Question: You mentioned in an earlier post how you approach each day with purpose and prayer. How do you accomplish that when you have toddlers who cause unexpected messes and such?
Answer: I remember years ago, as a young momma, that I would create school plans and daily to do lists and then get discouraged as my day unraveled with character training moments and those “unexpected messes”. I still remember the day that I was crying out to the Lord for direction when He impressed upon my heart a verse that has always given me much comfort. Proverbs 16:9 “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” It was a weekday and I remember having a very large “to do” list. However, as soon as I would make any attempt to accomplish one of my tasks I would be faced with a cleaning disaster that needed immediate attention or character training that required my diligence. Lunch was late, children were fussy, the house wasn’t tidy and I felt exhausted! Just sharing with you takes me back to that day when my house seemed so heavy and my heart wasn’t much lighter. I walked to my bedroom at the end of the hall, and spent some time in prayer. I felt led to take the children on a nature walk to help change our perspective on the day. I could return and tackle that “to do” list after our brisk walk, or so I thought. I opened up my double stroller, buckled my nursing infant and toddler in their seat and encouraged the older three (9, 7, and 5) to walk along side mommy. We took a new route and decided a trip to the country store would be a treat. As we walked, we noticed the sky was turning gray. We discussed how we should put a spring in our step and hurry home before we were caught in the rain. We were over a mile away from the house when the clouds burst forth with buckets of water. We ran to hide under a tree of a neighbor we didn’t know. As I tried to keep my little ones dry I prayed, “Lord, please! Nothing I seem to do today is working out.” Again that verse came to mind, “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Suddenly I realized that I had my eyes on my “to do” list instead of God’s plan for the day! I didn’t have “standing in the rain” on my agenda for the day. Yet, He knew that is where I would be when I heard His voice remind me that He is the One that orders my day, not me! What I was seeing as “interruptions” were exactly what He had planned for me to be doing! What I saw as failures and impossible messes, He saw as vital for the moment!
From that day since, I have carefully considered His “to do” list and placed priority on His agenda instead of my own plans. Oh, I still make my lists, and my sticky notes are scattered on the desk or my computer with people to call, questions to answer, and projects to complete. However,I have great Peace when I must set those lists aside to accomplish God’s “to do” list instead. Yes, sometimes that means I am setting aside ‘important’ calls or projects so that I can train a toddler how to put away the books he loves to pull off the shelf. Yet, there is no second guessing myself when I chose to cuddle with a child, read to a little one, or listen to my teenagers heart. When I keep my priorities on His plans I have great joy!!
I hope there is something here that can help you as you learn to keep the interruptions of life from interfering with your Ministry at Home. How blessed we are to serve His people- our family!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood