It was the first week of summer and I had already found myself sobbing in my room…twice.
If strife was a color, I bet our neighbors could see it pouring out of our home like billowing smoke. Our house felt so heavy with anger. I was feeling the failure as a mom erupt over me. With one child still needing to finish up her homeschooling for the school year, and another one done with school, ready to start his summer vacation, we were all at the end of our ropes. The amount of patience we had for one another was threadbare.
As I was picking up the mess in one of our bathrooms, I felt God whisper to me…
Open your eyes.
I paused a bit to reflect on these words and what God might be wooing my heart towards.
Almost immediately a picture of my kids watering the garden together popped into my head from earlier in the day. After much coursing and reminders that we needed to water the garden, I was able to get my two kids outside with me. My daughter took the initiative to start watering from garden bed to garden bed. By the time she made it to the third bed, I heard my son say he wanted a turn with the watering. I remember I took a deep breath in, closed by eyes, bracing myself for the power struggle about to unfold in front of me while the whole neighborhood overheard. Instead, when I opened my eyes my children were holding the hose together! They were not holding it in a struggle for supreme power over who was going to be the ultimate water gardener. They were actually holding it together as a team! My daughter and son moved from plant to plant in unison making sure the growing plants had enough water.
The memory of their sweet little hands holding the green hose together brought a smile onto my face. I felt my heart soften and my shoulders relax.
One of my favorite bible stories is Joshua and the stones of remembrance in chapter 4. After a long and tiring 40 years in the desert (remember the Israelites even begged to go back to slavery in Egypt?), God finally brings his people into the Promise Land. While God parted the Jordan River, the Israelites collected twelve rocks from the Jordan River and they piled the rocks on top of each other as a remembrance of what God did for them.
If we open our eyes, we can see our own remembrance rocks of God working in our lives, the blessings before us, and how God is faithful to us.
In order to help me get through the hard moments I was currently facing; I knew God wanted me to savor the moment of my two kiddos working together and hold onto this memory as a stone of remembrance.
Sweet mom, the enemy wants to leave us feeling like things are always hard and never going to change.
He wants to make sure you are left feeling empty so you have nothing to pour into your family.
A dry, broken, and empty vessel.
Oh, but God! God knows how to fill up your empty vessel.
In Philippians 4:8 (NIV) God tells us to open our eyes to, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think on these things.”
When you are left feeling frustrated, angry, and depressed from your current situation, rest in this peace that God is offering you. Put into practice going over the times in your life that were good, where God met you and carried you.
Make sure you are collecting stones of remembrance as you go about your days, months, and years.
Hold them close to you for safe keeping. Make sure to share them with your children as beautiful reminders for them to open their eyes with you.