stay in Bed” Psalm 103:5-6

Comments

  1. YEs! Yes! Yes!
    This is me exactly! Thankyou :)
    I love you1

  2. Thank you!

  3. What great words! I have been struggling to get through this winter season, feeling like it is never going to end and that I will never get motivated again. But God is present, his timing is about love and we need to look for the smiles among the tears. Thank you for your writing. I’m in a rough patch with my writing and just like you posted above…. it takes me days, weeks and months to really process what God is wanting me to write. So until I know the direction he wants to lead me in, I haven’t written. Blogs can be scary and putting yourself out there is equally scary- but sometimes even much more when you are a pastor’s wife. I think of your encouraging posts often as I am walking over crushed cheez-its, wiping tears and wondering how I am going to muster up the patience for one more sibling conflict. I think- I am not the only one. I am not alone. On a side note, I’ve been looking at curriculum for next year- we did Beyond this year and I am debating Bigger for next year. I would love to hear how Bigger went in your house and if you liked it! Oh and what are you favorite parenting books? I am in need of a few good reads :<)

    • Sarah, I’m always so encouraged by your words. All of us moms walking over crushed Cheez-its together – still not sure why we can’t seem to get them in mouths around here. ;) You are not alone!
      I’m blessed to hear how you are waiting on God. Not an easy place to be, but so, so good.

      And, I’m really, really hoping to get a post(s) up soon about homeschooling. But, in case I don’t… Bigger is a tricky one for me to write about because although we all like it (twins did it last year and Kayla this year) it’s my least favorite guide (if I’m being completely honest). The amount of writing hasn’t been a problem in our family (as I’ve heard it is at times for other second graders), but sometimes I think the reading is just over my kids’ heads… the history books just aren’t quite as great as the other years (although we love The Story of the Wright Brothers – which we haven’t gotten to yet this year). Some of the Science books we LOVE and others (again) seem to be a bit over my kids’ heads. All that being said, I still love how everything’s planned out and there is far more good than not-as-great-as-other-years. And, I’ve never mentioned to my girls that it’s not my favorite guide… and they have showed no signs that they don’t/didn’t like it in any way. I also love the way that Bigger prepares our kids for the next year, and therefore could never see skipping it. It is really incredible to see how well my girls did with Preparing this year right from the beginning because they had been so well prepared from their time in Bigger. So, I feel like I’m being a bit contradictory- we still love HOD, still love school (even on a “Bigger” year), but I just happen to like the other years better. ;)

      Parenting books… gotta think on that one. :) I haven’t read a new one for a while now. Last year I read “Heartfelt Discipline” by Clay Clarkson and really appreciated much about it.

      Praying for you right now, friend!
      Have a blessed day.
      ~Jessica

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