It’s an average Tuesday afternoon. I’m cooking a bunch of meals to freeze. It’s getting hotter in the kitchen and I’m getting louder on my kids who are whining and hungry and fighting and tired and throwing Lego at the ceiling and tantrums on the floor.
I can see how this is going to go.
I’ve had afternoons like this before.
The unravel has begun and I can see the day’s fibres whizzing loose from my happy mom ensemble. I’m stripped of kind composure and the boys are tripping over tangled heaps of angry words at my feet. Loose threads lying ugly to end the day threadbare –
Leaving them hanging.
So how do I live this day differently?
Like in that movie. How do I live this day first time round as if it was second time round and I knew this time round how to do it better? How do I pick up dropped stitches and tie tight the slack strings with truth and love? What does freakin’ difficult obedience look like in the kitchen on a Tuesday?
I hear Paul – polite – from across the ages.
See – thing is – ‘The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.’ (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Not a loophole. Not an easy out. Not an opt out.
A way out.
He will show me a way out.
Like, way. Totally.
Way. Truth. Life.
And there’s another voice in the kitchen –
‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.’ (John 14:16)
I’m not looking for a way out on my own. The Way into the truth about how to do life and live it for the Father – He’s right here with me in the mess of cheese grated and juice split and sorry sighed and hugged snug on the tiles. He IS the way out, from the mess of me.
I see quite suddenly the pathways being furrowed and webbed in the brains and hearts of these little men. I see too how I haven’t been taking the way out so much as the emergency exit. Because they fight and I yell, ‘Don’t fight.’ They whine and I threaten, ‘Don’t whine.’ They flush moths down the loo and I say –
Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.
So they reverse down those same roads. Make the grooves deeper. Retreat. Back where they started.
Yet bad habits are beaten by good ones and I see how I need to be showing them new paths. Ways to walk away from the ruts they’re grinding with heels dug in.
A way out.
So they whinge and bicker and I say, ‘Tell me three things you’re grateful for?’ Take a new road. Or ‘What made you laugh at school today?’ Take the scenic route. Detour from the trudge-trudge of Dos and heavy Don’ts to plough unchartered heartland where small souls can breathe easy and run free.
[From my archives; adapted slightly.]
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Thanks for reading, friend. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who may or may not be coming apart at the seams. #thereisalwayshope
Have a splendid week!