I had just gotten the three kids out of the bathtub, already past bedtime on a Sunday night. No one had had supper yet, and I was rushing to get pjs on the baby before I made cheese quesadillas out of the few ingredients that were in my kitchen. Then I remembered that there were no more diapers. So, I left the naked children with Chad while I raced to the dollar store to buy the last box of diapers on the shelf. On the drive home, all of the “good things” that I need to do this week weighed heavy on me, not the least of which was the impossible-feeling feat of just getting my kids fed and in their beds within the next thirty minutes. The street lights in our quiet small-town neighborhood grew blurry halos as my eyes filled with tears. In that moment, it all seemed like too much.
And, the things I need to do this week? They’re all good. They’re all worthy, upstanding, nice things. They’re the other side of promises made: promises kept. Things I said I would do that I must follow up on and follow through with. Things I want to do. But, things that will be hard for me. Things that, on their own, are nothing much to fret over, but put them all together, into one gigantic swirling ball of Things-I-Must-Do, and suddenly they seem daunting and cause tears in a dark car on a Sunday night.
The truth is, all of the good things in our lives can take over if we’re not careful. I am doing lots of good stuff. But, is it the very best stuff? Is it the stuff that will make my children know Christ more? The stuff that will make me grow in Him? Is it the stuff that makes living in our home a pleasant experience? Is it the stuff that gives my marriage endurance?
Or is it just the stuff that I think will make me look good?
That will feed my pride and my glory-lust?
I really don’t know.
But, I do know this. My children are growing quickly. If I blink, I’ll miss it. And, if I keep my heart and mind buried in the “good stuff” that is banging down my door, I’ll look right past the incredible miracle of motherhood that is lying at my feet.
A true case of missing the best for the good.
So, tonight I will lie down with prayers floating round a messy bedroom. Prayers for industrious hands, a clear mind, a patient spirit, and a heart that loves Jesus and lives to serve Him, whether in my home or out in this big, broken world. Prayers for humility, for dependence on God, and for the wisdom to let Him use me, even when it’s hard.
Prayers for knowing what is worth saying yes to.
While I’m at it, I’ll pray the same for you.
And, when Monday morning hits like a Mack truck, may we reach for the best first: knowing Christ and loving our families well. All of the other good things can fall in line accordingly.