Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Manner In Which We Walk

I knelt by the side of my bed this morning, having shut the bedroom door ever so dramatically, just so I could have a moment in private.

I cried out. I laid bare my list of grievances. I wept and shared my frustration, worry, and my exhaustion with the LORD.

He listened kindly, of course, as on and on I went, telling Him what He already knew, bending his ear with my oblivious prattle.

But something happened there, as I lay despairing across the bed. Even as I secretly wished to be found in this posture, I knew I was behaving childishly. Even as I listed my annoyances, I knew I was reacting poorly to them. Even as I dripped tears of exhaustion, I was gently reminded of my choice, my desire to be a mama.

Every effort I made to feel sorry for myself was tenderly, yet firmly, rebutted.

I sat up and laughed aloud, thinking, “The days of genuinely feeling sorry for myself are over, aren’t they, Lord?”

I am no longer the nineteen year old bride, who called her mama when she was angry at her lover. (Mama firmly told her to stop calling, please, and talk to her own husband about it!) I am no longer the newlywed who carried her hurt feelings as a crown upon her brow. I am no longer unaware of the impact I have on those around me.

Today stretched ahead of me, not even filled with anything yet, but my mind had already taken me through and instantly resolved that this day was going to be simply awful.

The manner in which you walk will determine the day, Beloved, not its' events.

As I dashed the tears from my eyes, and laughed again at the woman-child who knew almost nothing of labor, love, or longing; I recalled a quote from Stepping Heavenward that speaks volumes to me, as I am one who runs from difficulty and uncertainty.

“Duty looks more repelling at a distance than when fairly faced and met.”

What is the best line of defense against a day that threatens to overtake you? Dive into the middle and fight for it! Lying prostrate across my bed, weeping, did not start the laundry, wash the dishes, teach the lessons, or cook the meals; nor did it begin to organize the sudden events I was running from. The good that did come from those moments were by the grace of God, and grace alone. In seeking Him, and yes, even being rebuked by Him, I was led to the water, and when I drank, I was renewed.

And so I stepped back into my life, from the dramatic stage of my bedroom. With new eyes I took in the simplicity of my days – feed, love, lead.

Imagine my wonder as I found the joy within me to jive to the rhythm of the clunky washing machine with my baby, who finds all things bumping to be delightful.

Imagine the thrill as I heard myself call my husband back to kiss me at the sink before he left.

And imagine my pleasure as I witnessed the lightening of my children’s countenance, when they realized that Mama was again present, and she was content.

Now imagine His pleasure all the more!

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I was quieted, and He saved me.

And the day that nearly mastered me? It is over and gone. But as I kissed my children's brows while they slept, this one time; oh this once, I was at peace with the day.

And a new one begins tomorrow. Come with me.

31 fellow travelers shared:

Lydia said...

Elise, this post really spoke to me--it was beautiful. I liked this:

"The manner in which you walk will determine the day, Beloved, not its' events."

This lesson has been changing me this year--oh, the growing pains. :) But, the freedom that comes is wonderful.

I am going to write down that quote from "Stepping Heavenward."

Me said...

I am ready to find that "With new eyes I took in the simplicity of my days – feed, love, lead." again. It was complicated these past two weeks as my MIL was here and now I am ready to reclaim it.

And this "Imagine the thrill as I heard myself call my husband back to kiss me at the sink before he left."

I know how good that feels and I know the tiny bit of lightness I see him walk away with when I remember. It is so worth it.

"And imagine my pleasure as I witnessed the lightening of my children’s countenance, when they realized that Mama was again present, and she was content." Just like when I remember to indulge in a full on laugh.

Thanks for this one!

Andrea said...

Elise.

This could have been me...it *is* me.

Oh, how He gives us the "rest" we need...His rest.

Beautiful, just beautiful. :)

Mrs. S said...

Thank you. How often I have to remind myself of these things. You are not alone, friend. I love how we can share these struggles with each other, as we "walk the path."
God remains faithful.

And you read Stepping Heavenward? Its one of my favorites.

Randi said...

I think we all need to be continually reminded of the contentment that can be found within our callings--if we choose. Somdays my desire for ease and relaxation overtakes my desire to do God's will.

Your mom did you a big favor when she told you to work things out with your hubby. I hope to be brave like that someday with my own daughters.

Anonymous said...

ELise, I love that you share things like this! (Not that I want to hear about you kissing Kevin all the time.)

I have definately had days were I just have to run everything through my head (or my tears) and give it to God to sort through and then he throws it right back as if to say oh my dear why fret over this...get going. And yet you say it like its pure poetry!
Love you! Give everyone a squeeze for me. -Anna

Christine said...

You are so me. I'm so glad to be able to come here and read of a life like mine with mistakes and remedies and always God in it all.

QueenHeroical said...

Oh, yes and yes and yes and that is one of my favourite scripture verses -- I just need to remember it more often.

Thanks for your heart Elise,
Krina

Stacy said...

Oh Elise,

What a beautiful post.

I just came from my own bedroom-- spilling tears of frustration and hurt; furiously writing in my journal. And the Lord told me something that appears so simple, yet is *so* complicated, isn't it?

He told me to love.

Just that: love.

Oh, it is hard. Such a mountain, sometimes. To die to self and go forth in love. But I do. And I don't go it alone.


As always, Elise... you write beautifully.

Bless you today, as *you* go forth.

