Thursday, November 20, 2014

right here

I think I could explode. Seriously, right in this moment, I could blow sky high.

It's been a fine morning around here. My husband let me sleep in til my body woke me up at exactly 8:00. All of the kids had baths today. I labeled some more bins in the playroom. I can't remember what else we did. But then it was nap time for all three. Andrew cozied Harriet into her crib and I fed the boys and put them down.

Andrew took Murphy for a run and I sat down at the kitchen table to read my Bible. Not even two minutes later, Louie was fussing. I returned to his room to help him out. Big burp. Wide awake baby. I tried to bounce him, pat him, coax him to sleep, but his eyes just continued to brighten and I knew we weren't getting anywhere. I laid him back in his crib to see if he would put himself to sleep.

Back to my Bible, my journal and my study book - one about the miracles of Jesus. I took a deep breath, picked up my pencil...more crying from the boys' room.

We went through the familiar routine several times, and I was getting more frustrated with each round. I grabbed my phone with my free hand and desperately typed a text to the women from my accountability group:

Ladies, can you please pray for me? This has been a week where all I'm 
asking for is twenty minutes to read my Bible. Not trying to sound pious. 
I'm just seriously needing even fifteen minutes to sit down 
with Jesus and it's not happening. I'm trying  to do my study right now because 
it's supposed to be nap time for all three of them. And I have been interrupted 
four times in ten minutes. I have also had to stop my boiling water 
for the RAMEN NOODLES that I am trying to make myself for lunch THREE 
times so that I can deal with someone who needs me. How pathetic is that?!?! 
I am getting so frustrated with God that I just keep crying to Him - 
"I am trying to spend time with YOU!!!! Throw me a bone here!" 
Please pray that I will have miraculous patience. 
My throat is full of burning tears.

And it was. I wasn't upset with Louie. I was angry with God. Because I keep trying to be with Him and my life keeps getting in the way. And not just today...every day. I could understand if God allowed the demands on my time and attention to be so much that I wasn't able to check Facebook, send emails, clean my house, compose posts for this blog...but when my goal is to spend twenty minutes talking to and hearing from God and He doesn't give me that window, it leaves me confused...with a throat full of burning tears.

It's not just a time thing either. I just got my first real, grown-up study Bible. One with maps, diagrams, a concordance, and commentary that fills up half of every page. I love it. I had been using it for only about a week when Harriet splattered bright orange butternut squash soup on the pages.

And my prayer journal...about every third page is covered with scribbles. Sometimes prayer feels like scribbling. But these scribbles are not of the prayer variety. These are the type of scribbles that happen under the table while the offender "needs privacy." I thought that was code for "I'm trying to poop" but apparently it's code for "I'm trying to do exactly what you told me not to do."

What are you trying to teach me, God? What's the point of this craziness? Why does it sometimes feel like my kids are making it impossible for me to know You well? 

I knew my faithful, faithful sisters were praying, but the situation wasn't changing. So I started over -  nursing Louie again, gingerly placing him back in his bed. 


I sat down at the table and not even half a second later, the dog was barking at me, wanting to come inside. How long does it take to let a dog inside? Maybe five seconds. BUT IT WAS THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING! 

I sat down again. Got my marching orders from Kay Arthur. Flipped to Malachi. Then to Isaiah. Tried to wrap my frazzled brain around the prophecies. About three minutes after I let the dog in, Gus was crying. Nap time was over. 

I stood in the kitchen with a talking, happy baby in my arms, trying to breathe through the frustration I was feeling. Andrew, who was finishing up some work in the garage and knew nothing of the battle that was raging in my heart, must have seen my tears through the window, because he came inside and with few words, took Gus into the living room.

I sat down at the kitchen table yet again. My Bible, my journal, my study book, my was all there. But all I could do was cry. I pressed hot palms against my eyes and sobbed outloud, wiping tears and snot on the sleeves of my sweatshirt, until I was done.

I opened my book and read the same sentence for the eighth time. I felt a little nudge from God, telling me that maybe I should write instead. So that's what I'm doing, and while I still feel sad and confused, I no longer feel like I'm going to explode.


It's been nearly a week since that combustible Saturday, and the things I wasn't ready tell you then, I can finally tell you now.

I was holding Louie in that not-dark-enough room, about to set him down for the third time, and I just wanted to scream. And Jesus said quietly...always quietly..."I'm here too, you know?"

My eyes closed slowly. My chin touched my chest. "Yeah...I know. But I don't want to meet you here! I want to meet you there with my tea and my Bible and my colored pencils!"

And again, that same truth, whispered ever patiently into my stubbornness, "But I'm here too."

And He was. He was deeply, deeply there. With me and my boys in that room. He didn't need tea. He didn't need colored pencils.

And over this last week, with the gift of time and perspective, I'm realizing that accepting Jesus' invitation to meet with Him in the midst of life's chaos and constant interruptions...Well, it's kind of like going on a date with the love of your Chuck E. Cheese's. He is still Him. And you are still you. But rather than basking in the candlelight and the violins, you are surrounded by flashing lights, electronic noises, and the combined smell of bad feet and stale pizza. And you just have to work a little harder to focus on the gift of time together, right here.

