I started a new routine. By new I mean really new... like I'm on day #3.
I was reading in the Old Testament about sacrifices. God took them very seriously. The people needed sacrifices to atone for sins. It was a lot of work and required the very best of what each person had.
Jesus' death on the cross covering my sins made life much easier for me. I've never had to find my choicest lamb and give it as a sacrifice at the temple. Instead I cling to His grace and repenting takes little physical effort.
And that's where a conviction found me. I need to give God my best.... went through my thoughts. If it had just been that, a thought that came and went, it would have been okay, but it plagued me. As all good convictions should. What was my best and how could I give it to God?
I knew the answer, I was just hiding from it. Literally hiding under the covers. The best, very, very best, part of my day is after I've fed the baby for the jagillianth time in the night and snuggle into my warm bed somewhere between 5-6am. The sleep I get for the next hour or two is that of a dead woman...
Unfortunately, waking from that sleep is also like waking a dead woman. Each morning since Tommy was born has been pretty much the same routine: me clinging to sleep until the last possible moment, the kids completely wreaking havoc by the time I get up, no exercise done, the house in shambles, and me in my bathrobe until I can't get away with it any longer, dragging through the morning.
No one was actually happy with this plan. Even me, I love my sleep at all, but I sure didn't feel rested even if I did get that all-so-coveted afternoon nap, I was still a walking zombie. Jeff wasn't thrilled with my sleeping in either, but he didn't grumble because he knew I had a bad night, or whole series of months of bad nights. He fed the kids breakfast, made his lunch, and tried to keep from getting his head bit off when he said, "I'm leaving now, the kids are all yours."
So, when I pondered giving God my best, I wondered how I could really do it. Would I be more tired because of a few less hours of sleep? I'm on day #3 (somebody throw me a party!) and feeling really good. I feel awake at 6am instead of drugged and grouchy at 8am. I am able to spend time with God, exercise and have a quiet morning before the kids bombard me. It is an amazing difference that I've missed.
I kind of hoped I would sneak under the radar of The Evil One. I mean, is he really happy with joyful, energetic, lover of Jesus me? He would rather have me doped up on not enough sleep and grouchy so I can't help but be nasty all day long.
Monday was great, Tuesday was great. Those days sailed by with Pinterst worthy delight and wonder. Homeschooled, canned, cooked, baked chocolate chip cookies one day and muffins the next, created some pretty meaningful snacks, made Jeff's lunch, talked with friends even.
Then came today. I have not snuck under the radar. The Evil One was on the prowl, testing my devotion to giving God my best. What I found so amazing about this was that even though it was a doozy, I was encouraged and energized when I needed it. My Father in Heaven prepared me each step of the way. It was something like this:
6am: Read a fantastic devotional about finding beauty in each day. Determined to follow that advice. This was going to be a fantastic day. Invigorated.
9am: Made play doh for the kids and turned my back for two seconds and my favorite glass mixing bowl went sailing onto the floor and shattered. Disheartened.
11am: My sister texted me and invited me over for cake tomorrow. Encouraged.
1pm: No one was napping, no one was even pretending to rest. Frustrated.
2pm: Finally got all 4 quiet and fell into a deep sleep in my bed with Mandy who also fell asleep for a much needed nap. Refreshed.
2:05: Hear Rem's bedroom door and run upstairs to find he was trying to hide a poopy accident. Also find that he finger painted with the poopy accident. Angry.
2:10 Got Rem bathed and was happy to see Jeff working the field right by our house. He is there maybe 5% of the time, usually in a far-off field and unavailable. I texted him "come get your son before I lose it" and gratefully saw the big green tractors change directions as he came to my rescue. Thankful.
2:15 Stopped to check the mail before I attacked Mr. Poopy-Pant's room. A card from my grandma that I believe was routed via heaven for inspiration, "Cling to Jesus" was the simple message she wrote. Invigorated.
My day continued like that. Challenges met with bigger doses of God's goodness. Coincidence? I think not. My God cares SO much about my little life with all it's poopy mishaps. He is bigger than my day or anything that it can throw at me.
Evil One, eat my dust. Or how about eat my son's poop? My God is greater, my God is stronger, and He has my best. It's good enough for him. Try again tomorrow. I'm ready.