~Stacy
www.homeschoolblogger.com/reformingmama

kevin said...

It's amazing what happens when I'm not looking. I sat with the boys eating breakfast, reading the Bible, and memorizing Scripture with them. It all seemed very ordinary to me...but all the while you were in our bedroom being transformed by the Father!

I love you.

bluemountainmama said...

how beautiful ,elise ....and i've been there. it's amazing what happens when we lay it all out there to God. and i will post more about my experiences at salem, as the memories come. sometimes i'm just not up for verbalizing them yet.....

Audrey said...

I found myself laughing outloud as I read what you were writing about me....;-)

Just this morning Eve was trying to help in the kitchen and knocked the trash can over and its yucky, foody mess spilt all over the floor. I thought Lord doesnt she know I only have a few minutes to get this kitchen cleaned up before the baby summons me. I tried really hard to feel sorry for myself...I did, but it just wouldnt come this time. I saw her sweet look and she said "sorry...momy...mess"

How blessed I was to have that mess to clean up, I hope she and I have many more messes to clean up together.

Munchkin Land said...

I loved this sentence.

With new eyes I took in the simplicity of my days – feed, love, lead.

Sometimes, our life is simply this but what a way we will touch our childrens' lives!

Kendra said...

Elise,
Thank you for sharing your heart which seems to be shared with most of us here. I love the realization that He brought you to:
"I sat up and laughed aloud, thinking, “The days of genuinely feeling sorry for myself are over, aren’t they, Lord?”
It is just as simple as that. Yet, the difficulty remains apparent as we struggle daily with dying to ourselves.
Thank you for the encouragement to continue to "feed, love, lead."

tonia said...

feed, love, lead...

Runaway heart go back to the quiet of my little "monastery" to tend the souls He has given...such a privilege...

thank you Elise.

Beka said...

Elise, thank you. That was beautiful... and so timely. This is an issue for which I am crying out to the Lord for help.
That Zephaniah verse you included is one of my very favorites. Isn't it just so comforting? And Stepping Heavenward... what a precious and dear book.

Joel and Jaime said...

Wow Elise, it sounds like this post really hit home for alot of people--myself included. You really do have a way with words!

TaunaLen said...

You touch so many. I see myself in your posts, and that is so encouraging. I breathe and move in His grace alone. It's selfish and childish of me to think otherwise. Thank you for a beautiful post -- and your husband's comment melted my heart. What a blessing he must be to you.

~TaunaLen

EEEEMommy said...

I echo the previous commenters in saying that this was a truly beautiful post and oh, so, appropriate. Your realization is spot on and struck me between the eyes!
I have felt this way myself lately too! In fact, last night, when I could sense my husband's silent frustration as he came home, once again, to evidence that little had been accomplished during the day, I was compelled to confess to him that I have not been doing my best. I came face to face with my own selfishness and laziness and knew that I alone was to blame for what had not been accomplished....it was a sobering moment. In the past I would have been full of a list of reasons (i.e. excuses)and angry at him for having the nerve to be frustrated, but this time, I knew there were no valid excuses and this mess was not anyone else's fault, nor was he at fault for expecting better of me. Yes, the days of melodrama are behind me, it's time to accept resposibilty and do what must be done...joyfully!
Thank you for sharing! I needed to read this post!

Laura said...

I'm feeling this way too and needed this reminder to just tackle the day with God's help. Thank you for the beautiful post!

Stacey said...

Can I just say thank you. Your post spoke to my heart today. Last night and again today. And probably tomorrow.
I had a major crying on the kitchen floor meltdown last night with hubs before we went to homedepot. Ugh. I feel very hungover emotionally.
I need to write some more about it in my personal (pen & paper) journal so I can process it. But I think I may print off this post and put it in there...

You are loved.

Oh, and by the way, that is one of my ALL TIME FAVES from Zephaniah!!

Mommy Dearest said...

“Duty looks more repelling at a distance than when fairly faced and met.”

I have something hanging over me; I really needed that quote.

This was a beautiful post. Blessings in your journey as a mother.

Shelley said...

Have you been listening in on my conversations with the Lord?! :) And peeking in my house? And reading my mind?

Thanks for sharing.

Maxine said...

Elise, I have not been checking blogs for a couple of days and just read this. How beautiful. So nice to have you younger wives minister to us older ones. We need reminders like this one and thanks for quoting from my favorite book!

Grafted Branch said...

Well, I see that 24 people have already told you, in one way or another, that:

THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!

And it could have been written by a fly on my wall...

Kristen said...

This post resonates with me, and I see I am not alone!

henryteachers said...

Elise,
I've been thinking about this blog entry for some time. You write so beautifully. Isn't it wonderful that we can go to the Lord in prayer, that he listens, and we come out of our "closet" refreshed and renewed.
Thanks for putting in such beautiful words your experience.
Mindy :)

Sista Cala said...

Wonderful post. So glad I found your site.

Emily said...

I love Stepping Heavenward. I can really relate to your post.
God bless

Amy said...

This really spoke to my heart. Thanks for being so transparent.

:o)

Carrie said...

I just came to this post via Randi's blog, I Have to Say. And with tears streaming down my face, I am absolutely amazed at the God we serve. You have penned these words and I have exactly prayed these prayers many times!!!! And praise God for women's hearts and how we treasure these moments in our hearts. Thank You. Carrie on the Meadow.

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