It’s funny how The Lord grabs our attention when we least expect it. In our busy day to day as women, wives, mothers, He exists in the places we would never look. Motherhood brings a whole new set of surprises to the table, and I’ve been amazed at how God has used the joys and challenges of the past five months to teach me important lessons about His will and about His heart and about how to bring Him glory in this crazy life. Starting each day in His Word is something I vowed to continue even with a newborn, and I am so thankful that I have. Because in the graceful quiet of my early mornings with Him and the joyfully chaotic days of raising our little family, my Father is molding me into a better wife and mommy.
It had just been one of those days. Really, it had been one of those weeks. All of Jacob’s gastrointestinal problems had resurfaced like a tidal wave, we had family coming into town, and my husband was very busy trying to prepare for a weeklong business trip on the other side of the country. Exhausted as I was, I was still running around the house, taking sips of hours-old coffee in between cleaning and prep work for the week ahead of us. Because that is what I do. I take great pride and joy in creating a home that is a clean, loving, and nurturing environment for my family. I attempt this on a daily basis. While my baby naps, I am trying with all my might to get another household project checked off my list. That’s the other thing I do. I’ve always been a list person. My notepads in my planner and on my phone have become even more useful since Jacob was born. I create a little list for the day and check things off as I go. But that had been particularly challenging this week, since Jacob seemed to be in almost constant stomach pain. My days were spent in his room, rocking, boucing, doing whatever I could to help relieve his pain and make the GI bleeding stop. It was my joy to do these things, but my heart hurt for him. My hurried mind kept mulling over feeding options for him, and anxiety was creeping in. On this day, I had just gotten up from playing with my sweet boy when I heard my Father’s voice in one of the most undeniable, almost tangible ways I have ever heard Him. Rest in My presence.
Immediately I began a conversation in my head with God. Rest? What do You mean, rest? My son has been screaming, he is bleeding with nearly every dirty diaper, I am making numerous calls to the pediatrician and gastroenterologist, we are fighting with our insurance to cover a prescription formula he may need, the laundry has been in the washing machine all morning, the mail is becoming a mountain on the counter, and the guest beds need to be made before company arrives. In my new-mommy mind, resting was not an option. Jacob finally seemed to have gotten some relief from his pain and was laying on his play mat. While he was sweetly babbling and momentarily distracted, I turned on the hot water to start prepping for dinner. The way my mind was racing that day, every spare second could be used to accomplish something. But then I heard The Lord again speak gently into my soul. Just stop. Put that dishrag down and come sit at my feet. I want you to learn how to do this. You can sit at My feet in many ways. You can sit at My feet by spending your five minute lunch break conversing with Me while you eat instead of typing out a new to-do list on your phone. You can sit at My feet by laying back down on the floor with Jacob. Watch him play. See how I have orchestrated his abilities. He looks at a toy and touches it. He reaches for a rattle and picks it up. If I have enabled this little baby to accomplish these marvelous things, don’t you think I can do the same for you? I can accomplish through you what you cannot accomplish on your own. I nearly cried with relief in that moment. That precious, beautiful, intimate moment of knowing that the very God who fearfully and wonderfully knit Jacob together in my womb knows me. That He sees me. That He lovingly invites me into His presence when my heart is overwhelmed.
I think I just stood there for a few minutes in awe of our Creator, Our Abba Father. That He would see me as His daughter, taking keen interest in my struggle and offering me rest. Not a nap, but real rest. Rest in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. A chance to lay my burdens at His feet and sit before Him. So I obeyed. I turned off the hot water and put the dishrag down. I put my to-do list away, silenced my phone, and laid on the floor with my baby. I put my head next to his so that we were both on our backs, side by side. He has recently learned how to reach up to touch the toys hanging above him, and he had both of his chubby little arms raised to the sky, wide-eyed with awe at everything around him. He seemed so freeingly happy, suddenly unbothered by the struggles of this week. As I studied him, I allowed my soul to do the same thing. To rest in the presence of The Lord. To be awestruck by His creation. To take great delight in His provision, His care, and His mercy. To sit calmly and securely at the feet of my loving Father, knowing that everything is filtered through His hands.
We stayed like that for almost an hour. In that time, I learned that resting in the presence of God and sitting at His feet doesn’t always look like a desk with my Bible, highlighters, and a thick commentary. On this day, I sat in His presence in exactly the way He asked me to. Jacob played, pulling at the mobile hanging over him and learning to pick up the toy car he loves so much. And I was refreshed. Refreshed in a way that I didn’t even know I needed to be. Sitting in the presence of The Lord in the most basic of ways, marveling at His goodness on my back in the middle of the living room floor, on a fluffy fabric mat next to the baby I love so much. I’m thankful to serve a God Who knows me better than I know myself. His gentle prodding of my soul did a work in me. Dinner may have been on the table a few minutes later than normal that day, but my heart was full, and I was reminded of just how much I adore my little family and my great God.
I don’t want to be so busy maintaining a perfect home that I miss moments like that, of marveling at the goodness of our God. I don’t want my mind and heart to become so preoccupied that I can’t hear The Lord’s still small voice. Yes, raising a family is an all-consuming yet indescribably magnificent calling. There is always so much to do. As silly as it sounds, I’m finding joy in the endless loads of laundry, lunches, and grocery lists. More and more, The Lord is teaching me to be still and to be rooted in His presence amidst my everyday. Right now, my everyday looks like diaper changes and musical toys with the occasional splatter of rice cereal on my face. But in feeding, caring for, playing with, and nurturing my precious son, I see the Father in a new light. As the Giver of good things even when I don’t complete my to-do list. As the One who sees me, the One who seeks me out in the happily exhausting days of new motherhood, and the One who takes me by hand into His presence. I’ve learned that it’s okay to rest sometimes. When your soul is overwhelmed, put that dishrag down and sit at His feet, however that looks for you. Time spent at the feet of the One who loves you and gave Himself up for you will always be time well spent.