I was a mom-jerk this morning in record time.
While the girls were still asleep, I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I got back all three were in my bed. It made me smile. And we snuggled. And we did our morning things. And we went down for breakfast. And while I carefully arranged blueberries in the blueberry part of her pink sectioned plate, the 2-year-old blonde started screaming at me, and I felt a familiar surge of frustration so quickly it surprised me.
And I realized, I must have a problem.
Why am I stressed and scared and unhappy before 7AM? That screaming blonde is my treasured baby who makes me laugh and smile all day. Why does one second of her screaming make me feel so low? Why am I having such a hard time being and feeling joyful when I have every reason to have joy?
And it clicked.
Side note: My husband had actually diagnosed the problem the night before, but what does he know? 😏
Problem: I am never ALONE with Jesus.
Never. I write things about Jesus at night when I’m alone working on a deadline. And I talk to Him all day with my kids and I read the Bible with them in the morning and I talk to them about what it says. And I’ve been telling myself that this is good. This is the phase of life I’m in right now. At one point in my mothering, I had a “no one leaves their room until Mommy comes and gets them” rule, but bringing Joy home shook things up. She needed easy access to us. And giving the others that access only seemed fair. I decided, there are always little kids around me, so I need to seek Jesus during the chaos.
But, that is not enough. I should keep doing those things. Praying with my girls and being with Jesus with my family. But, my soul needs to be alone with Him. Just Him. I realized this morning that I can’t remember the last time I was with just Jesus – like, on a date. Like no one else but us.
So, after I put the breakfast on the table in a huff, I walked upstairs in a huff, and sat down in a huff, and tried to have “quiet time.”
Except that it wasn’t very quiet. The Holy Spirit’s voice was so soft while the lies of my heart were so loud.
Spirit: Scarlet…turn to the verse in Romans about Abraham’s faith being counted to him as righteousness…
Scarlet: SCARLET. YOU’RE THE WORST. YOUR OLDEST DAUGHTER WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU AS AN ANGRY MOTHER WHO SAID THE WRONG THINGS AND GAVE SPEECHES ABOUT YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE IN A MEAN VOICE. SHE IS GOING TO HATE YOU AND FORGET ABOUT JESUS.
Spirit: Scarlet…you know where the verse is. Just look at it.
Scarlet: YOU’RE THE WORST. TEXT YOUR HUSBAND ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU ARE THE WORST. OR WORK ON THAT DEADLINE. GO DO SOMETHING.
Spirit: Scarlet… you need Me.
And as I listened to the war of words in my head, God granted me grace to help me hear the still, small voice over the loud, sad one.
And I sat on my bed, fleeing the temptation to hate myself, to obsess over the long list of things that disqualify me from being righteous, and I instead meditated on the true words of God.
I strained and I flipped pages and couldn’t quite remember what it said in Romans about Abraham’s faith being counted to him as righteousness.
And the Holy Spirit reminded me that I’ve been here before, and He guided my fingers to the verse, like it was a set of car keys I’d left in the same spot I always do, and I knew they were there all along.
“That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness. But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” – Romans 4: 23-25
And immediately the loud voice of Scarlet had no argument as I remembered, again, for the thousandth time, that I’m righteous because He is righteous. He whispered in the quiet that even in my absence, He is present. Even in my weakness, He is strong. Even in my anger, He is Love. Even when I won’t be quiet, I am His and He is a single huff from having my heart. Sometimes I neglect Him, but He will never leave or forsake me. If I am faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)
And so I cried over what a terrible friend I’ve been to Him and felt His arms wrapped around me, reminding me that He is, as always, the Prodigal God. He arranges blueberries while I cry at the world. I’ve been here so many times before, and as He held me on our little impromptu “date” this morning, I remembered that I am healed and clean and new already.
His voice is loud right now. He is right here next to me. And I didn’t have to wait to get on His schedule or do some grand gesture to show how sorry I am.
I’m just sorry. And He’s just forgiving. And loving. And righteous. And true. And near. And for some insane reason, He loves me.
Sometimes we need quiet. Sometimes we need Jesus and nothing else.
It’s going to be a good day.