A few days ago all I could think was, “I want a Do-Over!” The last couple of weeks had been really busy and stressful. Add in a sick whiny toddler, 2 grade schoolers who had spent 5 days cooped inside and at each others’ throats, and a slightly hormonal mommy and it was over. I didn’t want one more person pulling or screaming or crying unless it was me!
I looked at our schedule for the day and felt defeated from the beginning. My original thoughts were an adjusted schedule. We could postpone our normal schedule and devote the day to a geography project I had planned. This seemed like a great way to slowly ease our way back into school after being on the road last week. My wonderful plans soon came crashing down with a toddler who was not cooperating and the fact that I had completely forgotten that I didn’t even have milk in the house for the second day in a row! That meant I would have to get to the store at some point. Heading to the grocery store in the middle of our project would be a “no, no”. Heading there with kids when everyone’s tired and cranky? Oh, forget about it. I would rather chew my own toenails.
We somehow managed to get out the door and made it to our Home school Basketball Class without me crying too much. We were late, but we were headed there. We put on praise music in the car and sang the entire drive there. Listening to Damita sing “I Won’t Turn Back” gave all of us some energy and started adjusting our spirits. “This race is not given to the swift or to the strong, but one thing I know is that I’m still holding on.” Oh, how I needed to hear that!
In spite of me normally considering myself somewhat sane, I decided to head to the store AFTER basketball…at lunchtime! This is usually the absolute worst time to attempt grocery shopping, but as my mother in law says, “God protects children and fools.” It was amazing. All 3 kids were kind to each other and helpful in the store. We made it out without any raised voices or lost privileges. My 6-year-old helped unload and unpack the groceries without being asked. My 8-year-old took care of her youngest sibling by getting her washed up and even fed her lunch, also without being asked. No one griped. No one complained. Everyone worked together. Were these the same children I asked earlier, “Do you hate each other?”
Something happened between leaving home, basketball class, and the grocery store. Yes, the kids finally got to run off some steam and play with their friends, but that wasn’t it. The “do-over” I was looking for was a way to hide my head under the sheets and start the day over again more put together and organized, more in control. God blessed us all with what we needed. God had given us a “do-over” of the spirit.
The morning struggles with my toddler “stole” a lot of time from our morning. Instead of trying to force us to “catch up” the rest of our day, as I might normally do. I made an uncharacteristic decision to take a break. My big kids were just as surprised as I was, but the lyrics from earlier kept playing in my head, “The race is not given to the swift or to the strong”. I didn’t have to have everything done today! And it was okay. We really needed the break.
When my toddler went down for nap, I told the big kids they could have an extended quiet time because I needed some down time myself alone with God. When nap/quiet time was over, I walked upstairs to find my big kids quietly playing a puzzle together. They were quiet and content and more loving than I had seen them in days. They intentionally chose something they could do quietly together. The slowed pace of our afternoon worked wonders for us all.
My “do-over” for the day came when God slowed me enough to allow me to stop thinking about what I “needed to get done” and helped me remember what I “need to understand”.
I need to understand that nothing is in my control. The more I try to control things, the more out of control I feel. God’s in charge and I am supposed to simply rest in him.
I need to understand that being busy does not equate to being about God’s business. I must stop to hear what he wants me to do. When I stop to listen, he can direct me and restore my spirit.
I need to understand that sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing at all.
When I stopped that day, our entire house stopped. It was my husband’s night to work late, but our evening was still relaxed and peaceful. It was full of hugs, kisses, play, and prayer. It ended up being a great day. I’m so glad that God didn’t give me what I wanted. I would have missed out on so much. Instead he gave me exactly what he knew I needed. A day to hear his voice. A day to feel his presence. A day to enjoy his blessings.