Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Yesterday escaped by the skin of its teeth. It was one of those days that seemed to attract calamity. By 10 am I had one child sitting on her bed, one on the couch, and one confined to his crib. And me? I was pouring over Psalms 23-26, my daily reading, trying to find some calm amid the storm. You don't want to hear my long list of "what went wrong," but let me just say that it started with the baby getting smacked in the face with a fly swatter and ended with my wonderful partner in this family getting home well after everyone was in bed. In between all that my list also included 2 different chilled diet Cokes spilled before I took a sip. Calamity, I tell you.

At one point I hypothetically asked, "Are you guys just naughtier today or am I more impatient?"

Emma replied, "You are more impatient.... and grumpy." Leave it to a first born female to point out what is wrong in a situation.

Time for another mommy time out. In my Bible reading, I read through the "Lord is my Shepherd" passage of Psalm 23.

 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.


Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

That bit of Scripture couldn't help but encourage me... "He restores my soul." How I longed for that tranquility! The entire description speaks of an extravagance far from reality. Reminded me of my 5 diamond experience at the Grand Velas last Fall. I came up with my own paraphrase regarding the all-inclusive resort:

The LORD is my very own concierge, I shall not be in want for anything from Diet Coke to a pillow menu.
He turns down my feather bed and turns on the AC.
He brings me food service beside the endless pool in my private cabana.

He restores my soul.

(my very own paraphrase).

The problem arose when I tried to bring that extravagance home. Real life doesn't feel like a resort. Not even a little. Real life is toddler-fly-swatting-the-baby-bossy-big-sister-teething-baby-no-one-napping-toilet-plugged-husband-farming-all-the-live-long-day-and-night craziness.

It was as I read on that I began to make a correlation between the peaceful bliss of chapter 23 and the barely controlled chaos that I was dealing with at that moment. Psalm 24 speaks of God's almighty power. Psalm 25 is asking for God's guidance... "Show me your ways, O LORD." And then there was chapter 26 verse 2-3: "Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth."

Yesterday as I read, I could feel the Almighty looking down on all the enforced time-outs in my home and I felt near to Him. Not "cabana at a resort" near to Him, but "water stop along a marathon route" near to Him. Encouraged and refreshed I kept going. It was swimming lessons next, a rushed lunch that no one liked, naps, swimming and playing in the yard, fighting children who forgot how to be kind, laundry, the baby's diaper rash irritations, dinner without daddy, homemade ice cream that took forever, baths, and bedtime with goodnight thankful prayers.

I realized there will be moments of bliss (this wasn't one of them) when I lie beside still waters. And there will also be testing. The testing is a good thing, according to these verses. "Test me and try me, examine my heart and my mind." God provides the strength and will restore my soul as needed. 

Now for today...



M. Cazin said...

Thank you for sharing and reminding me that resting by the quiet waters does not mean the beach side resort, but it means that God is right there in the midst of it all to restore our souls.

Season said...

The fact that you stopped in the midst of chaos and read your bible when most of us probably wouldn't have "Felt" like it in the moment is a testimony not only to all who read this but more importantly your precious children. You are awesome!!!!

Linds and Manda said...

I can think of a few days that mirror the one you describe. We do ask Him to make us and mold us but somehow I hope he will do that in times of peace. They are hard to go through but that's where more of the learning, growing and stretching takes place. Thanks for the reminder. You always put things so well. I hope today is a good day for you whether it's filled with measurable peace or fly swatters. :)

Dan & Hillary said...

Sorry the day was a flop:-( Isn't grace so beautifully amazing? I guess if it weren't for the 'marathon stops' we wouldn't appreciate the 'cabana stops.'

Love to you. Hope the icecream helped:-)

Shawna said...

Alysun, your are amazing. Amazing for taking the time to so elequently share your chaos with us when I would have just bawled.

Not that you didn't cry but you not only wrote about it, but you captured it pefectly on film. That photo is absolutely perfect, perfect timing, perfect framing. I LOVE how it conveys the words you wrote in an art form.

In addition, I appreciate how you are able to bring scripture to my life. I am reading "She's Gonna Blow" (thanks to your suggestion) and I really liked how she talked about how reading the Bible doesn't have to be like I thought it did when I was younger. I am intimidated, but encouraged. Thank you and I hope today brings you tranquility, even if only in the form of an unspilled Coke. (My Word Verification is COAKE,how funny!) Keep on Keepn' on.

Aly sun said...

Just a note, the picture from the top of the post is actually one that my husband took last fall. I never think to grab the camera when things are really bad. I found it in the archives and knew it was perfect for this post. :)

Kellie said...

There must have been something in the water yesterday. Or more likely it was my stress and frustration being reflected back to me. While I spent some quality time searching for a lost bolt in our 6" tall grass (still not found) I also found some time to talk to God and I have to say it really helped my attitude. Not the kids' attitudes so much, but at least I was able to handle everything with a little more grace and that's all I can ask for.

Sara said...

Sometimes I wonder how much my children's bad attitudes are a result of my bad attitude...sure, I like to blame my bad attitude on their misbehavior, but often if I can fix my attitude they also seem to do much better. Or is it just my better perspective and they don't actually change? Even so, it's better for everyone if Mommy can keep a good attitude in any situation!