Monday, April 23, 2012

Put Down the Broom, Sister

My sister delivered another beautiful baby girl this past week. We are thanking God for this precious gift to our family. Meet Ms. Channing Grace :)

I drove four hours and missed her grand entrance by 15 minutes...we shall have a talk in a few years! haha! After spending countless hours and a few days staring at her and telling her how beautiful Aunt LaLa (that's me) thinks she is and how great God's plans for her are, I had to tear myself away and go home. It was hard to wake up this morning without kissing those sweet cheeks.

Of course, all of that snuggling gave me warm fuzzies and stirred up feelings I haven't had in quite a while.


Those feelings.

But then I remembered our kids are 19, 15, and 7.

AND that I will be 40 this September.

Then my friends on facebook reminded me of a few other things:
  • Potty training
  • Two year olds (enough said)
  • Missing meals/baths
  • Feedings every two hours
  • Dirty, stinky diapers
Now, don't get me wrong. In the middle of all these "inconveniences" with my sweet little angels, these weren't really inconveniences. I counted them as blessings (well, most of the time I counted them as blessings...).

But, yes, my time of child bearing is over. In fact, it may be over soon whether I want it to be or not. I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday for an endometrial biopsy to find out what is causing some unpleasant issues I am having (I am sure some of you ladies know what I'm talking about, but for the sake of my few male readers I will omit the details). Say a prayer for me?

(Flickr Creative Commons - The Italian Voice)

On another I the only one who hears God speak during housework?

While a broken vacuum lay resting in the corner, I picked up the broom to sweep the carpet. Although this works well for surface cleaning, it doesn't touch the dirt that has worked its way deep into the fibers of the flooring. And, sweeping carpet is quite the job, I might add. My arms were worn out when I finished (I'm sure I burned some calories).

(Enter spiritual revelation and God speaking.)

How often do we wear ourselves out trying to "fix" things in our lives (sin, anger, unforgiveness, hurt, bitterness, strongholds)? Sometimes we feel like we have to "be" or "do" or "say" all the right things in order to be accepted in the church and our "Christian" cliques. But appearing perfect or saying hallelujah at the right time doesn't mean we are whole (or even saved). It doesn't mean we have allowed Jesus to heal those wounds that have worked themselves way down deep into the secret places of our heart. It doesn't mean we have found joy and forgiveness and grace and peace. It doesn't mean we have surrendered our lives to Him.

It is draining to try and do everything on our own. Trying to be perfect and always appear like everything is 100 percent okay 100 percent of the time creates an illusion to a life that doesn't exist and offers a heavy burden. Trying to "will" ourselves not to do something or feel a certain way usually ends in failure. How do I know, you ask? I have been there. And I found myself worn out, burned out, stressed out and far from God.

He is the One who forgives.

He is the One heals.

He is the One who offers grace.

He is the One who loves unconditionally.

He is the place we find peace and joy and contentment and mercy.

It's not what we can do to fix things, or how much effort we put forth, it's what He's already done.

Put down the broom, sister.

Allow Jesus and the Holy Spirit to do the work only They can do.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16

Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation). Ephesians 2:5

Linking today with:

Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

Michelle at Graceful

Shanda at A Pause on the Path

16 friends had this to say:

Shelley said...

I had the same test done two months ago it was a bit unpleasent but we found out that I was a canidate for Nova Sure to get rid of that nice unpleasantness that happens each month.

Shakin' the Foundation said...

You are in my prayers! And thank you for such wonderful words of encouragement!! Seems I have been holding on to my broom lately :) I really needed to hear this today!

ps...Channing is simply beautiful :)

Shelly said...

Shelley, so glad things turned out well for you! :)

Stacey...Thank you! Let go, sister, let go! :)

Alicia said...

Oh, my arms are itching to hold that tiny sweet girl, too. And I'm laughing out loud at your list of reminders, because I'm nearing forty and just can't seem to get over the thought that we could have just had one more ;) My husband says 5 kids is enough. But, oh, they're so soft and precious. Maybe it's time to start holding out for grandbabies in the next few decades :) Hope your tests go well.

Brandee Shafer said...

Congratulations, Auntie!

Hope all goes well with your appointment.

I'm 38 and pregnant. I have a 12yo, a 3yo, and a 1yo. I'm exhausted, and things are chaotic. BUT at least I still have a working vacuum! ;)

Shelly said...

Alicia...if I could rewrite my story, maybe I would have five...maybe Lol :) But since I can't, I will read about your adventures :) Plus, my hubby says three is plenty. And yes, grandbabies ONE DAY. I'm too young to be a grandma haha

Brandee! made me laugh with the vacuum comment! Too funny! I have friends my age still having babies, but I started way younger than they did and sometimes feel like I have been raising kiddos for a lifetime! Lol Congrats on your new soon to be addition :)

Jean Wise said...

Forst of all congrats on the new niece. how wonderful and she looks precious. Will be praying for you and your test - been there, survived it and there is life and health beyond it! And love the broom lesson you gave. Great image to ponder in my prayers and housekeeping.

Jen Ferguson said...

This is so timely (and, btw, God regularly speaks to me during cleaning -- I can relate!) for me. In my post, I speak of these irrational thoughts and annoying behaviors I thought were dead. And I beat myself up for moving backwards and I swear to try to be better, when in fact...

I probably should just lay down the broom.



What a lovely babe. At my season of life ... I just keep borrowing babies and kids, as mine are grown. And it is fun.

Sorry you have to go through this test soon. Praying all is well.

Shanda said...

Congratulations Auntie!! I will be praying for your tests that all goes well, that they find the problem and it is nothing serious.

Shanda said...

Congratulations Auntie!! I will be praying for your tests that all goes well, that they find the problem and it is nothing serious.

Anonymous said...

so nice to meet you Shelley with an e. I don't have an e, but we share the same name. I was sitting in the doctor's office with my son today watching all the little ones run around in the waiting room and remembering all those stages of life and how far away they seem as mine grow into the teenage years. It feels a bit surreal some days, like today. Hope your tests go well.

Anonymous said...

Oops just realized we do spell our names the same. Sorry about that and still nice to meet you Shelly.

joy said...

thanks for sharing one of your happy moments with your newborn niece and being a mother and being a believer. Isn't it wonderful to hear God wherever we are and whatever we are doing? Very precious isn't it? coz then we really can feel that He is alive and really taking time talking to us. How wonderful our God is:)

Denise said...

Congrats on your beautiful new niece. Praying for you.

Dawn Whitmore said...

I enjoyed your post but admit it was comments from women encouraging you about test that lifted my spirit today. I had the biospy (yes it was uncomfortable, my doc suggested taking 600mg of iburofen beforehand). Plus, I had the pleasure of a 'female organ' ultrasound. My surgery is May 2nd with another biospy on the found ovarian cyst.

Sorry for the current life story.

Praying for your upcoming test.

Trust God in all circumstances has been my mantra.