What's your right here?

Maybe it's a windowless cubicle on the forty-second floor.

Maybe it's an overfull, underfunded classroom.

Maybe it's a cold, sterile hospital room, completely devoid of hope.

Maybe it's the dorm room you share with someone who doesn't respect you.

Maybe it's a home where the conflict never seems to end and the the voices never seem to soften.

Maybe your right here looks a lot like mine - a loud, messy, sleep-starved house where the menial tasks are endless and the little voices always seem to be calling your name.

Can you hear Him whispering to you? Is He telling you the same thing He told me?

I'm here, too. Even here. Seek me, my precious child, and you will find me.

Every day, I make my best attempt at setting aside time to talk to and hear from God. Sometimes He gifts me with a time of quiet right now, when I am able to look up from the table to see a big, fat woodpecker outside my window, doing his bizarrely beautiful woodpecker thing, and I'm able to smile at this moment I'm sharing with God alone, and praise Him for his sense of humor and creativity. And other days, I don't get that time. And those are the days that I have to look a little harder for places that sound like whining toddlers and smell like dirty diapers. But even there...

...even here, He will always, always be found.


  1. This is so good, Em. So much truth. Thanks for your vulnerability- you are definitely not alone in this feeling!!

  2. Oh Em. Every single time you amaze me with your beautiful words. But most importantly you bless me with your humble heavenly wisdom. Love you dear friend.

  3. Thank you SO much! A big cuddle to you. I'm so there right now. And thank you too for sharing real. That's hard to do sometimes. But praise God you did. I am very encouraged. And I 'get it' now. Just like its hard to find time with hubby in the midst of baby craziness and we have to make the most of time together regardless what's going on around us- the same is true for our relationship with God. THANK YOU :) xxx

  4. Ironically, as I'm reading this, we are struggling with nap time at our house. A woke up only 30 minutes into his nap, crying and still very tired. I took a timeout from reading this post to try cuddling with him and getting him back to sleep. Not having it. So I put him back down in his crib. We'll see if he goes back to sleep soon. Thank you so much for sharing these hard times with us. I need these nudges and reminders to seek God ALL the time.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this Em. I think we've all been there, but not all of us feel so comfortable sharing those experiences, even though we should.

  6. I don't comment much but I love to read whenever you have an opportunity to write. And I feel very strongly that you should print this blog as a book and sell it. Because every darn time you knock it out of the park in the most perfect way.

  7. Hugs, I've been there as well and sometimes I think all you can do to feel a little better is cry. It's amazing what a few small tears can do for you.

  8. I could see myself in this - the same anger. Why won't you let me have this time God? It's for you! My little one has been waking up in the wee hours instead of making it until 6, so I've been staying in bed later too and not having my quiet time with God. This is a good reminder that God is with me all the time, not just in the quiet. Thank you!

  9. My "right here" looks a lot like yours, with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playing in the background and scribbles throughout my journal. I can relate. You wrote this story beautifully. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  10. Thank you for sharing this, it really helped me. I have a baby boy that is almost 5 months and two older boys who are a huge help to our household. However, I often find that between my daily tasks, working from home and caring for this sweet, amazing baby, there is no time carved out to spend alone with my Creator and it really wears me down sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I do have these precious moments of realization of His amazing comfort, glory and faithfulness. Those are the most important moments of my life, for those moments give me the strength and endurance I need to continue living for Him each day. He has definitely proven to be an amazing Father and friend, and I am SO grateful for Jesus and that I can come to Him in the midst of all the craziness! Thank you again for sharing your story, it has given me renewed hope and courage to keep going down the path He has for me.

  11. I have 2 1/2 year old twins. I remember those days of constant crying, feeling completely drained from head to toe. I remember crying out to God in tears, begging for a life raft. The comfort and strength He gave me was amazing! You will get through this! Keep writing, you write what I need to hear. Thank you!

  12. Hugs girlie. I love that aren't giving up on your time with God. Now I feel like I should be doing a devotional instead of reading blogs!

  13. So true. Have you read the book Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman? It talks about what you shared.
    I have gone through the same thing especially since my husband works out of town so I'm a single parent. I used to get angry that I didn't have alone time with the Lord but He reminded me in those moments of chaos to call out to Him. He reminds me in the moment to see His grace, mercy, and kindness. He reminds me that it may look ugly to me, but it is a perfect gift from Him and when I open it up, I see His love poured out on me. It isn't always easy and I do forget. But I'm thankful that He is working in us to make us more like Jesus. He is faithful and even in the chaos through the pages of scripture or by a verse that comes into our head , we see the beauty of our great and compassionate Lord.

  14. This is a beautiful reminder for me! Also, my testimony journal is filled with scribbles from my little guy as well! Haha. Thanks for this wonderful post, Em. :)

  15. I so needed to read these words tonight. Thank you, thank you.


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